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Karen Brux
California Table Grape Commission

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Grape beauty shot
Grape beauty shot
Cheddar and Jicima Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
Cheddar and Jicima Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
Ellie Krieger
Ellie Krieger

Chef and Nutritionist Ellie Krieger Celebrates Grapes from California

2012 California grape season launches with new healthy snacking ideas

Fresno, CA (June 2012) /PRNewswire/ — It’s a natural partnership – celebrity chef, best-selling author and TV host Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., and the California Table Grape Commission have teamed up to talk about grapes from California as “The Original Super Snack.”

A decade’s worth of research suggests that grapes may offer numerous health benefits. Grapes of every color contain a variety of antioxidants and other polyphenols, natural components in grapes that may contribute to a healthy heart. The strong health story of grapes, combined with their portability and versatility, make grapes a smart choice for healthy snacking.

“We hear a lot about super foods. This is our way of highlighting the wonderful qualities of grapes from California that make them the perfect super snack,” said Karen Brux, vice president of marketing communications for the commission. “Fresh, naturally sweet, healthy and portable, grapes meet the snacking needs of today’s consumers. We’re thrilled to have Ellie bring this message to life.”

Ms. Krieger is known for her everyday, down-to-earth focus on enjoying foods that are healthy, without compromising on quality and flavor. Grapes fit right into her philosophy and the snack message takes it a step further. “Both adults and kids want snacking options that are quick and easy, but also flavorful and interesting,” said Krieger. “Any way you dress them up or down, grapes add a sweet sparkle, crunch and color to snacks, and they can double for appetizers when entertaining.”

To support the launch of the California table grape season, which runs from May through January, Ms. Krieger created five new fresh snack concepts including Grape, Ricotta, and Honey Pita Pizza; Grapes in Port Wine Sauce; Cheddar Cheese, Jicama and Grape Skewers with Lime and Cilantro Yogurt Dip; Frozen Grape and Banana Kebabs with Chocolate Drizzle; and Grapes in a Canoe (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with grapes).

“The answer to the snacking conundrum isn’t so much whether or not to snack,” said Ms. Krieger. “It’s rather about how to snack strategically.” When it comes to snacks, Ms. Krieger urges people to snack only in response to true hunger and not out of habit; plan a healthy snack instead of succumbing to impulse; choose nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains; try to keep snacks under 200 calories; and eat regular and balanced meals to prevent hunger munching throughout the day.

In addition to developing healthy snack recipes with California grapes, Ms. Krieger is also promoting the new “Makeover Your Snacks with Grapes from California” contest which is active on the Grapes from California Facebook page and includes a $5,000 cash grand prize. The commission is looking for easy-to-make concepts that use fresh grapes to “makeover” snacks into delicious, healthy super snacks.

Beyond mere sweet goodness, a ¾ cup serving of grapes contains just 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no sodium. Apart from being a natural source of beneficial antioxidants, grapes contain potassium and are a good source of vitamin K, which plays a role in helping blood to clot.

About the California Table Grape Commission
The California Table Grape Commission was created by the California legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs. Each year the fresh California grape season starts in May and runs through January of the following year. More information can be found at

About Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D.
Host of the Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” now airing on The Cooking Channel, Ellie’s warmth and charisma have made her the leading go-to nutritionist in the media today. Krieger’s success can be attributed to her unique way of offering real life advice without any of the gimmicks and crash diets that permeate the media today. She reaches people with her message that it is possible for anyone, given the tools and knowledge, to live life to the maximum by keeping a healthy balance and nurturing a richly satisfying and sumptuous, attainable lifestyle.

Ellie’s first of four cookbooks in 2005, Small Changes Big Results, was a how-to on easy-to-live-with habit changes that yield optimal results. Her latest book, Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy is a collection of healthy versions of comfort food classics which was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award. Ellie has authored four books total: one James Beard Award Winner and two NY Times Bestsellers.

A registered dietitian, Ellie has a master’s degree in nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University. Ellie was an adjunct professor at New York University in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. In her years in private practice, she counseled a variety of clients, from homemakers and CEOs to notable celebrities.

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