You might remember that back in May I talked about this invasive shrub, Autumn Olive, that grows all over, and is a really bad plant. I happened to read this week that the fruits are edible. Not just survival mode edible, but one of the real unknown treats of the world of wild foods.
I was pretty surprised, because I've tried the fruits any number of times, and wasn't impressed at all. They were just dry and sour. Well, it seems that I had never tried them at the correct time of year. And right now is the correct time. Just before the first frost, the sugar develops and they become sweet. Actually when you bite one they are tart for just a second and then you taste the sweetness.
Not only do they taste good, they have 18 times the amount of lycopene as tomatoes do.
I've found a few suggestions for things to do with the berries, other than just eating them. Everyone says that they make delicious juice. But I'm not too interested in putting them through a strainer and getting juice the hard way. I do have a recipe that I use for grapes, that's super easy. I've used it successfully for wild grapes and elderberries, so I'm trying it with the autumn olives.
You put 1 cup of fruit in a sterile quart jar, add sugar (I used 1/8 c sugar and 1/4 c Splenda), cover with boiling water, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Then you wait. Actually you wait for about 6 months. As you can see, it doesn't look like anything happened. However over time, the juice comes out of the fruit and the color will develop. So I'm trying it with the Autumn Olive. I just made one jar. If I like it, next year, I'll do more.
|See Autumn Olive, Beautiful and Terrible|