Grape Juice and Such

Wow! What a hiatus! Things got busy this summer, and with the life/work balance the blog got pushed to the back burner for a while. Life is still busy (I am a gardener, and right now it's harvest time), but I wanted to post a little something about what I have been up to. 

For the past couple of nights it has been grape juice! 

My mom has some grape vines, and I just happened to go and visit when the grapes were perfectly ripe. I am not a big fan of juice, because I would much rather eat the actual fruit and get the benefits of the entire food (fibre, vitamins and all). But since these little grapes are full of seeds and are pretty annoying to eat and enjoy, I feel okay turning them into juice. Although I did take some extra care to preserve as much of the fibre and vitamins as I could. 

To start, I washed the grapes in lukewarm water. This helped to remove some of the dust that might have been on them. 

Next, I removed all the grapes from their stems. 

Then, in batches, I placed the grapes in a large pot and filled it halfway with water. I brought this to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes. 

Instead of using a jelly bag to strain out the seeds and skin, I used a tomato juice colander. This is a cone shaped colander that is typically used for processing tomatoes for tomato juice. I did this to keep more of the fibre in the juice (and maybe also because it is much less time consuming). 

Then, I froze the juice in glass jars to minimize the amount of heat needed to preserve the juice (Heat can have a detrimental effect on many vitamins). To do this, I filled the jars leaving about an inch and a half of head space to leave plenty of room for the liquid to expand. I then placed the jars in the freezer, ensuring that they were level. 

Once the juice was well frozen, I placed some lids and jar rings on the jars to seal them. And tada! Grape juice.

In total I made about 10 litres of juice. However it is quite concentrated so I will likely need to dilute it a little when I am ready to drink it. I look forward to enjoying this goodness throughout the winter.