Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Strawberry Lemonade

 I think one of the BEST parts about living in Southern California is the strawberry season.  You can start getting (semi) local strawberries by the end of January, and you can milk that season through when everyone else in the country eats them.

It seems as though the local stands sell them for about 8 straight months.

Consequently, I can't always make the same strawberry shortcakes, strawberry jams, and strawberries with cream every day.  Even though I would love to eat strawberries every day of my life, my husband doesn't quite align with my sentiment.

So?  I found a recipe for a lemonade concentrate.  So "easy," and simple, plus you don't have to worry about any added preservatives or gross-ness.

6 cups of strawberry puree (about 2-3lbs whole fruit)
4 cups of fresh lemon juice (about 3-4lbs whole fruit)
1/4 cup of sugar - 6 cups of sugar depending on the sweetness.  Original recipe called for 6, I used 1/4 cup.  You're call, obviously.
5+ freezable containers.
Liquid to un-concentrate later (Sprite, Ginger Ale, Water, Seltzer Water, or whatever you'd like).

1. Stem and hull strawberries.  Throw into your food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Juice a lot of lemons.  Add to strawberry puree.
3. Add sugar to taste.
4.  Place into freezable containers.  After the concentrate freezes, you can pop the cubes out and place them in a zip-lock bag.
5. When you're ready to enjoy the beverage, thaw your concentrate and use an equal proportion (or more) of the liquid (I used about 3/4 C Diet Sprite to 1/2 C concentrate, and loved it).

* You can also process the concentrate through a water boil method for canning, but I didn't want to waste the jars on something so easily frozen.
** These would also make a good smoothie base.

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