Grapes are a beautiful fruit that grows on vines and are often eaten fresh, while the leaves are discarded. While the leaves may look like other leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, you may wonder if you can eat them.
Can You Eat Grape Leaves?
Yes, you can eat grape leaves. The leafy green is used in cooking and can be eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried and then reconstituted by soaking in water for about 15 minutes.
Are There Any Risks To Eating Grape Leaves?
There are no major risks associated with eating grapes or grape leaves. However, there are some minor side effects that can occur.
The leaves of the grape plant contain vitamins and minerals. However, they do contain some amounts of oxalic acid which can cause stomach upset if you eat too many at once.
Grape leaves are safe when eaten in moderation by adults. People who have kidney stones should avoid eating large amounts of grape leaves because they contain oxalic acid which may increase the risk of developing another stone formation.
If you are planning to eat a large number of grape leaves, you should cook them first. You can boil the leaves for 15 minutes to remove the oxalate.
Benefits Of Eating Grape Leaves
Grape leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They contain iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. It also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and C which are beneficial for the human body.
Below are some of the benefits of eating grape leaves:
The antioxidants present in grape leaves help you fight free radicals that can cause cancer or heart disease. These antioxidants also prevent aging by keeping the skin healthy and young-looking.
Grape leaves contain tannins that have anti-inflammatory properties which help with joint pains and arthritis symptoms like inflammation of joints or any other inflammatory disease like eczema or psoriasis. The tannins present in them also reduce swelling due to injury or surgery by reducing the blood clotting ability of platelets which causes bleeding on wounds caused by cuts etc.
Grape leaves have high fiber content which helps with digestion. Since fiber cannot be digested by the body, instead it will help move the food through the digestive tract more smoothly.
What Do Grape Leaves Taste Like?
The flavor of grape leaves is quite mild, and they can be used in a wide variety of dishes. They are excellent for stuffing with rice, meat, or vegetables. Grape leaves are also used in soups, salads, and stews.
Grape leaves have a slightly sour aftertaste that goes well with salty foods. When cooked, they become slightly bitter and lose their sourness.
How Do You Prepare Grape Leaves To Eat?
If you’re going to eat a lot of grape leaves, it’s a good idea to blanch them first. This will help remove the oxalate from the leaves to an acceptable level where it will be safe to eat.
On the other hand, if you’re going to eat just a few grape leaves, there’s no need to blanch them first.
To blanch fresh leaves, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the leaves in a colander and dunk them into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove them from the water with tongs or a slotted spoon, drain them, and pat them dry with paper towels.
If using brine-packed grape leaves, place them in a large bowl of salted cold water (about 1 tablespoon salt per quart/liter) for about 10 minutes to soften. Drain well in a colander before stuffing and cooking.
What Can You Do With Grape Leaves?
You can eat them stuffed with rice, meat, or cheese. You can stuff grape leaves with ground beef, onions, and rice for a Greek dish called dolmades.
You can wrap grape leaves around fish fillets or chicken breasts before baking them to make a meal that’s low in fat.
You can use fresh or canned grape leaves to make dolmades — stuffed rice rolls with herbs and spices. The rice is flavored with onion and garlic, then wrapped in the leaves before being baked or boiled.
You can use them as a garnish on top of salads or soups; they’ll add color and texture!
What Other Things Besides Food Can You Do With Grape Leaves?
Besides culinary uses, you can use grape leaves for other things as well/
Here are some of the other uses for grape leaves:
Cleansing agent: Grape leaves have been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the body. People would boil them in water and drink this concoction as a detoxification method. You can also use grape leaves as an exfoliant by rubbing them over your skin while they’re still wet.
Hair treatment: Ancient Greeks would crush up grape leaves and use them as a hair treatment by mixing them with oil or honey and applying it on their hair as a mask. This treatment was meant to strengthen their hair follicles, prevent breakage, and improve shine.
Skin conditioner: Grapes contain antioxidants called resveratrol that help prevent free radical damage caused by UV light exposure from sunlight, according to Healthline. The antioxidants also help keep your skin healthy by fighting off acne-causing bacteria and helping wounds heal faster so that you don’t get scars from injuries.
Grape leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Since the leaves are high in oxalates, you should only eat them in moderation. If you’re planning to eat a lot of the grape leaves, it’s best to cook them first.
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.