There are many varieties of grapes available in Australia and they are classified by skin colour: green, red or black. Thompson and Menindee grapes, the most popular varieties, are seedless light green grapes. They are egg-shaped with a slightly sweet flavour. Crimson (Flame) grapes are seedless with thick, dark red skin with and a mildly tart taste. Red Globe grapes are large and round with edible, crunchy seeds and a very sweet taste. Seedless Autumn Royal grapes have dark purple to black skin and a sweet taste.
Choose grapes which are firmly attached to the stem and feel heavy for their size. Avoid buying grapes with a dried-out stem or overly soft, wrinkled or bruised skin.
Grapes are harvested when they are ready to eat and do not ripen after picking. They’ll stay fresh in the crisper for 3–4 days.
Grapes are a fantastic snack when washed and eaten on their own. You can also add them to cakes, yoghurt, jelly and breakfast cereals. Mix them into couscous or a salad, or serve them on an antipasto or cheese platter.
4 quick ways with grapes
Adding fruit to your breakfast will help keep you fuller for longer. For the perfect porridge, top 1/2 cup cooked oats with 2 heaped tablespoons reduced-fat plain yoghurt, a handful of halved grapes and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.
Make an icy sweet treat that makes the most of summer fruits. On bamboo skewers, thread and alternate whole grapes and strawberries with slices of banana, orange and mango. Spritz with lemon juice, sprinkle lightly with sugar, wrap each skewer in plastic wrap and freeze overnight in a single layer. Once frozen, store skewers in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 months.
Top wholegrain rolls with this tasty sandwich filling: In a large bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken with ½ cup halved seedless grapes, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 1 finely diced red onion. Toss with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat Greek yoghurt, 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Top with rocket and thinly sliced cucumber.
This simple and delicious salad is ideal for dinner on a warm summer night. Combine 2 cups cooked brown rice with 1 bunch chopped, steamed asparagus, 250g cooked turkey, 1 chopped capsicum, 150g mixed salad leaves, 2 chopped celery stalks, 100g goat’s cheese and a large handful of halved grapes. Make a quick dressing by whisking together 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon mustard (either Dijon or wholegrain). Season well and drizzle over salad.
Did you know? Grapes are low GI, making them a great source of long lasting natural energy. They also contain vitamin B6, which is vital for a healthy nervous system.