Refreshing Muscadine (Scuppernong) Smoothie with Basil - Food Fitness Faith


Muscadine or Scuppernong Smoothie with Basil

What’s a scuppernong? I was wondering the same thing the first time I saw the term. 


I did a little research and found out that it’s actually the green or bronze grapes that are the original scuppernongs, and darker varieties are called muscadines. They are native to the southeastern United States. The scuppernong is the state fruit of North Carolina!


Native Americans used to dry the fruit for the winter months. Read more about the history of these grapes from NC State University.

I love to shop at the farmer’s market around Labor Day, when you’ll first start to see small baskets of these beautiful grapes!


I know it won’t be long now before I’ll start seeing bushels of them, like these I saw last year:


Look how big these amazing grapes are!


The only problem with eating these sweet treats are the seeds. Perhaps that’s why you see so much muscadine jam, jelly, juice and wine. 

Well, if you have a good blender (like a Vitamix or Ninja), you can throw the whole grape into a smoothie and reap the nutritional benefit from the skin and seeds as well!

Muscadines are rich in powerful polyphenols and other antioxidants like resveratrol and quercitin, which are extremely beneficial for heart health! These nutrients are concentrated in the tart skin and bitter seeds, but when blended together, the taste is pleasantly sweet!

I added some ginger, another heart-healthy herb, and some basil just because I’m trying to use up my abundant crop! I’ve also made it using frozen tart cherries instead. Either way, it’s refreshing and packed with nutrition.

I’ve written up the very basic version that could be used in most any blender. If your blender can’t pulverize the seeds, then use frozen tart cherries instead. I buy bags of them at Whole Foods.

The frozen banana chunks add more sweetness, but if you decide to add (like I usually do) whey, powdered greens, liquid vitamins, or anything else that adds sweetness, you can skip the bananas. 



3/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

A few chunks of frozen banana (about half a banana)

1 cup muscadine grapes or frozen tart cherries

5-6 leaves fresh basil

1 slice of fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger)

Stevia to sweeten if needed.

Because I have a Vitamix, I added a piece of carrot as well. I also added my special mix of powdered greens, whey protein and ground flaxseeds, as well as my liquid vitamins. I leave out the banana when I’m adding all of this extra stuff.

Bobbi Mullins

August 2014

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