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The Simple Pleasure of a Concord Grape Pie

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  • As fall slowly comes creeping around the corner to greet us, we are blessed with the arrival of all of those luscious fall fruits that we love.  Last week it was my father's peaches, this week it is my friend Nyla's Concord grapes. 
    Nyla had mentioned a couple of times to me that they had an abundance of grapes and that I should come and pick.  Just like with the peaches, I seemed to avoid the invite.  You see, the picking isn't the hard part.  It is the time involved with doing something with these fruits once they are picked. 
    Regardless, last week I loaded up with a bucket and headed over to her farm.  The grapes were in abundance and within a short period of time I had more than plenty of the purple juicy orbs in tow.  The setting was inspiring and I soon found myself heading to the car for my camera.  We staged a couple of shots for my blog and Nyla laughed out loud when I said, "Hey, you know what...I am having much more fun that I had actually planned!" 

    The fun didn't stop there because I now had to make a plan as to what I was going to do with my harvest.  Of course, there is always grape jam but I wanted to try something that I had never made before...a Concord grape pie.  I love making pie and was soon caught up in the moment. 

    Chatting with another friend this week, I was asked what I do for recess...meaning, what do I do for fun.  To be honest, I couldn't really come up with a terrific response...which quite honestly bothered me a little bit.  As I was rolling out this flaky, fruit-laden creation, I realized this is it...this is my recess!  It doesn't necessarily have to be some outstanding activity, but most definitely should be in doing something that you love.  And yes, as adults, we all still  deserve a recess.  Enjoy! 

    Concord Grape Pie
    5 cups concord grapes
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup flour
    Good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
    Pinch of salt
    1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
    Crust for a two layer pie


    Wash the grapes and remove the skins. (This is very easy to do...simply squeeze one end of the grape and the pulp will pop right out.)  Reserve the skins in a large bowl and  place the grape pulp in a medium saucepan. 

    Bring the pulp to a low boil and continue to cook for ten minutes.  Remove pulp from heat and pour through a sieve into the skins.  Press through to remove seeds. Combine pulp and skins in a large bowl.  Stir in lemon juice.

    In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, and salt. Stir into grape mixture. Pour filling into pastry crust, and dot with butter or margarine. Cover with second pastry shell. Flute edges, and cut slits in the top crust for steam to escape.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in top crust.  Enjoy!

    Not only is this pie delicious, Concord grapes are full of good-for-you health benefits.  Who knew?  Check out my blog for further discussion of the nutritional benefits of these abundant fall fruits. 

    Concord grapes actually have the power to keep us youthful because they contain high concentrations of antioxidants that protect our skin, brain and heart from inflammation and aging. The healthiest part of the grape is the skin, which is packed with not one but 19 different types of health-supporting nutrients! This popular and delicious fruit is a rich source of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate; in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.  Wow.

    Here are five big reasons to enjoy Concord grapes:

    1.  Decrease blood pressure with concord grapes: Concord grapes contain many flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure by improving the fluidity of the blood. Resveratrol also relaxes the arterial walls to allow adequate circulation
    and decrease the pressure in the arteries.

    2.  Concord grapes are anti-inflammatory because they contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body.  Grapes also have the antioxidant ability to mop up free radicals in the body and keep you looking younger, longer!  Yay!!

    3. Eat grapes to stay sharp: Many degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, begin with the accumulation of certain proteins and foreign bodies in the brain. Concord grapes have been shown to prevent the accumulation of these potentially harmful substances. This helps keep your brain sharp and your nervous system healthy.

    4. Boost your immunity with concord grapes: Concord grapes have been shown to increase the production of the cells in our body that fight off disease and foreign invaders. Boosting these natural killer cells and T-cells will keep your immune system in tip-top shape during cold and flu season.

    5. Concord grapes maintain healthy breast tissue: Grapes have been found to have strong anti-cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol. It is particularly effective in reducing the chances of colorectal cancer and breast cancer.  The resveratrol found in Concord grapes, protects the DNA in our cells against mutations that occur. Studies show that resveratrol is specifically beneficial in protecting breast tissue from the mutations that can take place in certain breast cancers.



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