Grapes are excellent choices of powerful antioxidants that work to kill off cancer cells in the human body. As a snack, they are low calorie, fat free and a wonderful alternative for sweets when eating on the go. However, most of the time grapes are purchased by the pound and will rot or spoil within a couple of days if not prepared. So in order to make the most of those grapes sitting in the crisper, consider freezing a portion. By freezing grapes the fruit will last approximately three months. Frozen grapes are delicious frozen treats, can be used for smoothies, or partially thawed before eating. It is important to note that not all types of grapes freeze equally. There is a difference between the sugar content of red and green grapes, and only red grapes can be frozen and thawed successfully. Green grapes freeze up too hard, and do not have the flavor capacity to withstand the temperature changes. Here is a step-by-step guide to freezing grapes to be eaten or used for recipes.
Washing the Grapes
First remove the grapes from the vines. Then place the grapes in a colander, and soak in cool water for two minutes to wash away dirt, residue and pesticides. Then rinse under cool water for about thirty seconds, shaking the colander to release any trash or dirt. A veggie wash is a wonderful solution to washing grapes, if available. Use organic grapes if possible to ensure the freshest, cleanest fruit with the highest nutritional value and no pesticides. After a thorough washing, leave the colander in the sink to let excess water drain.
Drying the Grapes
Second, dry the grapes so that the water molecules do not cause icicles to form once the grapes are frozen. To dry, lay out a kitchen towel and place the grapes in a single layer across the cotton surface. Take a couple of paper towels and lay them over the tops rolling the grapes around very gently. After the paper towels have absorbed most of the moisture, use a new kitchen towel and roll the grapes a few at a time around to make sure they are completely clean and dry.
Freezing the Grapes
The third step is the actual freezing process. Grapes are filled with sugars and acids, so adding ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or sugar is not necessary to freeze them as with other fruits. Also once frozen the grapes retain their rotund shape and brilliant color. In fact they freeze quite easily as compared to most other fruits. Take a baking sheet that will sit flat in the freezer and make a single layer of the grapes. Place in the freezer for at least one hour, or until they freeze solid. By freezing them in this way, the grapes will not clump together and will freeze more uniformly before storing in the freezer for a long period of time. Once the grapes have frozen solid, use a quart size zipper freezer bag, or gallon size if there is a large amount of grapes to store them. Place the frozen grapes inside the freezer bag and remove all of the air. This is important as the air pockets will cause frost to form, ruining the flavor of the grapes and reducing their freezer life. It is best to choose a freezer bag that will be filled up with grapes so there is less room for air. Once filled, place the bag of frozen grapes back in the freezer until they are to be eaten.
Eating the Grapes
The final step involves removing the grapes from the freezer. The grapes can be partially thawed to eat on their own as a delectable delight. If being blended in a smoothie, the grapes are better left frozen and will thicken the drink without adding ice cubes. Frozen grapes make spectacular additions to mixed drinks or sodas, and will also keep the beverage cool without melting and watering it down.
Freezing Grapes and Recipes on YouTube
eHow.com: How to Thoroughly Wash and Freeze Grapes
WikiHow: Make Frozen Grapes
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