It’s officially fall and with early snow threatening in the forecast, it was time to get the garden harvested and winterized. With my grape vines in their third year of planting, they have just matured enough to start fruiting and there was actually a pleasant little harvest this year. Did you know you can actually grow grapes in Calgary??
I have 2 varieties planted, Frontenac and Marquette, which are hearty for Zone 3. Both are new varietals recently developed by the University of Minnesota and can tolerate temperatures as low as -30C. The grapes are considered “cousins” to each other, with lineage to Landon Noir and Pinot Noir vines. They are self-pollinating plants, which makes them ideal for urban gardening since you don’t need the space for multiple plantings.
Since the yield wasn’t significant enough for making jelly or juice, it was the perfect opportunity to make some homemade / grown Grape Kombucha! This special treat is hands down our favourite flavour, so counting down the days until our second brew is ready! Here’s how you can make it for yourself:
- 2lbs / 907g grapes
- 2 x 12oz / 330ml Bottles of Kombucha
1. Thoroughly wash your grapes in a diluted vinegar solution and rinse, rinse, rinse! Even organic, homegrown grapes can contain yucky stuff such as bugs, larva or bird poo so clean them well before using.
2. Juice your grapes. If you don’t have a juicer, no problem! You can macerate them in a food processor, food mill, blender, or even give them a bash with a mortar and pestle. Pass through a sieve to remove pulp, or for a finer juice, squeeze through one of our Nut-Milk bags.
3. Fill up your bottles 1/3 full with grape juice and top up with Kombucha.
4. Seal and let sit at room temp for 3-7 days for a second ferment, then move to the fridge.
5. Makes about 1.5L
No grapes growing your garden? No problem, substitute organic grape juice or good old-fashioned Welch’s grape juice. This recipe is truly no fail!
Consistently makes yummy, fizzy kombucha that no one will know is actually good for you.
Don’t waste that pulp! Red and purple grapes are a great source of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and resveratrol, known for health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and preventing damage to the heart vessels. However, most of these circulatory-boosting antioxidants are located in the stems, seeds, and skins of the grapes – not the juice. Go ahead and save this nutrient rich pulp for making a crunchy, healthy snack.
We hope you are enjoying a bountiful harvest this season, whether that’s from your own garden or a local market. Remember, fermenting is a great solution for preserving and extending the last of the season’s offerings. Stay tuned for more recipes and tips for making the most of your produce as the seasons change.