Seedless grapes stuffed with an almond filling make a healthy snack, offering the right mix of protein and carbohydrate for exercise recovery
~by Regan Jones, RD
Disclosure: The California Table Grape Commission compensated me as co-owner of The Recipe ReDux to manage this recipe contest. I am therefore not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions expressed are my own.
Some ideas look really good on paper...
...and then don't live up to your expectations.
Right now, FitFramed is that idea for me. I love the site... don't get me wrong. But what I first conceived as a much needed platform that would mirror Healthy Aperture and provide fitness bloggers a unique space to share their content, hasn't really fulfilled it's mission. I'm not sure if the idea is wrong, if I'm the wrong one to launch it or if the timing isn't right... maybe it's a combination of all of the above + factors I have yet to identify. Some people have a hard time admitting their failures. I don't. Some site owners are proprietary with their stats. I'm not. I'll tell you that HealthyAperture amazes me daily with it's growth... and FitFramed amazes me equally with it's lack of growth.
But every cloud has it's silver lining, right?
My exposure to amazing fitness bloggers through FitFramed (even though many of them don't make a return visit to the site *wink wink*) is that silver lining.
I've never been much of what you'd call an athlete, and I have for years been tentative to try anything "new." Give me a treadmill and a good playlist, and that's always been the right mix of exercise for me.
Realizing, though, all the different avenues to explore in the fitness world thanks to FitFramed (coupled with the fact that I ain't gettin' any younger and better strike while the iron is hot), I've recently started trying a host of different classes and workout routines (the latter thanks to my personal friend and trainer from Atlanta, Julie Jones - no relation).
What does any of this have to do with grapes, you ask?
You can't really be a foodie RD ramping up your exercise and intensity level and not feel obligated to pay attention to recovery snacks. I mean - c'mon, let's face it. Exercise is by itself a great mood elevator, but for us food minded folks, being able to consume something yummy post-exercise is like gilding the lily.
The term "recovery nutrition" is kinda scary, if you ask me. Ratios, anti-inflammation, electrolytes, fluids... it's a lot to take in. But for someone like me who isn't training at marathon level, but is getting in some high intensity work for about 45 to 60 minutes a day, replenishing fluid and carbohydrates and providing some protein for rebuilding is still necessary. There are plenty of formulas, ratios and recommendations out there. And while I'm no expert, I've found the 4:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio to be the most widely recommended.
These grapes are exactly that ratio. Grapes - by nature - are abundant in fluid (+1 for recovery!!) and a good source of carbohydrate. The almond butter offers up a nice source of protein, and the added cereal helps dry out the mixture to make it better for filling the grapes (plus round out the carbohydrate content.) While your body "recovers" for hours after exercise, it's most receptive during the first hour following. These grapes are an ideal choice for me not just because the numbers, but because they're actually appetizing after a workout (something that doesn't always hold true for me with other recommended recovery foods.)
One caveat: one serving is around 400 calories... so depending on the type and duration of exercise you're doing, you may not need that many calories and should choose a half-serving (although my new favorite cycling/Spin class on Saturdays is at minimum a 350 calorie burn based on what my HRM tells me, so I feel just fine enjoying the whole bowl, thank you very much.)
And, if you find yourself lounging on the couch as you read this thinking "Um, well, yeah, I didn't exactly make it to Spin class today), fear not... gobbling up a half serving of these is still a healthy snack choice. Grapes are one of the original heart healthy fruits, rich in polyphenols (antioxidants). According to the California Table Grape Commission "research is ongoing to uncover even more links between grapes and heart, eye, brain, and joint health, and much more."
So there ya go. Healthy snack... right there from your couch, no Spin class required (Although my personal recommendation would be to get the exercise AND the grapes... but hey... we've already established not all of my ideas are good ones. Take it for what it's worth.)
For more tasty ideas using California table grapes, visit the other ReDux recipes below.
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Recovery Grapes (Sponsored Recipe ReDux)
- 1 cup green or red seedless California grapes (about 100 g)
- 3 tablespoons maple almond butter (about 45 g) [I used Justin's]
- 1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal (about 15 g) [I used Attune/Erewhon]
- Slice grapes in half. Combine almond butter and cereal in a small food processor; pulse until combined (be careful not to over process.) Spread scant half teaspoon between halved grapes. Refrigerate until ready to eat.