How To Make Fresh Blackberry Juice -- Without A Juicer
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Freshly made blackberry juice is a summer picnic staple in my family.
It's cool, refreshing, and has the taste of long afternoons in the park, gathering berries with friends and family to take home and create fantastic foods and drinks with.
It's surprisingly easy to make, and a wonderful alternative to all the super sweet blackberry desserts that proliferate through the summer months.
I usually don't sweeten it, but you certainly can! It's delicious either way.
- 1 gallon blackberries
- 2 cups water
- sugar, [optional]
- Pick your blackberries. Try to get extra sweet and ripe ones, avoid any that don't come off the stem easily or still have red one them.
- Rinse the berries in cold water to remove any dust, debris, thorns, and leaves
- Put berries in a pot with 2 cups water, and use a potato masher to mash them well.
- Bring to simmer and let simmer for 10 mins
- Pour through a colander. Mash them around with a wooden spoon to get as much juice as possible from them.
- Pour the resulting juice through a finer-mesh strainer. I repeat this a couple of times to make sure all the seeds are gone.
- Add sugar, if desired. If you blackberries are less sweet, you might want it. Mine usually don't need any.
- Serve and enjoy!
Make sure your berries are well-washed, and place them in a large pot with about 2 cups of fresh water. Dig out your colander, a large strainer, a wooden spoon, and a potato masher -- you'll be needing them all soon!
Mashing the berries
Using the potato masher, crush the berries into a fine mush. The fewer whole berries floating around, the better. You want to release as much of the juice as possible!
Turn the burner on, and bring the berries up to a simmer -- not a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, making sure to stir now and then so the berries don't stick or burn.
Run the resulting berry soup through a colander into another pot. This is where your spoon comes in -- use it to mash the berries around to squeeze out as much juice as you can. Once you're satisfied, set the pulpy seeds aside.
Take your liquid and run it through a fine-mesh strainer to catch the seeds that made it through the colander, and you've got juice!
What to do with the pulp?
Don't toss it out quite yet! If you like, you can add water to the pulp and simmer it a bit more, and you'll end up with a second batch -- not quite as strong as the first, but still quite delicious.
When you're done with the pulp you can spread it in your garden. The seeds won't sprout since it's been boiled, and it makes a good soil amendment.
Variations on this recipe
It's possible make the juice without cooking it, which results in a very different flavor. If you like your berries better raw, try it that way!
All you have to do is a bit more mashing of the berries, and eliminate the simmering step.