With summer coming, I’m always on the lookout for ways to stay hydrated without the sugar overload.
Zero waste pineapple shrub
Take your pineapple. Remove the top (you can grow a pineapple plant from this if you like) and cut off all the skin. Chop up the flesh, and refrigerate to eat later (reserve the juice). You can add the core to the shrub or pickle them.
Cut the skin into small pieces and place in a large, sterilised glass jar. If you like ginger, add a tablespoon or so of grated root ginger. Sprinkle two tablespoons of raw sugar (or your favourite sweetener, I used half sugar/half maple syrup) and cover with apple cider vinegar. Stir. Add a lid or a muslin cloth held in place with an elastic band.
Leave covered out of direct sunlight for two days, stirring a couple of times a day.
Before decanting, taste a little bit of the undiluted shrub. Sugar softens a little of the acidity but it’s not a sweet drink. If it needs more, add some maple syrup (or sugar syrup) and give it a stir.
Place a fine sieve over a wider mouthed jug or suitable vessel, and decant the shrub. Push on the pineapple skin to help squeeze out the juice. If you’d like a stronger pineapple flavour, blend the shrub with some of the fruit before bottling. I just added some of the reserved juice that had come out of the chopped fruit.
Pour the shrub into a sterilised bottle, attach the lid and store in the fridge. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of pineapple shrub to a glass of sparking water for a refreshing drink on a hot day.