Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Along our fence line is a huge wild grape vine. The grapes are quite small and are more seed than fruit but we picked them anyway. They are quite tart and nothing like you would find at a store, but I decided to make use of them because - hey they were free! Other than being sour, they have a good grape flavor.
I picked them all off the stems to better wash them and made quite a mess while doing so. The boiled eggs that were cooling in the bowl next to the grapes got splashed with juice. It made quite a nice color effect. I might save any extra for dying eggs for Ostara, along with walnuts from our black walnut tree.
I piled them into the instant pot, along with 2/3rds cup of dried elderberries and 3 cups of water. I set the timer for 15 minutes on medium pressure and let it natural release. Once it was cool enough to handle, I poured it into a mesh strainer and squished all the juice out that I could manage (making more mess, of course).
The juice was still quite warm at that point. I added enough honey to sweeten them and 4 tablespoons of gelatin per cup of juice. Into the mini muffin silicon pan they went, and then into the fridge. That used up about 2 cups of the juice, and I still had at least 4 more cups. The grapes gave up a decent amount of juice, despite having such a big ratio of seed to fruit! I poured 2 cups into an old jelly jar and added 4 tablespoons of gelatin, along with a little more honey. Once that set up in the fridge, I stirred it up really well and it’s a pleasant jelly consistency. The last 2+ cups of liquid I put into a ziplock and into the fridge, so if anyone gets sick, I can thaw it out and give it in the same manner as plain elderberry syrup.
My hands are still stained from the grapes, even 18 hours and lots of hand washes later. I don't really mind, but if I was worried about it, gloves would be in order next time.
Both the young boys are loving the mini muffin sized gummies. Kallo will enjoy the "jelly" along with his almond butter on coconut flour crepes. I will enjoy knowing that they are eating treats that are actually healthy for them. My last mission is to find a way to get some of this into my teenager. That may turn out to be mission impossible but I'll give it a go, anyway!
Have your own wild grapes in the back yard? Get to picking!
Wild Grape and Elderberry Gummies
For the syrup:
2/3 cups dried elderberries
3 cups water
3 cups wild grapes
1 cup raw honey (more or less to taste)
Place everything except the honey in an instant pot or pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, with a natural release, then open and let cool to just enough that you can handle it (but its still at least warm!).
Press and squish everything through a mesh strainer or use a nut milk bag - beware,though: Everything the juice touches will be stained purple!
Add in the honey and mix well.
I ended up with about 6 cups of syrup, but the amount will depend on how juicy or how seedy your grapes are.
For the gummies:
1 cup warm syrup
4 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
Lightly grease a (preferably silicon) mold of your choosing. I chose this mini muffin size silicon tray.
Pour in the mixture and carefully transfer to the fridge to let cool and solidify. The timing depends on how warm the mix was to start, but mine took about 4 hours.