If you have an abundance of fresh Aronia berries, but you don’t know what to do with all of them, you can make some concentrated aronia berry juice and can it or freeze it for future use. Making juice concentrate is easy requiring just a few pieces of equipment and about ½ day of your time,
Things you will need for pressing juice
16 lbs. fresh, dark blue aronia berries
4 cups of Fructevia (natural sweetener with no bad after taste)
Apple Cider press and Large plastic container
Method 1 use cider press
- Rinse the frozen aronia berries in the large metal strainer with cold water to remove any debris, bugs or pesticide. Stir the berries in the strainer while rinsing the berries.
- Carefully pour 16 lbs of the cleaned aronia berries into the apple cider press.
- Using the apple cider press on the aronia berries squeeze out the juice. This pressing squeezes out the liquid and separates it from the pulp.
- Pour the resulting liquid into a container. There should be about 1-gallon of juice. Add 4 cups of Fructevia or sweeten to taste.
- Pour the resulting liquid into the stockpot, and place the stockpot onto the stove. Bring to a rolling boil, while stirring in the Fructevia, after about two minutes turn off the stove.
- Can the aronia berry concentrate and store it in a cool dark place for later use. Here are two reasons for processing your juice instead of freezing it: # 1 if the electricity goes out you might lose your juice. # 2 you have only limited space in the freezer
- Alternately let the liquid cool and pour the liquid into containers for freezing. You can use this concentrate to make drinks or jelly. For about 1/3 cup of this aronia berry juice concentrate, you can make about one quart of aronia berry drink by adding it to the carbonated water. To make jelly you need to use Low-methoxyl pectin.
Method 2, use a stainless steel steam juicer fresh Aronia berries
- Wash the aronia berries leave the berries on their stems and submerge the entire bunch in a sink of cold water.
- Fill the bottom section of the steamer juicer with water and heat to boiling. As you make your juice, watch the water level in this bottom section making sure it doesn’t run dry.
- Fill the top section of the steamer juicer with clean aronia berries, and put the lid on top.
- The berries will cook down and shrink as the juice is steamed out of them. Add more berries to the top of the basket as the berries begin to shrink.
- The heat from the steam will cook the aronia berries. The aronia berry juice will drain into the middle section of the steamer juicer. Drain the juice by unclamping the rubber tube after a couple quarts have collected in the middle section.
- Keep track of the juice level in middle section. Do not let the juice level get as high as the level of the middle cone or the juice will spill over into the boiling water in the bottom section of the steam juicer.
- Let the leftover pulp drain overnight before discarding it.
- Follow simple standard canning instructions to can the juice. Add fructevia to each bottle to sweeten to taste. (usually about 2 cups per quart)
Tips & Warnings fresh Aronia berries
- You can freeze the concentrate in ice-cube trays pop them out and store in zip lock bags. By adding two of these cubes to a cold glass of water or carbonated water, makes a delicious and refreshing drink.
- You can make straight aronia berry juice or get creative in the varieties you create as you learn how to make aronia berry juice. You can for example mix apple juice or grape juice in with your aronia berry juice.
- Steam juicers do not create uncooked juice. Steam juicers cook the juice. A press does not cook the juice. When the produce is heated in the steam juicer enzymes are lost and destruction of other nutrients in the juice occurs. Pressing the berries to produce juice is best because enzymes are not destroyed.