Wild grapes can be found growing in almost every climate. There are so many different varieties located in the far north, tropical areas and apparently, even the desert. Wild grape vines ‘grow like weeds’, therefore they can be easily trained to grow on a fence or any structure for that matter; and they are a good choice to use as a natural screen. Wild grape vine is an excellent habitat for birds and combined with their health benefits and wide range of uses, it only makes sense to either forage for these wild edible grapes or even start growing them in your garden.
It appears that some research indicates that like ‘greens’, the darker the grape the more power-packed with nutrition it contains. (For example, nutritionally, spinach and kale leaves iceberg lettuce far behind.) Some research indicates that dark purple, red, and black grapes could end up being better choices for colon cancer prevention than green grapes.
Nutritionally, grapes are amazing. They contain resveratrol that increases longevity, antioxidants and antioxidant phytonutrients; and wild edible grapes also contain vitamins B1, B6, C, manganese and potassium.
It’s important to remember that the grape seed and the skin contain the richest concentration of antioxidants.
Eating these small wild grapes requires re-training your taste buds because they are slightly tart. I enjoy them actually, but many people won’t share my love for these. Good news! You can capture the goodness of these by making juice, and it is very easy.
Homemade Wild Grape Juice:
Take about 4 to 6 cups of grapes and rinse them thoroughly. Place into a large pot and add water until there is about 5 centimetres of water covering the grapes. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for about one to two hours. As it sits, using a masher, occasionally mash the grapes.
Strain the mixture. As it strains, keep mashing until the pulp is as dry as it can be.
Add your sweetener of choice. I purchase organic blueberry syrup to use as a sweetener and this really adds extra nutrients! When this is not possible, I use organic cane sugar.
(As an alternative, you can take some or all of the pulp and put it in a blender and add this to the juice if you don’t mind a little pulp!)
For more information about the nutrient-packed grape I suggest you read Grapes.
Thank-you! I know where there are some and I’ll be collecting tomorrow! Wow – makes total sense though – grapes are good for us!
I’d love to find some wild grapes. I used to find them all the time in the woods behind my dad’s house, but they just aren’t there anymore. Loaded with black berries and raspberries, just no grapes anymore. 🙁
Instead of wild grape juice, though, I’d probably try to make wild grape wine.
I’ve made wild grape juice and jelly. I use a “steam juicer” to get the juice from the grapes. It’s amazingly easy and quick – no mashing or straining required! Google to find one online, or purchase through a kitchen wares store. They may have to order one in for you – they’re fairly expensive, but worth it if you make jellies (can be used for a variety of fruits).
Where to find grapes? Look along fences as you are driving in the country. I’ve asked property owners for permission to pick, and thank them with a jar of jelly! Grape harvests go in cycles – some years are bountiful, other years the yield is very small.
Don’t forget the leaves. They can be eaten in Greek food like domathes..Used as a wrap for small meant balls with a lemon sauce.
I was wondering if you removed the grapes from the stems. The wild grapes growing in my yard are so very tiny. It’s a very tedious process to destem all of them. Also I live in upstate NY. Do you know where I could find their name?
When freezing them or making juice I leave the stems on – they come off easy when making the juice! Here is more info on them! http://www.ediblewildfood.com/wild-grape-vine.aspx
We used to press wild grapes every autumn through a potato press for excellent sweet juice; lately hearing that grapes seeds are so valuable, we use the bullet – it is crunchy – yes – but taste fabulous!
I have vines growing like weeds on my fence, no grapes ever. Was wondering if they can be used for making wreaths?
Absolutely. Grape vines can also be used to make furniture!
How do I get some seeds ??
They are in the grapes – – so if you have access to wild grapes, gather some, keep them in the fridge over the winter (or leave outdoors) then plant in the spring!
I have sandy soil, low water in winter, a lot of water in summer.
Be sure you have wild grapes and not Canadian Moonseed – which is very poisonous. Moonseed had only one, flat seed in the fruit – grapes have two or more pear shaped seeds. The wild grapes also make excellent wine. Mixed with elderberry, the antioxidants and B vitamins of the grapes, and the antiviral properties of the elderberry, make a super winter tonic to ward off colds and flue – 4 oz. a day as preventative.
Excellent advice. Also, the moonseed looks like a tiny pac-man. These grow alongside my wild grapes so choose the fruit that resemble an actual bunch of grapes and check one fruit from every bunch to make certain. Also, the moonseed vine has no tendrils, the grape does. The wild grape tastes like a grape, the moonseed does not.
Been using. Dried wild grape seeds in my bread and pancake recipes . havent even had a sniffle in 3 years. Feel great. 65 feel like 25. Wild grapes rock!!!
Excellent website. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.
And of course, thank you on your sweat! nbb99.com
I am drinking tea made from wild grape leaves. Any thoughts?
Why not? If you like it go for it. I prefer it as food.
I just recently moved to Valrico Florida and I am finding a whole bed of wild nutritious Foods. These wild grapes are one of the best ones that I have found that are easy to harvest and very satisfying. Yes they’re small and have about four seeds to each tiny grape ball but I love them. Occasionally I will eat them and spit out the seed but mostly I collect large quantities of them and bring them home where I do mash them in groups and re mash them and drain off the fresh juice which is a light purple and when I rematch them I get the dark purple of course which comes from the skin of the grape. Once I have mashed enough according to my liking then I refrigerate my juice. I don’t do any heating to my grapes except to rinse them really well in warm water before mashing. I do remove the stems and the leaves prior to all that. Because of the richness of the antioxidants and the B vitamins I don’t want to lower the levels so I don’t Heat. Also I do not add sugar in any form because I want to get 100% natural nutrition and vitamins quality from the fruit. Yes it’s a tiny bit tart but overall I find that it balances your taste palate because we always in take too much sugars and salt anyway so I leave it natural and drink it cold.
Thank you for sharing!!!!!
Wow, this article was helpful. I always used to spit out the grape seeds whenever I found and ate riverbank grapes. I always thought the seeds were bad to ingest.
I made delicious juice from wild grapes. No sugar required. I destemmed them and boiled them in water and let steep until cooled
Wild grapes are fantastic. We have a steamer so easy and delicious. The juice is very tasty and jellies easy to make. My favourite. Good to know about the seeds. I’ll grind up some. Thanks