If you have a lot of fresh Aronia berries, but don’t know what to do with all of them, you can make some concentrated aronia berry juice and can or freeze it for future use. Making juice concentrate is easy, it only requires a few kits and about ½ day of your time.
Things you will need to squeeze juice
16 pounds fresh aronia berries, dark blue
4 cups of Fructevia (natural sweetener without aftertaste)
Apple Cider Press and Large Plastic Container
Method 1 use cider press
- Rinse the frozen aronia berries in the large metal strainer under cold water to remove any residue, insects, or pesticides. Stir the berries in the strainer while rinsing the berries.
- Carefully place 16 pounds of the cleaned aronia berries into the apple cider press.
- With the apple cider, press the aronia berries to squeeze the juice. This pressing squeezes the liquid and separates it from the pulp.
- For the resulting liquid in 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 pot and place the pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, while adding the Fructevia, after about two minutes turn off the stove.
- Can aronia berry be concentrated and stored in a cool, dark place for later use? Here are two reasons to process your juice instead of freezing it: # 1 If the power goes out, you can lose your juice. # 2 you only have limited freezer space
- Alternatively, allow the liquid to cool and pour the liquid into freezer containers. You can use this concentrate to make drinks or gelatin. For about 1/3 cup of this aronia berry juice concentrate, you can prepare about a liter of aronia berry drink by adding it to carbonated water. To make gelatin you need to use low methoxy pectin.
Method 2, use a stainless steel steam juicer
- Wash the aronia berries, leave the berries on their stems, and immerse the entire cluster in a sink with cold water.
- Fill the bottom section of the steam juicer with water and heat to a boil. As you prepare your juice, watch the water level in this lower section and make sure it doesn’t dry out.
- Fill the top section of the steam juicer with clean aronia berries and place the lid on top.
- The berries will cook and shrink as the juice is steamed. 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 center section of the steam juicer. Drain the juice by releasing the rubber tube after a couple of liters have accumulated in the center section.
- Keep track of the juice level in the center section. Do not allow the juice level to get as high as the level of the middle cone or the juice will spill into the boiling water in the lower section of the steam juicer.
- Allow leftover pulp to drain overnight before discarding.
- Follow the simple standard packaging instructions for canning the juice. Add fructevia to each bottle to sweeten to taste. (usually about 2 cups per quart)
Tips and Warnings
- You can freeze the concentrate in ice cube trays, remove and store them in zip-lock bags. By adding two of these cubes to a glass of cold or carbonated water, you get a delicious and refreshing drink.
- You can make pure aronia juice or get creative in the varieties you create as you learn how to make aronia juice. For example, you can mix apple juice or grape juice with your aronia berry juice.
- Steam juicers do not create raw juice. Steam juicers cook the juice. A press does not cook the juice. When the product is heated in the steam juicer, the enzymes are lost and the destruction of other nutrients in the juice occurs. It is better to press the berries to produce juice because the enzymes are not destroyed.