My mom is on a drink concentrate kick (and I get to benefit!) One of my many goals in canning is to stock my pantry with simpler homemade versions of treats that we enjoy. Instead of buying soda or koolaid, we can make canned drink concentrates for special treats.
Concentrates are made with fruit, lemon or lime juice and sugar. Yes, it has sugar in it (and the regular recipe calls for quite a bit,) but you can cut the sugar back as much as you want, or you can also use either Splenda or Stevia.
The plus side is that in addition to sugar it also has a lot of real fruit! And if we’re talking about sweet treats, you’re not going to be indulging in these fruit concentrates every day anyway. Drink concentrates can be reconstituted with water, sprite, carbonated water, or you can add ice and blend in a blender to make slushies (my personal favorite.)
We started with strawberry lemonade, moved on to cherry limeade, and here’s my mom’s latest creation: home canned Peach Mango Drink Concentrate.
Home Canned Peach Mango Drink Concentrate
4 cups peeled & diced peaches
2 cups peeled & diced mango
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice*
Up to 6 cups sugar
In a food processor, blender or bullet puree fruit in batches.
Transfer puree to a stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat. DO NOT BOIL. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine.
Using a thermometer heat to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Because this recipe has sugar it will get to temperature rather quickly so keep your eye on the thermometer. Remove from heat.
Ladle mixture into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim, add hot lids and tighten rings just finger tight. Process in water bath canner at a boil for 15 minutes.
To reconstitute, mix one part concentrate with one part water. Adjust concentrate to suit your taste by adding more water to make it less tart or sweet. You may also use one part concentrate to one part ice and blend in a blender. (Add more ice if too strong.)
*You can use bottled lemon juice for this recipe as well!!!
**If you do not want to process this concentrate in canning jars, freeze the concentrate in 1 to 2 cup portions.
My mom’s been busy! She’s come up with several other flavor combinations, too.
- Pina Colada Lemonade (she’s the Teresa mentioned in the blog post.)
- Peach Mangaloupe Lemonade
- Cranberry Lemonade
- And I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting something!
For more information about getting started with canning, check out my Canning 101 page.