Each week when I chat with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show we talk about foods from the Bible. Today the subject was grapes.
GRAPES (John: 15:5) I am the vine, you are the branches – he that abide in me and I in him, brings much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.
Mentioned more than any other plant in the entire Bible, the grape vine was very important culturally and economically in biblical times. Because of its centrality in everyday life, it is often used symbolically in Scripture.
The grapevine was so familiar to everyone that they had no trouble understanding the meaning: that the grapevine, no matter how well tended, can’t bear grapes if the main stem, through which the branches get nourishment, is cut off.
Grapes were important both culturally and economically during Bible times.
The soil had to be just right. There were lots of stones in the soil and they had to be removed. A hedge or wall was built around the vineyard to keep thieves out.
I still have a wild grapevine climbing up the garage near the chicken coop. In late June, I gather the leaves and use them for making Dolmas, stuffed grapevine leaves, much as my Mom did and her ancestors, as well. We also use the leaves as scoops for tabouleh.
Grapes are supposed to be so heart healthy.
The darker the color, the better the grape is for you. All grapes have lycopene, which is good for the prostate, motor skills, hearts, eyes and tummy.
They’re especially good for someone who is feverish – the grapes provide nourishment and act as a refrigerant, cooling the body a bit.
FRUITED GELATIN TERRINE
I like to make mine in a terrine, which looks like a skinny, longer, loaf pan. A loaf pan works well, too.
If you want, you can do all individual small bowls, molds, etc. For a smaller batch, just divide the recipe in half.
4 cups mixed fruit – cut up if necessary
4 packages unflavored gelatin (four 1/4-oz envelopes)
4 cups white grape juice, rose wine, etc.
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
Arrange fruit in loaf pan. Set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over grape juice and let sit a few minutes to soften and “bloom”. Whisk gently and the gelatin should be incorporated, but not dissolved, into the juice.
Pour into pan and add sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and whisk until sugar and gelatin are dissolved.
Remove from heat and cool mixture, stirring occasionally, just to room temperature. Mixture should still be pourable.
Slowly and gently pour enough mixture over fruit, just enough to cover nicely. This will “set” the fruit in a bit of gelatin so it doesn’t float.
Chill until firm, about an hour.
Pour remaining mixture over fruit (if it jells while it’s sitting, warm up a bit to melt, but let cool before you pour on).
To unmold, dip pan in a larger pan of hot water for a few seconds to loosen. Invert a serving plate over terrine and invert terrine onto plate.
Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
Lower carb: Use a sugar substitute
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: FROZEN SEEDLESS GRAPE POPSICLES
No real recipe but easy peasy.
Adapted slightly from twohealthykitchens.com. Check out the tutorial and photos for these pops. A really super fun and timely site. These are great snacks for the kids or for you, after a workout.
Ingredients and instructions
Just put grapes in a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until you get the consistency you like, either a bit chunky or smooth. Don’t go too far with the blending or processing or you’ll wind up with just a smooth puree, and a bit of pulp is nice.
Because you’re not pureeing the grapes into a liquid, you can make different layers out of different grapes – you don’t even have to wait for each layer to freeze before adding the next layer! The colors easily stay separated, and you get a wider range of flavors – with stripes of tart green grapes, along with stripes of sweeter red grapes, for example – all in one pretty pop.
Pour any grape juice that remains in the blender/processor evenly over all the pops. This little bit of liquid will help to “glue” the bits of frozen grapes together as the popsicles freeze
Freeze until solid, then unmold and enjoy.