We have a very productive grape arbor on our homestead. Read about the building of it and starting of our grapes in this blog post.
The grapes are growing well and I have discovered that they are Concord grapes. This is a very exciting thing because these grapes are packed full of healthy nutrients and vitamins. Some of the benefits of these grapes include:
• Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system (heart health), with helping the blood flow, and possibly helping keep a lower blood pressure
• May help with cognitive health (your mind!) to help slow the progression of age-related mind decline
• Immune System Health Benefits
I used these grapes to make Grape Jelly and Grape Juice.
The Jane Girls Grape Juice Recipe
You will need this grape juice in order to make the grape jelly.
• 1 ½ cups water
• Cheesecloth or Jelly Bag
1. Wash the grapes off and destem them.
2. Place the grapes in a large saucepan.
3. Add 1 ½ cups water to the grapes.
4. Begin to heat the grapes over medium-high heat. As they heat crush them down. We used a spatula, but a fork or potato masher works great as well. Eventually you will be left with a lot of skins and seeds floating and some purple, grape smelling juice in the pan. Let this mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Using cheesecloth or a jelly bag, pour the mixture into it over a bowl. Tie the cheesecloth up best you can to allow it to drip into the bowl.
If you are using this grape juice for making grape jelly, this is your last step in this recipe, skip down to the grape jelly recipe now. If you would like to make grape juice for drinking, continue with this recipe.
6. Once the grape juice is done dripping from the cheesecloth, lightly press the cheesecloth to get the rest of the juice out. You can choose to let this sit and drip until you feel that there is no longer any juice left in the cheesecloth bag.
7. Refrigerate the juice for 24-48 hours, this allows the juice to settle.
8. Drain the juice out of the container, leaving the bottom settlement in the container and out of your drinking juice.
9. You can choose to drink this juice straight like this, can it, or add water to dilute it so it isn’t as strong. We choose to add some of our fresh spring water to the grape juice.
The Jane Girls Grape Jelly Recipe
(modified with tips and tricks from the Sure-Jell recipe)
• 5 cups of prepared grape juice, see above recipe
• 7 cups sugar
• ½ tsp butter
• 1 box of Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
• 9 jelly (8 oz) mason jars
• Water Bather/Pressure Cooker
1. Begin to sterilize your jars and lids by simmering them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes, you can begin the process then begin making the jam while they are simmering so that when you are done making jam you have clean sterilized jars to put the jam into.
2. Measure sugar into a separate bowl so it is ready for when you need to add it.
3. Pour prepared juice into large saucepan. Add the Sure-Jell and butter to the juice. Mix together.
4. Bring mixture to a rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirred)
5. Add the sugar and return to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute.
6. Remove mixture from heat and pour into jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.
7. Wipe jar rims and attach the lids. Place into canner.
8. Process for 5 minutes.
9. Remove jars and check seals. Store sealed jars in a cool, dry, dark space up to 1 year, and refrigerate unsealed or opened jars and use within 3 weeks. Jars may take up to 24 hours to seal.
We can’t wait to see your jars of jelly or your grape juice. If you Instagram, be sure to tag us in your photos @janesthisnthat.
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References and more about Concord grapes at:
Concord Grape Association: Health & Nutrition
Concordgrape.org. (2018). Concord Grape Association: Health & Nutrition. [online] Available at: http://www.concordgrape.org/bodynutrition.html [Accessed 20 Aug 2018]
~The Jane Girls