The California Grape Harvest is Here

The California Grape Harvest is Here

Falling for California Grapes

With fall harvest comes an abundance of many yummy California fruit, perhaps none as popular as the grape.  In fact, we eat an average of 8 pounds of grapes per year each!  California provides 99% of grapes for the entire United States, so even with the changes in farming in recent years, and so many farms getting smaller or stopping growth altogether, grapes are still a big part of our economy, as they have been since the mid 1800s.  The first table grape vineyard was planted in LA by a farmer from Kentucky in 1839.  Grapes were being shipped to across the country by train 30 years later, and as we see now, it just grew and grew.grapes on the vine

Makes perfect sense though, doesn’t’ it?  What other fruit is addictive right off the tree, perfect for preserving and using in recipes, and makes it’s way to age into the most popular adult drink in the world?  And what is the #1 partner for peanut butter according to most kids?  Grape jelly and wine are both made from the same type of grapes, referred to as wine grapes.  Wine grapes are better for preserving and aging due to the skin being thicker, having more juice, and easier to break down into sugars for cooking.

Table grapes (red, green, purple) are more common for everyday eating and cooking, and there’s a lot of really cool and easy ways to snack on them other than right off the bunch.  For starters, have you had frozen grapes?  DELISH! We scoured the internet and found this easy recipe from AllRecipes you for to whip up.  Once you have these babies, you’ll get them ready right out of your farm box this way every time.  Yes, grapes are fantastic on salads, all salads. Speaking of salads, we think healthy when we think of salads, right?  So what are the health benefits of grapes?  Is it true that they’re not the healthiest and actually one of the highest sugar fruits?

Grapes are Goodgrape and fruit plate

The truth is, the sugars in grapes are natural sugars, and actually have a low glycemic index.  Plus they are a polyphenol rich food, which means they help prevent metabolic syndrome.  That’s when you have a large waistline, low good cholesterol, high bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.  In our book, anything we can do to prevent that is good.  Grapes have a good amount of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like manganese and copper.  Bottom line, fruit is good.  Grapes…are good.

An Array of Grape Grub

This week, we wanted to give you some out of the ordinary recipes for grapes, as well as quick tips and techniques for some staples…and a few modern extras.  You can always head on over to our recipes for all the grape recipes, but here’s some featured favorites made with table grapes.

  1. Pickled Grapes. pickled grapesThey really are a thing, and this  5 minute recipe from the Savvy Apron is a great intro into the sweet and tangy snack.
  2. Chicken Salad is better with grapes. chicken salad with grapes You can be creative, or follow this tried and true recipe from  Add a Pinch.
  3. Chicken and grapes go together in more ways than just salad.skillet chicken with grapes and onionsLike this skillet chicken and grape dish.
  4. One of the great things about Greek cuisine is the use of grapes. greek roasted potatoes with grapes lemon and rosemary Here’s a potato dish that’ll feed your fix of Greek flavor.

  5. Keep it simple with roasted carrots and grapes.roasted carrots and grapesJust mix with olive oil, red onion, and olive oil.  Then roast at 375° for 15-20 minutes.

  6. Creme Brulee doesn’t have to be made with eggs anymore.  Fat Free BruleeMake it at home with this fat-free recipe!

  7. Caramel Apples have nothing on caramel grapes.

    caramel apple grapesEasier in every way, and less work for your jaw.  You can buy the caramel apple dip, melt it, and dip your washed grapes with a toothpick into the dip & viola!  That’s it!  Make it even more fun by dipping in nuts after the caramel.  To make your own caramel apple dip, use this 5 ingredient recipe from Five Heart Home.

Grape overload?  You be the judge. Either way, you have all you need for your grape info and recipes for the season right here. Want to get some now? See what’s available in our farm boxes this week or build your own box right here.