Sweet New Year’s Tradition

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Food is ready, tamales are served, champagne is chilled and the only thing that I can’t forget is a large bowl of California grapes for the New Year’s celebration. They make a beautiful centerpiece and they are such a juicy refreshing snack. This post is sponsored by my friends at the California Table Grape Commission. 

There are several traditions that I keep from my Latin roots and from Panama and one of them is eating grapes on New Year’s for good luck. No matter where we are, we get plenty of grapes from California to last us through the night. Before the midnight countdown, we pass the bowl and everyone grabs 12 lucky grapes. 

The TV is on and we crowd around the living room and wait with grapes on hand and a bubbly drink. At the stroke of midnight, we cheer, and start eating one by one each grape which represents the time the bells ring at Madrid’s Puerto del Sol Clock tower. It is fun for the children to count their grapes. If you have little children, cut grapes in half.  It is a tradition that I continue with my family because it is a healthy way to start the New Year.  Grapes are a heart-healthy choice and a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols that have been linked to other areas of health as well.

The other healthy perk is that holidays are times where there are plenty of foods and indulgences and one way to balance is to have healthy foods such as juicy grapes, and vegetables. For an appetizer, cut grapes into small clusters for people to grab. A healthy snack that is just 90 calories per ¾ cup serving. Children also love foods that they can grab and go. 

Another fun idea during the holidays is to freeze fresh grapes to add in drinks and sparkling water. Grapes will slowly release their flavors and keep the drinks cold.  Thanks for reading and wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

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