Not all juice is created equal. Learn about the health benefits of grape juice and why it's dietitian approved. Plus get a recipe for a delicious, healthy, and easy Minted Grape Smoothie. It's full of flavor and great nutrition that's made with 100% grape juice, Greek yogurt and fresh mint.
Changing my Mind about Juice
In my decade of being a dietitian I have changed my mind on some things. This is the nature of nutrition. Recommendations change as we get more information or new research is released.
One of those areas where my opinion has changed is juice. I use to think juice was terrible -- completely empty calories and no nutrition. But in the past few years I have professionally worked with Welch's and learned that there is way more to SOME juices than just calories.
But first, let me share with you my guidelines when it comes to including juice in your diet.
How to Pick a Good Juice
My motto when it comes to juice is that you should drink it if you have a good reason. Good reasons include:
- They are proven to be high in antioxidants.
- The whole fruit is not readily available year round or difficult to consume in adequate quantities.
- You use them as your main source of added calcium or the like.
- You need an easy way to get extra calories in your diet that also is nutritious, as in the case with many athletes I work with.
For a while, pomegranate juice was the main one I thought fit in this category. But recently I've been impressed with the info Welch's provides about the health benefits (antioxidants, heart and brain health) connected to their 100% Concord Grape Juice. They've done their homework, to say the least. In fact, Welch's has over a decades worth of research that suggests drinking 100% concord grape juice supports a healthy heart.
Why Grape Juice
100% Concord grape juice fits my guidelines listed above because they are a proven source of polyphenols and antioxidants, Concord grapes are not readily available year round (or at all in Florida) to enjoy the whole fruit version, and it has no artificial colors, ingredients or sugar added.
I have been adding about ½ cup of 100% Concord grape juice to my morning smoothie (that our whole family shares). I will also give it to my boys, cut with some water, when they just really want a drink with flavor. I also might use it as a replacement for a glass of wine in the evening when I want a drink, but not a DRINK, if you know what I mean.
Today I'm sharing with you another idea of how to enjoy Welch's grape juice in a fun, summer time créme-inspired smoothie. Greek yogurt, grape juice, and mint come together to make a sophisticated, I hate to say but it's true, creamsicle-like slushy.
Since the 100% grape juice is not super sweet, it has an adult flavor to it. Greek yogurt brings creaminess to the party and fresh mint hits you with a surprise that makes you ask yourself "what is this new cocktail?" The sports dietitian in me can't help but say that this would also be an AWESOME recovery smoothie after a long workout. Really, you can feel good about drinking this any time of day or day of the week because there's no added sugar!
Minted Grape Smoothie Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups 100% Concord Grape Juice
- ¾ cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ cups ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- Add all the ingredients in to a blender in the order listed.
- Blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes, depending of the size of ice used.
- Pour in to glasses and serve immediately.
You might also enjoy...