Avoid winter blues with fun recipes

Looking for a way to beat the winter with the kids? Why not make some quick uncooked grape jelly!

Making uncooked grape jelly is a way to involve the children in an activity while they learn some things in the process. Learning how to read a recipe teaches some reading skills. One example of things they will learn is how to measure liquids versus how to measure dry ingredients. A science principle is how something frozen solid becomes a liquid when thawed. Another science concept is how mixing a fruit acid liquid with a solid sugar and pectin creates a jelly(semi-solid). This is a little chemistry in action. Another science principle is what is the difference in temperature between lukewarm and cold?

Michigan State University Extension recommends washing hands before doing any food preparation. Be sure to wash rinse and sanitize any food preparation work space and utensils. 

Uncooked Grape Jelly

Ingredients:

2 cups of lukewarm water                             

1-6-ounce can of frozen unsweetened grape juice concentrate

1 box powdered pectin  

3 ¼ cups sugar

Slowly mix the pectin into the lukewarm water in a two-quart mixing bowl. Stir the mixture constantly until the solid pectin is dissolved in the lukewarm water. Let the mixture stand for 45 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally, but do not beat it. 

Thaw the frozen can of grape juice by placing the can in cold water. When the juice is thawed, pour it into a one-quart mixing bowl. Stir into the water 1 ¾ cups of sugar. Mix thoroughly. Not all of the sugar will be dissolved. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of sugar to the dissolved pectin mixture. Stir this pectin-sugar mixture until the all sugar is dissolved. Mix the juice mixture with the pectin mixture. Stir the mixture constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved. 

Pour the liquid grape juice, pectin, and sugar mixture into freezer containers or canning jars. Leave 1/2 –inch headspace. Cover with a tight lid. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until it is set or solid (should take up to 24 hours). Freeze or refrigerate the grape jelly.

To recap this activity is designed to help children learn how to read a recipe; the difference between frozen, liquid, gel states; the difference between cold and lukewarm water; how a solid can be dissolved in a liquid; how to measure liquid and dry ingredients using two different types of measuring cups; and how a liquid fruit acid when combined with sugar and powdered pectin creates a gel.

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