Grapes — An ide­al snack for between meals

Heil­bronn as a wine region is known for its grapes. But grapes can be processed not only into wine, because they are very ver­sa­tile. They can also be processed into juice, jel­ly, raisins or even grape seed oil. But that’s not all, they also con­tain numer­ous nutri­ents and are also an ancient med­i­c­i­nal plant.

The ori­gin, char­ac­ter­is­tics and his­to­ry of grapes

The grapevine has its ori­gin in Eura­sia. From this we can already con­clude that this is a very old fruit. Accord­ing to fos­sil find­ings, grapes exist­ed mil­lions of years ago. The old­est wine-grow­ing areas are found in Geor­gia and Iraq. From there, the vine spread through Egypt and Greece to the Roman Empire. The grapevine final­ly reached us due to the Roman con­quest cam­paigns. They grew grapevines every­where so that they would nev­er run out of wine.

Today, the grape is found in the Mediter­ranean region, Cen­tral Europe, South­west Asia and South Africa.

The grapes we know and love are also known as table grapes. The grapes that are processed into wine are the so-called wine grapes.

The grape is avail­able from spher­i­cal to oval, in green, yel­low, red, blue and pur­ple col­ors. It has a diam­e­ter of 6 to 20 mm and it is the sec­ond most impor­tant fruit vari­ety on the world mar­ket after oranges. There are about 16,000 grape vari­eties in total. The main sea­son for grapes is from Sep­tem­ber to Octo­ber. How­ev­er, they can be bought all year round, as they are import­ed from oth­er countries.

The ingre­di­ents of the grapes

The grape con­tains up to 1,600 ingre­di­ents. They con­tain potas­si­um, cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, vit­a­mins B1, 2, 3 and 6, as well as vit­a­mins C and E.

Just 100 g of grapes con­tain 71 kcal. Although these are more kilo­calo­ries than oth­er fruits, grapes are still suit­able as a healthy snack for in between meals. In terms of kilo­calo­ries, there is hard­ly any dif­fer­ence between the dif­fer­ent col­or vari­eties of grapes.

The effect of grapes on our body

Grapes con­sist of 81 % of water and con­tain, as already men­tioned, impor­tant vit­a­mins. Par­tic­u­lar­ly note­wor­thy are vit­a­mins C and E, which con­tribute to the pro­tec­tion of our cells, as they act as rad­i­cal scav­engers (antiox­i­dant).

Besides vit­a­mins, it also con­tains min­er­als, which are impor­tant for mus­cle and nerve func­tions. In addi­tion, these also reg­u­late our flu­id balance.

Grapes can also do some­thing good for the skin. This is due to the sec­ondary plant sub­stance reser­va­trol. This has a pos­i­tive effect on the elas­tic­i­ty of our skin and can help pre­vent dis­eases such as arte­rioscle­ro­sis, arthri­tis and heart dis­ease. This phy­to­chem­i­cal is found in the peel and in the seeds.

The sec­ondary plant sub­stance flavonoid con­tributes to the strength­en­ing of the immune sys­tem and the pre­ven­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, dia­betes and gas­troin­testi­nal com­plaints. The grape was already used as a med­i­c­i­nal plant in ancient times. Unripe grapes were used to treat sore throats. Ripe grapes were used in the treat­ment of dis­eases such as can­cer, cholera, small­pox, nau­sea, skin and eye infec­tions, kid­ney and liv­er dis­eases. There was also a field of appli­ca­tion for raisins. They were used for con­sti­pa­tion and tuber­cu­lo­sis. There were var­i­ous oth­er areas and dis­eases for which grapes were used for treatment.

Grapes in the kitchen

Most peo­ple eat the grapes raw. In fact, this is how they taste best. How­ev­er, they can also be used in oth­er ways in the kitchen, e.g. as dec­o­ra­tive fruit, in fruit sal­ad, as a cake top­ping, in desserts or even in muesli.

Raisins are even more ver­sa­tile. It is hard to imag­ine trail mix­es with­out them, but they are also includ­ed in many mues­li mix­tures. In addi­tion, they can also be found in var­i­ous sweet pas­tries such as apple strudel or Kaiser­schmar­rn. Dried grapes can also be found in hearti­er dish­es. In ori­en­tal cui­sine in par­tic­u­lar, they appear in cous­cous or rice, for example.

Pur­chase and stor­age of grapes

When buy­ing should make sure that the grapes are plump and undam­aged. The stem should be green. If the grapes show a white coat­ing, it is a sign of good qual­i­ty. This white coat­ing is in fact a nat­ur­al pro­tec­tive film to pro­tect the grape from dry­ing out. Grapes do not ripen, so you should only buy already ripened grapes.

Wash the grapes only imme­di­ate­ly before eat­ing, oth­er­wise they quick­ly begin to mold.

Grapes can be kept at room tem­per­a­ture for about four to five days. If after pur­chase you dis­cov­er that there is a moldy between the grapes, you should remove it immediately.

Grapes can be kept for up to two weeks in the refrig­er­a­tor or veg­etable crisper. To do this, sim­ply store the grapes unwashed in a tin or fresh-keep­ing tin in the refrigerator.

Grapes can be kept for up to six months if they have been frozen. How­ev­er, this is only pos­si­ble with green seed­less grapes. The oth­er vari­eties would become mushy when thawed.

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