Have you ever had this situation? You buy a huge watermelon and lot of other fruit because you are going to a barbecue and want to bring a fruit salad. The barbecue is cancelled. Yikes. What do you do with all that leftover fruit? Especially if you live alone?
Of course you can make smoothies. But it’s likely that most or at least some of the fruit won’t last long enough to use it up. You could freeze it, IF you have room in the freezer.
When you realize that some of your leftover fruit is getting a little limp, do you just throw it out? I mean, compost is great and all, but I don’t want to throw delicious fruit in the heap if I don’t have to.
Well, I found myself in just this situation today. I had stupidly bought a big watermelon. It turned out to not be that sweet, so I wasn’t motivated to eat it. There it sat, taking up space in my small fridge. I also had some strawberries, blueberries and grapes I’d bought on sale that were past their prime. What to do?
Then I remembered I also had some bubbly soda water (also bought on sale), and a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea came to me: I’d cook the fruit down into a soda flavoring syrup.
You can do this with any fruit. And any combination of fruits. So go wild.
I didn’t follow any recipe. I just cut up everything I had in relatively small pieces, put it all in a big pot on low heat, and let it simmer most of the day. Once all the fruit was pretty soft, I used my handheld blender on it. If you don’t have one, you could blend it a little at a time in a regular blender.
I continued cooking the fruit mixture until it was reduced by about half. Then I tasted it and added just a bit of both sugar and lemon juice until it tasted right.
At this point, I could have stopped, refrigerated the result and used it as it was, pulp and all, but I prefer my fizzy drinks to be clear, so I strained the slush through cheesecloth. (What’s left in the cheesecloth can be cooked down to really nice fruit butter, so don’t throw it out.)
Now I have about two quarts of fruit flavored “syrup.” It’s not really as thick as syrup, but I guess that’s technically what it is. I’ll use it to make homemade sodas for these hot summer days. And it’s great for flavoring tea as well.
Experiment, and above all, HAVE FUN! We want to know how it turned out, so please comment below if you try it.