This is a kid-friendly canning recipe that is just as beautiful on the shelf as it is for gifting. It helps kids and moms alike get out of the sugary soda drink trap and cooks up quickly. Read on for the recipe!
This recipe is for Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade concentrate and that is the best part. You can pour a spoonful or two into a glass and fill it with water (or sparkling water if you want to trick them even further!) and stir it up and it is suddenly a natural soda that you made yourself. If I want to add a shot of grown-up libation to it, I can, and if my youngest wants to have some I can make his weaker still. The concentrate also takes up less room on the shelf to store which is another advantage. Here’s how you can easily make your own. I tried to tweak the recipe to require quantities of fruit you could actually quickly purchase in the market too.
Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Concentrate Recipe
3 cups strawberries with stems and leaves removed, rough chopped
3 cups kiwi fruit, peeled
4 cups bottled lemon juice
6 cups sugar
Note: If you haven’t kiwi, you can just double the number of strawberries and skip the kiwi entirely. I think the kiwi is a great addition, however.
Prepare your processing pot with about 5-pint jars, prepare your lids and rings in a saucepan and bring both to a gentle boil. If you are new to canning and want to learn how to make awesome stuff like this recipe, head to www.startcanning.com to learn how. That’s my e-course that is perfect for the busy beginner. Check it out, Wildflowers!
Blend the fruit together in a blender, food processor, with an immersion blender, or food mill (a baby food mill would work fine!). If you haven’t one of these appliances, just chop the fruit into small pieces and don’t worry. It will cook down readily. If you have terribly picky children, you could choose to strain the mixture through a sieve at this point to remove the pretty black kiwi seeds, but luckily, my kids don’t mind them.
Put the pureed fruit into the preserving pan. Add the lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine. A note about lemon juice. I fresh squeezed every lemon in my crisper and only got a single cup of juice. There’s no shame in using bottled and I definitely had to. Frankly, because you are cooking and canning it, the fresh lemon juice might be better saved for a use where it isn’t cooked at all. Use fresh if you have it and want to squeeze them, or bottled if not.
Bring fruit, lemon juice, and sugar to a gentle simmer. You want the sugar to dissolve but you don’t want the fruit to come to a rapid boil lest the fresh fruit flavor disappear. If it comes to a full boil, that is okay, but the flavor is a bit better if you can avoid a rolling boil.
Using the jar lifter, pull one jar from the boiling water and pour the hot water back into the pot or the nearby saucepan. Set it carefully on the towel-covered countertop. Using your funnel and a ladle, fill the hot jar with hot fruit puree. Leave ½ an inch between the top of the fruit and the top of the jar. Use the lid lifter to pull a lid and ring from the saucepan and put the lid and ring on the jar. Tighten only as tight as you might a faucet in the bathroom. You don’t need or want it super tight. Use the jar lifter to put the hot jar full of hot fruit back into the hot water.
You will repeat this process until you run out of fruit or out of jars. With whatever little bit you have left that isn’t a full jar, pour into a drinking glass and get ready to reward yourself with a cold drink.
Set the timer for 5 minutes. For every 1000 feet of elevation you live above sea level, add 5 minutes. For example, I live at 3000 feet above sea level so I set my timer for 20 minutes total. During this time, the water in the largest pot should be at a rolling boil, with at least an inch of water covering the lids. I know it is difficult to tell how much water is over the jars when it is really boiling but add from a teakettle if you aren’t sure.
When the time is up, use your jar lifter to remove the jars one at a time to carefully rest on the towel covered countertop. Let them cool undisturbed for up to 12 hours. Notice how the lids will seal; they will become concave and firm to the touch and you will probably hear a loud “ping” or clicking noise when the heat forces all the air from the jar which causes the lid to suck down, creating that air-tight seal you are looking for. If you have a jar that doesn’t seal after 12 hours, and the lid pops up and down when pressed, then just store the jar in the refrigerator and eat it up within a month. Label sealed jars and store in a cool, dry place.
To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 2-4 parts cold water and stir to combine. Feel free to get fancy and use sparkling water, ice, and perhaps one shot of your favorite adult beverage. I like tequila on a hot afternoon with this mix in particular but then again I like it with most everything 🙂
I want to hear in the comments: what are YOUR favorite kid-friendly canning recipes? Share in the comments below and be sure to share this recipe with your friends. Those Pinterest buttons aren’t going to click themselves 😉
Wildflowers, I created a fun printable of my favorite 5 Canning Recipes for Kids and you can download it HERE!
I’m sure you will love it but if you want to read more about it before you download, I wrote a blog post about the 5 Perfect Recipes for Kids right here 🙂