Smoothies are life. If I had to choose between giving up the internet or giving away my Vitamix for one week I know which one would win! There’s not much that could separate me from my morning smoothie and no one has been brave enough to try!
I thought I was some sort of an expert where it comes to smoothie combinations. I’ve been there, done that with almost every fruit and veggie combination. I’ve blitzed up magical concoctions, almost award-winning (in my mind!) delicacies that deserve pride of place in any smoothie cookbook.
I really thought I had exhausted all the best combinations that smoothie making has to offer until I realized I had made a grave error.
I was sitting on my veranda one summer evening, sipping a glass of chardonnay. As the sun gleamed through the glass a thought crossed my mind of how great it would be if I could add wine to my morning smoothie. As I was smiling at this ridiculous idea I realized something.
I have never tried grapes in a smoothie and I wasn’t even sure if you could put grapes in a smoothie!?
After a good bit of digging, it turns out grapes make a great addition to smoothies. They’re packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fiber. They are good for hydration and add a lovely sweetness to all smoothie recipes.
Read on to find out more about why grapes are such a healthy and delicious choice.
Health Benefits Of Grapes
Grapes are delicious and it’s not just the taste that makes them so great. They are hydrating and full of good fiber to help your digestion. This fiber can also help you feel fuller for longer which can help aid with weight loss. Naturally sweet and tasty, grapes boast a few more benefits when it comes to your health.
Grapes are little yummy bundles of nutrients. They contain so much goodness in such a small and easy to eat parcel. One fantastic example of why grapes are so good is their high vitamin content. Just 1 cup of grapes contains almost 1/3 of your recommended daily values of both vitamin C and vitamin K.
Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and vitamin K is important for the blood clotting process.
Alongside lots of vitamins, grapes also carry high levels of antioxidants. These are small molecules that travel around your body “mopping” up reactive chemicals that cause damage to your cells. This helps protect your body against infection, inflammation, auto-immune diseases, and cancer.
The antioxidants found in grapes are mostly in the skin, so don’t peel grapes before you eat them.
Good For Diabetics
Although the grapes themselves contain sugar they are surprisingly good for people who suffer from diabetes. Grapes have a low glycaemic index which means they take a while to raise your blood sugar levels.
Alongside this, one of the antioxidants found in grapes (resveratrol) has been shown to increase sensitivity to insulin so this improves your body’s ability to control it’s own glucose levels.
Great For Eye Health
Our eyes are the windows into our souls and without a healthy vision, nothing in life is quite as rich. This is why it’s important to take good care of your eyesight and grapes may be able to help here.
This study has found that resveratrol (an antioxidant found in grapes) can actually help protect retina cells from damage by UV light. Although this is just a laboratory study, it’s potentially very good news for those of us that love eating grapes.
Black/Red Grapes Vs White/Green Grapes
The darker colored skins of red and black grapes are colored due to higher levels of antioxidants (like resveratrol). This means that a lot of the beneficial effects found in grapes are more potent if you choose the darker colored ones.
A study looked into this and also found that red grapes showed a cholesterol-lowering effect that isn’t seen as potently in green grapes.
That being said, lighter colored, green grapes are still packed full of vitamins and fiber. If you love green grapes then don’t let this fact stop you enjoying them!
Using Grape Juice In A Smoothie
It’s not just whole grapes that can bring together a delicious smoothie. All smoothies need a liquid base and grape juice is a tart and rich option.
Welches have both purple and green grape juices that are made from 100% grapes so no added sugar or sweetener in there. A cup of two of these added to a fruit smoothie completely livens it up.
A really good option for grape smoothies is freezing the fruit first. You can put them whole in the freezer in a bag or box or even in an icecube tray. They don’t take long (just a few hours) to freeze completely and they give the smoothie a lovely thick, rich texture without the risk of watering it down.
Frozen grapes are a great cooling treat on a hot summer day and my personal favorite use for them is to keep wine cool if you forget to put it in the refrigerator!
Here’s an article about freezing smoothies if you’re interested.
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
I’ve come up with some tried and tested new recipes to incorporate more grapes into my smoothie routine. All recipes can be adjusted if you prefer more or less of a certain ingredient. Just add the whole foods and liquids into the blender and puree until smooth. It’s that simple!
2 cups of almond milk
2 Bananas (frozen or fresh)
1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes (frozen)
1/2 Cup Black Seedless Grapes (frozen)
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
Feel free to add some honey if you like it sweet, this smoothie is high in vitamin a and c and very low fat.
Grape Banana Smoothie
1 Cup Seedless Black or Red Grapes
1 Frozen Banana
1/4 Cup Milk (any kind you like)
1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt
Simple and delicious, this smoothie combines the creaminess with sweetness. You can switch out the greek yogurt for coconut or soya to keep it vegan.
Detox Green Smoothie
2 Cups Green Seedless Grapes
2 Cups Kale
1 Tablespoon Flaxseed
1 Cup Coconut Water
1 Cup Ice Cubes
Great for digestion, this smoothie is packed full of goodness. It’s perfect for hydration after a workout or on a hot summer day and will have you feeling completely rejuvenated afterward.
1 Orange (Peeled)
2 Oz Cranberries
1 Scoop Protein Powder (pea works well if you’re vegan)
1 Cup Ice
1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes
1 Tbsp Coconut Flakes
1 Cup Coconut Water
Better than ice cream in mid-June, this combination works as a nourishing meal replacement or post-workout snack.
PB & J
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
1.5 Cups Frozen Seedless Grapes
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
A gluten-free and healthy smoothie recipe substitute for the nostalgic PB&J this one takes my right back to my childhood. It’s sweet, filling, and completely satisfies me.
Chia Great Smoothie
2 Cups Grapes
1 Cup Milk (any kind you like)
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
This one is so simple yet packed full of protein and antioxidants. I like to drink this as an immune booster or a pre-bed snack.
1 Zucchini – chopped
4 oz Honeydew Melon
4 oz Grapes
Handful fresh mint
3 Tablespoon Cashews
1 Cup of water
1 Cup ice
Like a summers’ breeze in a glass, this recipe is so light and refreshing. It’s very hydrating and packed full of vitamins and antioxidants.
After my in-depth journey into all things grapes, I now realize that wine isn’t the only thing worth celebrating where grapes are concerned. Grapes are healthy, hydrating, and delicious and deserve pride of place in many smoothie recipes.
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