Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Peel me another grape -- Dahlin'

While on the look out for new and healthier recipes I came across a wonderful collection of dishes created by the grape growers of California. The little brochure was packed with beautiful pictures and wonderful nutrition information about the tiny, sweet berries we all take for granted...the unassuming little grape. Did you know that a phytonutrient in grapes, resveratrol, is linked to improved brain health, is credited with the beneficial effects of red wine consumption, and has strong anticancer properties. Just 2 1/2 cups of fresh grapes provides enough resveratrol to cut the risk of certain cancers in half (specifically prostate cancer -- attention gentlemen!) Another powerful compound in the grape, flavonoids, are shown to play an important role in cancer prevention and prevention of heart disease. The flavinoids can help protect the heart and blood vessels against oxidative tissue damage. The best thing of all is that grapes are delicious, easy to snack on and easy to pack for lunch or as a pre-dinner indulgence. Audrey loves tasty tidbits that are healthy!! Pass me a grape... BTW, the benefits of grapes and grape seed extracts are found all over the cosmetic department at your fave department store. For example, a recent emergency trip to Nordstrom's beauty counters turned up a wonderful eye cream containing grape plant extract. I love this product. LancĂ´me even has a moisturizer (super, wondrous moisturizer) that contains the essence of my new favorite berry (and yes, grapes are berries, not fruit). What could be better, rub them on your face, slather them on as moisturizers, cook with them, drink them, eat them...its better than the incredible edible egg. We have the super, sumptuous and snackable grape. Check the recipe below for one twist on the super berry! Ciao!!

Black Fruits in Lavender Honey Glaze
Serves 12 (1 cup each)

Lavender Honey Glaze:
1-½ tsp. Dried lavender blossoms
½ cup honey, warmed
1 Tbsp. Orange zest
½ cup Orange Juice

Fruit Salad:
4 cups fresh blue-black seedless grapes
3 cups blackberries
3 cups dark, sweet cherries, pitted
2 cups black-skin plums, sliced

12 fresh lavender blossom sprigs, for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients until well combined. In a large bowl, combine fruits for salad. Pour glaze over fruits and toss gently to coat. Garnish with fresh lavender blossom sprigs. Enjoy!

Recipe found on freshCaliforniagrapes.com – check it out for other great grape dishes!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dahlin'
Just wondering if the grape is a fruit or a berry???
BELLE

Anonymous said...

also Miss Audry,

I have heard that red wine is "better" for one than white wine...is the red grape "better" (for heart health) than the white grape?

Audrey Taylor said...

These are great questions! The second question is more straightforward: the rule of thumb for nutrients is the brighter or richer the color of the fruit or veggie the more nutrients it typically contains. In this case the dark purple or dark red grapes would have more protective phytonutrients than the green grapes.

AS to the question of Fruit or Berry. This is the answerer according to Columbia's online encyclopedia:
Fruit - matured ovary of the pistil of a flower, containing the seed. After the egg nucleus, or ovum, has been fertilized (see fertilization) and the embryo plantlet begins to form, the surrounding ovule (see pistil) develops into a seed and the ovary wall (pericarp) around the ovule becomes the fruit. The pericarp consists of three layers of tissue: the thin outer exocarp, which becomes the “skin”; the thicker mesocarp; and the inner endocarp, immediately surrounding the ovule. A flower may have one or more simple pistils or a compound pistil made up of two or more fused simple pistils (each called a carpel); different arrangements give rise to different types of fruit

Types of Fruits
Fruits are classified according to the arrangement from which they derive. There are four types—simple, aggregate, multiple, and accessory fruits. Simple fruits develop from a single ovary of a single flower and may be fleshy or dry. Principal fleshy fruit types are the berry, in which the entire pericarp is soft and pulpy (e.g., the grape, tomato, banana, pepo, hesperidium, and blueberry) and the drupe, in which the outer layers may be pulpy, fibrous, or leathery and the endocarp hardens into a pit or stone enclosing one or more seeds (e.g., the peach, cherry, olive, coconut, and walnut).
Thanks for the posts! Audrey T.

Anonymous said...

AT,
I like the recipe, but have to ask...where does one find "Dried lavender blossoms"? Do they sell it in the grocery? Or do I have to go to Michaels?
Thanks!

Elaine said...

Audrey,

Thanks for the great information on grapes. I'm SO EXCITED that one of my favorite snacks is so beneficial for my health.

I love the blog and its message about the low-calorie lifestyle!

Audrey Taylor said...

Anonymous,
Lavender is not exactly a supermarket staple. Based on my searches you might be able to find it at specialty food stores or up scale grocery stores. The easiest way to locate culinary grade lavender buds is online. Check out this website (http://gourmetsleuth.com/culinarylavender.htm ) as an example. This page also gives nutrition info, which is very interesting if you decide to eat 100 grams of lavender buds! Happy hunting! AT