Making your own blueberry juice concentrate creates fresher-tasting results than store-purchased versions offer by heating and mashing fresh blueberries. Store-bought juice concentrates often contain artificial sweeteners, but you can use sugar, honey, agave syrup or even other fruit juices to naturally sweeten homemade concentrates. Finishing with fresh-squeezed lemon juice adds a touch of bright acidity to the finished product.
Start to Finish: Around 30 minutes
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Servings: Around 4 cups
Difficulty Level: Beginner
- 2 pints of blueberries
- 1 cup sweetener of your choice (sugar, honey, agave syrup) or more, to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Water (enough to just cover the blueberries)
Step 1: Clean the Blueberries
Rinse the blueberries under cold, running water. Carefully pick through the blueberries, removing any stems or debris that may be present.
Step 2: Simmer and Mash the Blueberries
Add the blueberries to a saucepan and cover with just enough water to make them float. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Mash the blueberries with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the sweetener of your choosing and bring the sauce to a rolling boil, then remove the pan from heat. Let the blueberries cool slightly.
Step 3: Strain the Blueberry Concentrate
Strain the contents of the saucepan through a fine mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze the remaining juice from the blueberries, or twist the cheesecloth closed around the blueberries and squeeze. Discard of the blueberry remnants.
Step 4: Prepare for Storage or Use
Pour in 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and stir. Divide the blueberry juice concentrate among ice cube trays and freeze, or dilute with three to four parts water to reconstitute it as drinkable juice.
It’s better to under-sweeten your blueberry concentrate than overdo it. You can always add additional sweetness later.
Be careful when working with blueberries as they stain. Wear an apron to protect your clothes and rubber gloves to protect your hands if you anticipate handling the blueberries during the process.