Saturday, 22 March 2014
Yep, you read that right. This isn't much of a recipe since it's only one ingredient but I have been hooked on these lately and they are more versatile than you might think. There isn't much of a technique either but I'm sharing it anyway because it's my blog and I do what I want. lol.
The only ingredient you need is seedless grapes. You can use any colour or variety you like but I like mixing a generally equal amount of the standard red and green. The red ones are sweeter and the green ones have a slight sourness to them so they compliment each other when together. All you need to do is remove the grapes from the stems and discard any that may be bruised, wrinkled or below standard in any way. If you remove the grapes too quickly or aggressively you can end up with small pieces of stems that are still attached, which we don't want. Take the time and care to ensure each grape is free of stems. Then rinse the grapes in cold water to wash them. Gently dry the grapes with a paper towel and then spread them out evenly on a surface to air dry completely. It's important that they are dry before you freeze them or any moisture left on them will freeze into crystals on the grapes and cause them to stick to each other.
When your washed grapes are completely dry, place them on a tray or plate in a way that they are all lying flat. Since they are round they will roll about when you move the tray but the idea here is not to bunch them in a container right away and stick them in the freezer. You want the grapes to freeze individually before you do that. It's just another precaution to ensure they don't freeze together in a big clump.
Place in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Just until each grape is frozen stiff. Then you can combine them in a plastic container and keep them in the freezer. It couldn't be easier.
Snacking on these is so addictive. They remind me eating popsicle treats as a kid, only bite sized and they don't melt in your hand. I often find myself trying to stop, thinking "God, I shouldn't be eating all this candy" and then I remember it's not candy, it's just fruit! They are quite a healthy alternative to candy or frozen desserts. I know it sounds numbingly simple but you've just got to try them. They're so tasty. Since they are frozen, they keep edible for much, much longer than if you were to buy them just to eat as they are. I don't add anything to them. They're perfect.
They're not just a sweet, healthy and refreshing snack. They can be used instead of ice cubes to keep your drink cold. You could also blitz them into smoothies or cocktails instead of ice for the same iciness and texture but with an added boost of completely natural flavour. If you have a sweet tooth but are trying to cut back on eating sweets these could be just the thing for you because they honestly have a candy-like quality to them. Granted, there is natural sugar in grapes that can have its consequences when eaten in excess but nothing compared to processed candy and frozen desserts. Since they're frozen it keeps you from overeating them unless you dare to endure the dreaded "brain freeze" phenomenon so portion control is effortless.
I can't wait to try these in the summer time when the weather is hot and local grapes are in prime season. What a treat that will be!
Give these a try. If you fall under the one in a hundred chance that you won't like them you can just let them thaw and eat them as plain ol' regular grapes again. You've got nothing to lose! It's an interesting spin on an otherwise common and maybe unexciting ingredient.
All this writing about them is making hungry for them. I think I might just have another noshing session right now!
Until next time,