Mmm.. Homemade Lemonade!
I have to admit, one of my mommy pet peeves is juice. Once a child inevitable gets a taste of commercially processed juice at a birthday party or play date, then crave it, like sugar sucking zombies! Having a healthy alternative to HFCS filled foiled pouches is must during summer time.
This homemade lemonade cans up so easily, you’ll wonder why you’ve been buying expensive organic juice all this time. Not only will the kiddos love it, but adults will too. I can my batches up in quarts, which makes for a perfect gift to take to summer bbq.
Late last fall my parents retired and moved to Arizona for the winter, because apparently, that’s what you do when you retire. But don’t let them fool you, their not even old! Their just pretending to be, so they can flee negative temps and the 4 feet of snow, to go soak up some sun for 6 months. This meant two things to me.. 1.) Winter will be lonely on the farm without my momma and 2.) Fresh citrus! .. this alone might just be worth all that agony. Growing citrus on the homestead isn’t going to happen here any time soon, so I asked my parents to grab me a couple of boxes of lemons from the farmers market on their way back home. And lemons I got. 70 pounds of lemons to exact. Homemade lemonade was my first mission. I couldn’t wait to stock the pantry with antioxidant rich, tasty lemonade.
This recipe is super easy and the best part is, you can can it up and have the taste of summer all year round, even when its snowing and your wearing wool socks, like today.
- 24 large lemons
- 3.5 Cups of sugar
- 1 Cup water Per quart of juice
- Prepare water bath canner and lids according to manufacturer instructions.
- Wash and sterilize jars and utensils.
- Cut the lemons in half. Using a citrus reamer or juicer, juice the lemons, straining the seeds and pulp as you go. *see note
- In a nonreactive kettle, heat sugar, water and lemon juice until it reaches 190 degrees, hold juice at this temperature for 5 minutes.
- Carefully ladle lemonade into pint size canning jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.
- Wipe down rim and seal with lids and rings.
- Place in the hot water bath, once a rolling boil has occurred, can for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- Turn off heat and wait an additional 5 minutes prior to removing jars.
- Let jars sit untouched for 24 hours. Remove ring and store in a dark pantry for up to one year.
- RECONSTITUTE 1 part lemonade concentrate to 2 parts water
- Makes 5 Pints or 10½ Pints
You could make your job super easy and purchase one of these, or you can be a glutton for punishment and use one of these, like I did. I picked mine up at Target years ago in the dollar bin. Score! However, even juicing them by hand, it still only took me 30 minutes. And hey, tomorrow I won’t need to do a upper arm workout. Double win.
One large lemon should yield 1/4-1/2 cup of lemon juice. The end yield will depend on the amount of juice the lemons gave.
NOTE * Save your lemon seeds if your planning on doing any special jams, jellies or marmalade’s this year, as the seeds contain natural pectin.
For a fun adult twist, substitute the water for tonic and add a splash of vodka.
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