California Table Grape Season LAUNCHES with New HEALTHY SNACKING IDEAS
Fresh California Grapes Now Arriving in Stores Across the Nation
As summer temperatures rise, nothing tastes better than fresh fruit, especially grapes, one of the three most consumed fruits in America. But great taste aside, grapes also offer numerous health benefits. Grapes of every color contain a variety of antioxidants and other polyphenols, natural components in grapes that may contribute to a healthy heart. Grapes also contain potassium and are a good source of vitamin K, which plays a role in helping blood to clot.
Delicious, portable and fresh, grapes from California are now being touted as “The Original Super Snack.” The California Table Grape Commission and celebrity chef, best-selling author and TV host Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., have teamed up to communicate creative and easy ways of incorporating grapes from California into different snacking occasions.
“Grapes are nature’s perfect snacking gift – they are portable, delicious and fresh and loved by children and adults alike,” said Karen Brux, vice president of marketing communications for the commission. “We hear a lot about super foods. This is our way of highlighting the wonderful qualities of grapes from California that make them the perfect super snack.”
For many Hispanic households, homemade meals and cooking with fresh ingredients is a way of life, with cooking traditions and recipes passed from one generation to the next. In fact, recent studies indicate that Hispanic households tend to spend more on groceries each week than the rest of the population, shop for groceries more often compared to the U.S. mainstream consumers, and on average spend 47 percent more per year on produce as compared to non-Hispanics (Produce Marketing Association).
But with snacking becoming more prevalent and snacks sometimes even replacing meals, finding snack options that are great tasting and healthy at the same time can be challenging. Grapes make for quick and convenient snacks, especially when combined with other fresh, nutritious ingredients. “Both adults and kids want snacking options that are quick and easy, but also flavorful and interesting,” said Krieger. “Any way you dress them up or down, grapes add a sweet sparkle, crunch and color to snacks, and they can double for appetizers when entertaining.”
To support the launch of the California table grape season, which runs from May through January, Ms. Krieger created five new fresh snack concepts including Grape, Ricotta, and Honey Pita Pizza; Grapes in Port Wine Sauce; Cheddar Cheese, Jicama and Grape Skewers with Lime and Cilantro Yogurt Dip; Frozen Grape and Banana Kebabs with Chocolate Drizzle; and Grapes in a Canoe (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with grapes).
In addition to developing healthy snack recipes with California grapes, Ms. Krieger is also promoting the new “Makeover Your Snacks with Grapes from California” contest which is active on the Grapes from California Facebook page and includes a $5,000 cash grand prize. The commission is looking for easy-to-make concepts that use fresh grapes to “makeover” snacks into delicious, healthy super snacks.
Californians have been growing grapes for more than two centuries and today, over 99 percent of grapes commercially grown in the United States come from California. With approximately 500 growers, California grapes come in three colors –green, red and black – and are available May through January. Production is approaching 100 million boxes, shipped to more than 60 countries across the globe.
To learn more about Grapes from California including recipes in Spanish, visithttp://www.grapesfromcalifornia.com/spanish/.
About the California Table Grape Commission
The California Table Grape Commission was created by the California legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs. Each year the fresh California grape season starts in May and runs through January of the following year. More information can be found at www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.