September and October are the grape months. Black, Bianca, table or wine, grapes is one of the most loved fruits. And it marks the transition between summer and autumn. Today, let's talk about grapes in the kitchen: beneficial properties and recipes all to try. Grapes are considered to be a very sugary and therefore caloric fruit but, in fact, it's not that sweet. The grapes have, In fact, about 64 calories per 100 grams (let's talk about fresh grapes, because the withered grapes have over 4 times the calories of the fresh grape). But it is so rich in positive and beneficial properties that it is recommended in a balanced diet. Obviously, being careful if, for health reasons, you're on a low-sugar diet.
Grapes: Sources, distinctions and main varieties
Grapes are one of the oldest fruits. Evidence of its use goes back to the Egyptian period, where it was cultivated around 2400 BC.. But it is thought that its origin is even more remote. The grape family includes three species: the first is The European Grape or Vitis Vinifera, the most cultivated species to which thousands of varieties belong. The second is the North American vine, which includes two main varieties: Vitis Labrusca (also known as strawberry grapes) and Vitis Rotundifolia. The third grape species groups the hybrids developed with grafts on the European species, also called French hybrids.
Grapes are the fruit of the vine: comes in the form of a bunch, composed of a woody raspo, to which the berries are tenaciously attached, the fruits, protected from peel and with grapevines (seeds) inside.
In the vast world of grapes, the main distinction is between table grapes, wine and grapes for drying (like the famous Corinthian grapes). Among the best-known varieties of white berry table grapes in Italy are Regina grapes, The Blue White, Italy grapes, Zibibbo grapes, the White Moscato grapes, white Sultanina grapes. Among the red berry varieties, remember the grapes Apulia roses, Cardinal grapes, Strawberry Grapes, Isabella grapes, The Uva Moscato d'Adda. These are grapes used for table consumption but also in pastry. Despite this,, in many preparations, especially of peasant origin, wine grapes are still used today, because these are recipes related to the harvest times, as the GRAPE FOCACCIA.
How to choose and store table grapes
When choosing table grapes it is good to choose bunches with soda acids, untouched and firmly attached to the treanch. The berries must be turgid and defect-free, if they have mold it's good not to use them and throw them away, so that mold doesn't spread to neighboring berries. The grapes must be washed thoroughly and can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in food paper, where it will stay cool for a few days. The grapes cannot be frozen and, if you want to keep it, it's good to keep it in spirit (in an alcoholic solution). Grapes in the kitchen are an extremely versatile ingredient suitable for sweet recipes but also savoury and, thanks to its beneficial properties for health, should often come into our preparations.
Nutritional and beneficial properties of grapes in the kitchen
Grapes are a sweet fruit with a thousand beneficial properties, whereas it contains a good amount of polyphenols and antioxidants, especially in the peel of black grapes. The grapes, both table and wine, it's versatile in the kitchen and it's an energy food. According to the Create tables, 100 grams of fresh grapes contain 64 calories (The figure varies in relation to the type of grapes). 96% of calories in grapes are made up of carbohydrates, 3% protein and 1% lipids. In 100 grams of grapes, 80% of water is contained, 15% of easily digestible and comparable soluble sugars and a percentage of 1%,5% fiber. It should also be borne in mind that the sugar content is affected by the degree of ripening and the variety of grapes.
Calories, however, do not do justice to this fruit of health, which is a powerful natural oxidant and has an extraordinary cleansing action against the liver. Grapes contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. In particular, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. Among the minerals, we find potassium, football, phosphorus, sodium. Among the main nutrients, grapes contain resveratrol, Catechins, quercitin, kempferol, caffeic acid, but also beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxantin.
Resveratrol and polyphenols: a concentration of health
Grapes are often referred to as "the fruit of health". A fame due in large part to resveratrol, a flavonoid (belonging to the polyphenol family) contained in the peel of grapes (and in large quantities even in blueberries). It performs an important anti-oxidant action, Therefore, regulation of cholesterol levels. Grapes also contain anthococans, mainly contained in red berry grapes, and responsible for the red color. They have an anti oxidant action, anti bacterial (fostered by the presence of tannic acid), inflammatory and cardiovascular protection. The potassium contained in the grapes, especially with white berry, has an important diuretic action.
The grapes, if eaten in large quantities, it also has a laxative effect: peel and seeds contain a high amount of fibre, on one side, encourage intestinal transit, on the other side, are contraindicated in individuals suffering from colite or meteorism.
In addition, grapes don't throw anything away. Since from the grapevines, grape seeds, you get an oil for food use rich in polysaturated fatty acids, contributing to lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Although it is considered a very sugary fruit, grapes have a moderate glycemic index (45 out of 100, where 100 is located, For example,, white bread and glucose). On the other hand, just because of its sugar content, should be consumed with a lot of restraint by diabetics, and especially not at the end of the meal, when his glycemic load adds up to what he already ate. Better to eat it, always with a lot of moderation, morning or snack. But it is not all roses, because grapes are one of the fruits that contains the most pesticide residues: that's why it needs to be washed very carefully before consuming it.
GRAPES IN THE KITCHEN: 5 SWEET AND 2 SAVORY RECIPES
GRAPE AND MUST PIE: a soft cake with few added sugars, because it exploits the sugars naturally contained in grapes and must (you can also omit and replace with milk or yogurt). Very good with strawberry or wine grapes, if you prefer you can use a table grape apirena (Seedless). Perfect for breakfast, but also to finish a lunch or dinner accompanied by vanilla ice cream.
SICILIAN MUSTARDA OF GRAPES: it is one of the most characteristic Sicilian autumn sweets. Does not contain sugar, because grape juice, thickening, has an already high sugar content. Lots of cinnamon and walnut gherigli complete this aromatic and slightly sour grape pudding.
CRUMBLED STRAWBERRY GRAPES: the crumbled one of the easiest traditional Italian sweets to prepare. You just have to make a dough with big crumbs and the cake is ready. In this case the filling is made only with strawberry grapes, but also wine grapes, with its concentration of flavors, it's a perfect match. A recipe for beginners with guaranteed result.
SWEET FOCACCIA WITH GRAPES: a classic of peasant snacks. Widespread mainly in wine regions, from Tuscany to Sicily, it was used to prepare this rustic focaccia with red berry grapes harvested in harvest. High, soft and sprinkled with sugar, it's still a delicious and healthy snack today. Incredibly easy to prepare.
RUSTIC PUFF TART WITH PEACHES AND GRAPES: maximum yield and minimal effort for this tart that you can prepare with ready-made puff pastry, but also with shortbread or brisée pasta. Inside custard, late peaches and grapes for a sweet filling. It is prepared in 10 minutes.
RICOTTA AND SAPA RAVIOLI (COOKED MUST): grape juice prepares not only wine but also cooked must, a traditional recipe that takes a different name depending on the region in which it is prepared. I particularly love the Sardinian variant: qui il mosto cotto si chiama ‘sapa’: una riduzione del mosto d’uva filtrato, che cuoce molto a lungo (anche 10-12 ore), aromatizzato con scorza di arancia, talvolta spezie e spicchi di mele cotogne. Con questo mosto cotto, così denso da essere quasi filante, si preparano dolci buonissimi. Io l’ho usato per fare dei ravioli ripieni di ricotta e conditi con sapa e nocciole. Delicious.
ARROSTO DI MAIALE ALL’UVA: tra tanti dolci ecco un piatto salato. L’abbinamento tra carne di maiale e frutta è ormai consolidato. Apples, Pineapple, prugne e uva sono le tipologie di frutta che meglio si sposano con il maiale e l’arrosto di maiale all’uva è un piatto dolce-salato da veri gourmet.