Category Archives: Beverages

Strawberry Fields Part 2: Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

When looking at canning recipes gathering ideas for my next adventure, I try to avoid recipes that contain obnoxious amounts of refined sugar. Every once in a while I will make an exception and give in to my sweet tooth; folks, this is definitely one of those times!

Since the finished product will be diluted (by more than half) with water, I’m able to rationalize the needed 6 cups of evil white sugar. After cracking open my first jar and conducting the initial taste-test, I can honestly say this is one recipe I will make again! I can see myself reliving my bartender days and whipping up a few summer cocktails! I love when one little jar holds so many delicious possibilities!

strawberry lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate - yields 7 pints

6 cups hulled strawberries

4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 cups granulated sugar

Using a food processor or blender, purée strawberries until smooth. Transfer to a large stainless steel pot, add lemon juice and sugar, stir to combine. Heat mixture to 190°F over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Remove pot from heat and skim off any foam that has developed.

Ladle concentrate into hot pint jars, wipe rims and add two-piece adjustable lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Remove canner from heat, wait 5 minutes and then remove jars, allowing them to cool for 12-24 hours.

To reconstitute, mix one part concentrate with one part water, adjust to your own personal taste. I use a 1:1.5 water ratio. I’m thinking frozen margaritas or vodka and seltzer water would be the perfect ending to a hot summer day!

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving.

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Summer in a Glass

Today marks the *unofficial* start of summer.  The weather is 94 and sunny, which sounds a whole lot like summer to me!  In an attempt to stay cool I made a pitcher of lemonade.  This is not the ultra-sweet, white-powdered stuff mind you, but real southern-style lemonade.

To make lemonade all you need are lemons, simple syrup (sugar will not dissolve in cold water), ice and water.  That’s it.

For the simple syrup I use a 1:1.5 sugar/water ratio.  Place 1 cup of sugar in a small sauce pan, add 1.5 cups of water and heat until sugar dissolves.  Since I use raw sugar my lemonade always ends up looking like tea. :)  I usually make a larger batch and keep in the fridge, that way I’m always ready when the craving hits!  Plus I use it when making iced coffee.

Slice and juice one lemon into a glass full of ice.  FYI, if you first roll the lemon on the counter top it will juice easier.  Add water and simple syrup to taste.  Enjoy!

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So Smooth

This past week Mother Nature has gifted us with some amazingly warm weather, albeit there have been several severe, tornado-producing storms, the temperature has been quite lovely!  With the emergence of warm weather brings my insatiable craving for smoothies.

Recently, I’ve made the decision to decrease my dairy intake, not because of ethical reasons, but more for health concerns.  Lets face it, the primary function of cow’s milk is to make baby cows FAT.  While I do enjoy indulging in a glass of ice-cold raw milk, it is not something I do on a regular basis.  I’m also appalled with the amount of hormones and antibiotics pumped into animals because of the inhumane conditions in which they are raised.  Did you know that 80% of the antibiotics produced in the U.S. are for injecting into factory-farmed livestock due to the horrendous conditions in which they are raised?  Cattle are packed into manure-laden holding pens, where they stand 2 feet deep in fecal excrement.  That, my friends, I have serious ethical issues with!

I have no plans of becoming a vegan, nor am I saying I will never again consume dairy products, because I’m not.  Besides, ice cream is one of my FAVORITE foods, and during the summer months I tend to make it on a somewhat regular basis; however, as far as my morning coffee and granola are concerned, I’ve decided to seek out alternative options.  Rhubarbs, my local natural food store, has a vast selection of non-dairy milks for the choosing.  I’ve replaced pasteurized milk, cream, and half and half with coconut milk.

They also have almond, rice, soy, and hemp, along with several other varieties, all of which I will be sampling. :)

Vegan Fruit Smoothie  (I don’t measure ingredients, it’s more of a toss and pour till it looks good. Trust me, you can’t screw up a smoothie!)

bullet 32 organic coconut milk

bullet 32 organic soy yogurt, I use wholesoy & company

bullet 32 1/2 a banana (I keep several on hand in my freezer so I’m always ready when the craving strikes)

bullet 32 fruit, the go-to favorite is strawberries and my canned peaches (my stand-alone freezer is still packed full of last year’s local fruit, although, the blueberries come from Jersey; that state grows the best berries!)

bullet 32 agave nectar

bullet 32 dehydrated Swiss chard

bullet 32 ground flax seed

Add ingredients to a tall mixing cup, insert immersion blender, mix till desired consistency is achieved.  You can also use a regular blender.

Some alternate additions are ice, honey, pineapple, peanut butter, coconut, espresso powder, plums, pears, avocado…the options are endless!

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