Meal Ideas 19 June 2024

Grape Summer Gatherings: Easy recipes to enjoy at warm-weather celebrations

(Family Features) Celebrations abound throughout summer, and if you plan on hosting your nearest and dearest for events large and small, you’ll need a tasty, convenient ingredient to elevate your entertaining all summer long. When that one ingredient also serves as a healthy, refreshing snack on its own, it’s a win-win.

Delicious, healthy and versatile, Grapes from California can be that special ingredient and pleasing snack. In recipes, grapes deliver sweet-tart flavor and crisp, juicy texture to appetizers, main courses, drinks, desserts and beyond. These recipes show the myriad ways this bite-sized fruit can bring out the best in warm-weather fare: a tasty frozen treat, a chic cocktail and a flavorful Southwestern-inspired salad that each add a special touch to any gathering.  

In fact, while grapes complement a wide array of flavors – including sweet, sour, salty, spicy and smoky – that make them easy to use in recipes and serve alongside other foods, they’re also an ideal snack to serve by themselves. Grapes are inherently cool and refreshing, easily shareable and satisfying to eat.

Take your summer entertaining to new heights with additional recipe inspiration at

6 Ways to Chill Out with Grapes

Taking get-togethers, parties and celebrations outdoors during the summer months means frozen treats are essential. Consider these creative ways to use frozen grapes in your summer entertaining:

  • Freeze grapes as they are – on or off the stem – for 2 hours for a healthy frozen treat.
  • Ice cubes – frozen grapes offer a visually appealing (and delicious) replacement for plain ice cubes to help keep guests’ drinks cool.
  • Swalty Frozen Grapes – these cold, sweet and spicy grapes rolled in honey, lime juice and spicy chili-lime seasoning are fun to eat.
  • Wine-marinated frozen grapes – soak grapes in wine overnight then freeze for a festive, boozy bite.
  • Frozen Yogurt Dipped Grapes – dip skewered grapes in yogurt then freeze for a mini, sweet-tart treat.
  • Grape Sorbet – fresh grapes blend and freeze beautifully for a lovely frozen dessert.

Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Grape and Yogurt Clusters

Yield: 7 mounds

  • 1 cup black Grapes from California, halved
  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In medium bowl, combine grapes, yogurt and vanilla. Line 9-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper then, using 1-ounce scoop, place mounds of grape-yogurt mixture on sheet. Freeze until set, about 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. Place chopped chocolate in small, wide microwaveable bowl. Microwave 1 minute on medium power. Stir and repeat. Stir then microwave 30 seconds, repeating as needed until melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in oil. Dip bottoms of frozen clusters in chocolate to coat and return to pan.
  4. Store frozen clusters in airtight container in freezer up to 1 week.

Nutritional information per serving: 100 calories; 3 g protein; 12 g carbohydrates; 4.5 g fat (41% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (23% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

Southwest Charred Corn Salad with Grapes

Yield: 4 servings (6 cups)

  • 2 large ears yellow corn on the cob, shucked
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup large green and red Grapes from California, halved
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 avocado, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 ounce cotija cheese, crumbled
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Over open flame on stove, directly under broiler or on grill, char corn, turning with tongs as needed, until roasted all around, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine cucumber, grapes, black beans, onion, jalapeno, olive oil, vinegar, cumin and salt; toss well.
  3. Working with sharp knife in wide, shallow bowl or pie pan, cut corn from cobs. Stand ear of corn upright in bowl and cut from middle downward, rotating to cut down 4-5 times. Invert cob and repeat. Repeat with remaining cobs.
  4. Add corn, avocado and cheese to bowl with grape-black bean mixture. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste, and top with cilantro; toss well.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 5 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 11 g fat (50% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 4 g fiber.

Lemongrass Grape Cocktail

Yield: 1 drink

Lemongrass Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, halved, inner cores cut into 1-inch pieces, chopped


  • 1/2 cup cold Grapes from California
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces lemongrass simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • frozen Grapes from California, for garnish
  • lemongrass stalk, trimmed, for garnish
  1. To make lemongrass simple syrup: In heavy, small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved; add lemongrass pieces and simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool, cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
  2. To make cocktail: In shaker, muddle cold grapes and ginger. Add ice, vodka, lemongrass simple syrup and lime juice; shake well. Pour into glass over ice and garnish with frozen grapes and lemongrass stalk.

Note: For mocktail, replace vodka with seltzer water.

Nutritional information per serving: 270 calories; 1 g protein; 37 g carbohydrates; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

 Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 05 September 2023

3 Steps Toward a Healthier Heart

(Family Features) All aspects of health are important, but heart health is a crucial component of overall well-being. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans but it doesn’t need to be – lifestyle choices play a key role in heart health and it’s never too soon to adopt healthful habits. 

From exercising and getting proper sleep to healthy eating – including heart-friendly snacks like grapes – consider these simple steps.

Eat Right
Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can impact heart health. One way you may lower your risk for heart disease is by
As an easy, convenient, heart-healthy food, grapes are a perfect ingredient for a heart-friendly eating plan that includes recipes like Grape, Broccoli and Avocado Salad with Toasty Oat Topping. Savory broccoli slaw pairs with the delicate sweetness of crisp, juicy Grapes from California while the toasted oat topping provides a crunchy finish.

Grapes are low in sodium and a good source of vitamin K, which promotes heart health, and contain 7% of the daily recommended intake of potassium, a nutrient critical to heart health. Grapes are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols and help maintain healthy circulation by promoting the relaxation of blood vessels.

In fact, according to a study published in the “Journal of Nutrition,” men with metabolic syndrome who consumed 1 1/2 cups of grapes every day showed reduced blood pressure, improved blood vessel function and a decrease in a key marker of inflammation.

Women who consumed 1 1/4 cups of grapes every day as part of a separate study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” benefited from reduced blood triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol levels, inflammatory proteins and other markers of heart disease.

Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is also critical for a healthy heart.  Most experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. To help achieve that goal, create a bedtime routine by waking up and going to sleep at consistent times. Also ensure a comfortable sleep space by turning off electronics and setting the thermostat to a cozy temperature.

A regular exercise routine can have a positive impact on many areas of health. It can be especially beneficial for heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and aiding in maintaining a healthy weight. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity is recommended by the American Heart Association.  Fuel your workout and recovery with heart-healthy and hydrating foods such as grapes.

Find more heart-healthy recipes at

Grape, Broccoli and Avocado Salad with Toasty Oat Topping

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Toasted Oat Topping:

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons steel-cut oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup quartered red or green Grapes from California
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 bag (12 ounces) broccoli slaw
  • 2 cups lightly packed torn curly kale
  • 1 1/2 cups halved Grapes from California
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large, firm but ripe avocado, diced
  1. To make toasted oat topping: In medium skillet over medium-low heat, cook butter, almonds, oats, salt and Italian herb seasoning about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently.
  2. To make dressing: In small blender, puree olive oil, grapes, wine vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth.
  3. To make salad: In large bowl, mix broccoli slaw, kale, grapes, red onion and figs; season with pepper, to taste, and drizzle with dressing; toss well to coat. Add avocado and toss lightly. Transfer to six serving plates or bowls and sprinkle with toasted oat topping.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 5 g protein; 29 g carbohydrates; 22 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (10% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 7 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission


Videos 22 August 2023

Creamy Vegan Grape Ice Cream

(Family Features) Elevate summer desserts all season long with versatile, refreshing ingredients that can transform classics like ice cream into a new treat that’s bound to become a family favorite.

This Creamy Vegan California Grape Ice Cream offers a dairy-free alternative to traditional summer sweets and is powered by Grapes from California. Simply puree grapes, combine with oat coffee creamer and let your freezer do the work. The result is a perfect balance of cold, fruity goodness in a silky-smooth bite.

Crisp, juicy and sweet, grapes also provide flavor and texture in a wide range of recipes.  As an easy, portable and healthy snack, grapes can also be frozen for a simple, standalone dessert ideal for summer occasions.

Find more ways to cool off in the heat by visiting

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Creamy Vegan California Grape Ice Cream

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes, plus 6-8 hours freeze time
Servings: 8 (1/2 cup per serving)

  • 1          pound stemmed black Grapes from California
  • 12        ounces vanilla oat coffee creamer, well chilled
  • 12        ounces unsweetened oat coffee creamer, well chilled
  1. In high-speed blender, puree grapes until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 10-15 minutes, or until reduced to 1 cup. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Stir creamer into pureed grapes and pour into stainless steel mixer bowl. Using stand mixer, mix well. Cover and freeze 6-8 hours or overnight.

Substitution: For lighter color, use 3/4 pound black grapes and 1/4 pound red.

Note: Make sure stainless steel bowl is well chilled or frozen before making ice cream.

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories; 0 g protein; 22 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (39% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 45 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.


California Table Grape Commission

Videos 08 September 2022

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

(Family Features) Your next snack or office lunch can get a boost of flavor from this Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad, perfect for making ahead of time to pack along for whatever the day might bring your way.

As an easy, versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of recipes, grapes offer delicious taste, texture and color – plus a healthy boost – that make them an appealing addition to snacks and meals.

To find more good-for-you recipe inspiration, visit

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

Servings: 6

  • 1 1/4    pounds English or Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2       teaspoons chili oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          cup halved Grapes from California
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Using rolling pin, lightly smash whole cucumbers to break open. Tear or cut cucumbers into 1 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt. Transfer to sieve and drain 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil; stir in grapes and scallions.
  3. When cucumbers are done draining, add to bowl with grape mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fat (32% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Healthy 07 August 2017

A Sweet Solution for Busy School Days

(Family Features) The busy pace of back-to-school schedules can make it feel like nearly every aspect of life has you under a time crunch. Fortunately, when it comes to feeding the family, there are some simple foods you likely already have on hand that can provide easy solutions for snacks and mealtime alike.

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A go-to fruit like California grapes is a fresh staple you can depend on because they are always ripe and ready to eat when you buy them. While grapes are indeed ideal for snacking because they hold, store and travel well, this healthy and delicious fruit is also a simple addition to meals throughout the day. Grapes require minimal preparation, so they’re equally easy as a side dish or as a fun way to deliver the fresh produce factor in a wide range of family-friendly recipes, such as these Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas.

Tips like these show how you can easily incorporate grapes into every meal:

Breakfast: A cup of creamy yogurt and crunchy granola takes on a sweet note when topped with a handful of grapes. Slice or quarter grapes then mix well for a medley of textures and flavors in every bite.

Morning snack: Pair grapes with cheese and crackers for a sweet and savory snack to keep your energy strong and your hunger in check until lunchtime.

Lunch: A handful of grapes can balance out a sandwich and add some sweet indulgence to the midday meal.

After school: Grapes offer hydration and quick energy so they’re the perfect way to fuel up for after school sports or to lend some extra brain power for study time.

Dinnertime rush: Use grapes for an easy side dish that goes with anything. A quick meal like grilled cheese and grapes brings out the kid in everyone.

Evening snack: Toward the end of the day, cravings can creep up but keeping a bowl of fresh grapes on hand for after dinner snacking helps avoid alternative salty, highly processed choices.

Find more great ideas for enjoying grapes throughout the day at

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Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas

Servings: 4

  • 2          whole-wheat pita pocket breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2       cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
  • 1          cup seedless red or black California grapes, thinly sliced or halved
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1          teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6          large or 12 small fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Slice pita pockets in half so each forms two rounds, creating four rounds total. Place pita rounds on baking sheets cut-side up and brush top of each with oil.
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each pita, leaving about 1/2-inch border around edges then arrange sliced grapes in single layer on top of cheese. Bake until edges are crisped and cheese is warmed, 5-7 minutes.
  4. In small bowl, stir together honey and lemon juice until honey is dissolved.
  5. When pizzas are done, drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon honey-lemon mixture. Sprinkle basil on top of pizzas. Serve immediately.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

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