So your cart is stacked with nonperishable essentials when a thought hits you: fresh, snackable goodies! You make a sharp turn and arrive at the fruit aisle only to become overwhelmed with delicious choices. You hastily grab a large bag of grapes despite remembering last time, when you got through only half the bag.
In line, you’re clouded with self-doubt as you begin wondering how on earth you’re going to get through this juicy mega-helping of grapes before they turn squishy and unpleasant.
We’re here to assure you it’s totally possible, although it can take some doing. That’s why we’ve concocted a plan for spreading out the grapey goodness — in some unexpected ways — over 7 days.
First things first: To fridge or not to fridge? There’s a reason non-wine-making grapes are called “table grapes,” not “refrigerator grapes,” right? Plus, it’s possible that having a fruit basket on your counter might make you eat more of the juicy little globes, just by virtue of keeping them visible.
If you plan to snack on your grapes throughout the day, you can certainly keep a cluster or two out at room temp, but in general, refrigerating grapes is the best way to keep them fresh longer. Refrigerated grapes should last 7 to 14 days.
Since grapes are typically sold by weight, you can of course buy as many or as few of them as you like (though you may get some funny looks if you try to buy just one). If you opt for a whole bag, you’re likely to bring home somewhere between 1 and 4 pounds. This plan accounts for 3 pounds.
Grapes come in tons of cultivars and sizes, from adorably itty-bitty Champagne grapes to plump red globes. This plan uses red seedless grapes, but if you’ve got a bag of green, black, or another type, you can easily substitute those.
Depending on their size, there’s also some variation in how many cups of grapes you’ll get per pound. For most table grapes, you can expect a yield of 2 to 2 1/2 cups per pound — so a 3-pound bag should net you 6 to 7 1/2 cups.
When it comes to fruit, we take a more-is-better philosophy! The following recipes use a total of 7 1/2 cups of grapes.
So you’ve done your bulk shopping and stashed your grapes in the fridge. Ready to use them while they’re fresh and firm? Try these recipes early in the week.
*Uses 1 1/2 cups of grapes; servings vary
With its elegant look and easy prep, a charcuterie board scores you major adulting points without a ton of effort. (It’s also a super-flexible no-cook dinner for busy nights.)
Let juicy grapes shine alongside meats and cheeses in this epic board from Skinnytaste. Since charcuterie isn’t an exact science, measurements are up to you — but 1 1/2 cups of grapes should add plenty of sweetness to complement the board’s savory ingredients.
Roasted broccoli and grape salad with bulgur
*Uses 1 cup of grapes for 6 servings
Fruits and veggies play nicely together in this healthy vegan grain salad from Cook Nourish Bliss. This recipe makes six servings, so you can serve it as a tasty side one day and then use leftovers (with an added protein, if you like) as a main dish later in the week.
Didn’t stock up on bulgur on your last grocery run? Sub barley, quinoa, or another small grain.
By the middle of the week, your grapes should be holding steady in the fridge. Unlike some fruits, though, they don’t continue to ripen once they leave the vine — so don’t expect them to get sweeter as the days go by.
Chicken salad with grapes and pecans
*Uses 1 cup of grapes for 6 servings
We don’t know who first thought of putting chicken and grapes together in a creamy sandwich filling, but we’re so glad they did. This chicken salad from Fox Valley Foodie combines grapes, pecans, celery, poppy seeds, and more for a healthy version of the classic lunch.
If you and your roommates won’t eat six servings in a sitting, keep things interesting by using the filling in sandwiches, wraps, or lettuce cups over a few days.
*Uses 2 cups of grapes for 6 servings
With just three ingredients (one of which is water), dessert doesn’t get any simpler than this grape granita from Raks Kitchen. The frozen dessert preserves grapes’ sweetness so you can enjoy their flavor longer.
Whenever you’re ready for a refreshing after-dinner treat, scrape the icy flakes into a bowl and revel in the magic of homemade shaved ice.
Fruit salsa with cinnamon tortilla chips
*Uses 2 cups of grapes for 10 servings (as an appetizer)
We’d never knock traditional tomato salsa, but this fruity alternative may just push it off its pedestal. Any wrinkling or other imperfections in end-of-the-week grapes get folded into this diced-up mix of fruits that’s perfect for snacking. (The accompanying cinnamon-dusted tortilla chips are optional but highly recommended.)
This fun spin on fruit salad is healthy, delicious, and as versatile as the fruits in your crisper — so feel free to sub any fruit you’ve got on hand. Since the recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, you can get generous and share with family, roommates, or neighbors.
Sarah Garone is a nutritionist, freelance writer, and food blogger. Find her sharing down-to-earth nutrition info at A Love Letter to Food or follow her on Twitter.