An Interview With Ellie Krieger: Healthy Snack Ideas With California Grapes

June 11, 2012   7 Comments

Ellie Krieger, RD, chef, and spokeswoman for California grapes, answered a few of our questions last week.

Ellie Krieger Interview

The interview was held on the same day as my daughter’s ER visit after she wrapped her bicycle around a mail box – but I pulled it together at the last minute to ask Ellie some of the questions readers sent me.

See here:

Thanks, Ellie! I thought she had a bunch of great suggestions for all of us. I am going to try her shrimp, whole-wheat pasta, spinach, and tomato sauce for a quick dinner and see how my family likes it. They will probably add a lot of cheese :)

If you are looking for the contest that she mentioned check out the Grapes From California Facebook Page and you could win $5,000 by giving us your ideas on how to “makeover your Snacks with Grapes from California.” No photo necessary – just your healthy grape snack idea!

Please share your thoughts on the interview and any great grape ideas.

Ellie Krieger Interview

Cheddar, Jicama, & Grape Skewers Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

(makes 8)

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3/4 cup green grapes
6 ounces mild cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 large jicama root, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 10-inch wooden skewers
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of salt


Place the grapes, cheddar and jicama onto the skewers, alternating them until there are three of each item on each skewer.

In a small bowl stir together the yogurt, cilantro, lime zest and juice, honey and salt until well combined. Serve the skewers with the sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Facts

Can substitute 1/3 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into ½ inch chunks if jicama is difficult to find.

Recipe created by Chef and Nutritionist, Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 2 skewers and 2 tablespoons sauce
Excellent source of: protein, vitamin C, calcium
Good source of: fiber, vitamin A

Two skewers and 2 tablespoons sauce is 260 calories, 16g fat (9g saturated fat, 0.1g mono-unstaurated fat, 0.1g poly-unsaturated fat), 11g protein, 16g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 45mg cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, 7 Points+

Banana Chocolate Grape Skewers Recipe

(makes 8 skewers)

2 firm ripe bananas
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup red grapes (about 16)
1/2 cup green grapes (about 16)
8 10-inch wooden skewers
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into ½-inch thick rounds. Place in a small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.

Skewer the fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana and place the fruit skewers onto the lined tray.

Place the chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt the chocolate. Using a spoon drizzle the melted chocolate onto the fruit skewers.

Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.

Recipe created by Chef and Nutritionist, Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 2 skewers
Excellent source of: vitamin C
Good source of: fiber, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium

Two skewers is 140 calories, 4.5g fat (2.5g saturated fat, 1.3g mono-unsaturated fat, 0.2g poly-unsaturated fat), 2g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Ohh the banana skewer looks delish!!

This was a nice interview, Lisa. It was great to hear Ellie's observation that planning ahead helps us avoid making unhealthy decisions.

To that end, I wanted to say that your article on College Healthy Snacks ( was instrumental in my quest to make sure that my wife and eat well.

After reading these two paragraphs (from that blog entry):

"I will say that during grad school (when I got smarter), I would always have a can of black beans, fresh salsa, and grated cheese.

"I would make myself a 'burrito bowl' in the microwave as a cheap meal that was big on nutrients and low on calories and preparation time."

I decided that I would always strive to have something healthy in the fridge (or pantry) that's ready to turn into a super-fast lunch or dinner (or breakfast!)

My wife and I are following a low-fat, vegan diet, so we eschew the cheese, but I'll dice up an onion or two and keep that in the fridge, same with some Ezekiel tortillas and whatever other healthy items we can quickly assemble into a meal.

I try to do the same with fresh fruit. I find that the more of it we've got around the kitchen, the less likely we are to try to sniff out any junk food in the house. :)

I guess, generally speaking, I find that the more healthy "building blocks" I've got ready, the easier it is to make healthy choices. Thanks for your help! :)

Great post -- I love grapes and I'm constantly looking for something new to do with them

Those skewers look interesting. It's sad though, I looked at the picture and thought about all that wasted chocolate on the parchment paper. ("sad" in that that's how my brain works)

What fun ideas for grapes!

My favorite snack 'recipe' for grapes would be just that; grapes! No need to add extra sat. fat and calories via cheese/chocolate.

Love grapes! They are the perfect snack for summer. I've never paired them with anything else, the most adventurous I've been with grapes is freezing them. Thanks for the recipe!

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