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Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Olive Bonanza

I've been wanting to try the traditional method of making fruit juice on autumn olive berries for a couple of years, but picking the fruits is kind of a pain. Unless you stumble across a bush that is loaded like this one!

autumn olive

I cleared this one bush and in about a half hour had a gallon of berries to take home. I had stopped to take pictures of the sunset and discovered several bushes that were loaded. Since this is really a garbage shrub/tree, I'm sure no one cared that I was stealing the berries. Everyone thinks you are nuts when you explain that they make good food.

autumn olive

Yesterday afternoon I turned them into juice. I did pick through the tub to remove the woody sticks and leaves. I'm really glad I did this because I don't think the three Asian lady bugs, the cutworm and the stink bug would have improved the flavor of the final product.

After I boiled the berries, I strained and squeezed the fruit in a jelly bag.

autumn olive juice

I ended up with five quarts of juice. Here are four of them.

autumn olive juice

I still have to put this in canning jars and process them, but I can do that tomorrow or the next day. I'll be posting more about this on Grazing the Ditches, but overall, this still isn't my favorite juice. The berries have a nice tartness to them, but that is lost with both methods of juice making. You end up with something more like fruit punch. The milky texture is a little weird too, although that is only an issue of looks. It's not strange in your mouth.

At any rate, that's my big kitchen project for the week.

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Lin said...

So when life gives you stinkbugs, you don't make juice outta them? ;)

Ann said...

Well commercial makers of juice do use additives but I'm thinking even they wouldn't consider using lady bugs, cutworm or stink bugs :)

Secondary Roads said...

Didn't know you could do that with the berries. As Mom would say, "Live and learn."

vanilla said...

Never thought of using these. For what it's worth: when picking elderberries, I snip twiglets full of berries, place brown bag full of such in freezer; later, strip berries from twigs. Might work with these.

RNSANE said...

Ummmmm, definitely a lot of work or so it seems...but, if you like the final product and consider it worth while, good for you. I would drink to that.

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