Monday, June 25

Menu Idea Monday: Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

I've been slacking a bit on Menu Idea Mondays, but I'm back on track today! Over the weekend, a new friend invited me to go strawberry picking and I brought home six quarts brimming with gorgeous berries. In addition to putting up some strawberry balsamic jam, I made Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, a recipe I picked up from the Canning Homemade blog.

Photo from Canning Homemade blog
Check out the color in this photo! I am not talented enough to take such great shots myself, but mine came out the same shade - gorgeous!

This is a great recipe for a couple reasons:

1. The end result is very flexible - you can mix the concentrate with water, ginger ale, champagne, kombucha, water keifer - almost anything!

2. It's only three ingredients - strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. No poisonous imitation sugars, neurotoxic food coloring or preservatives. Also, it's free of gluten and just about every other major allergen!

3. There's an easy sugar-free option! You could can an healthier, more natural version of this by subbing honey for the sugar. If you opt to freeze the concentrate instead of canning it (not in your canning jars, please!), you can skip the sugar altogether. Just sweeten to taste with stevia or your preferred natural sweetener when you reconstitute it! It you use something already fairly sweet like ginger ale, you may not have to add any sweetener at all.

Either way, anyone used to cooking berries down for jam will be surprised and pleased by how far the berries go in this recipe - six cups of strawberries will make you 3 quarts of concentrate! I'm happy to have found this recipe and expect to make it a regular part of my canning rotation.

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