Punch, in honor of the new digs

In honor of my redesign, courtesy of my crafty and talented friend Tara, I'm serving punch today!

Be patient with me as I "move in" to this new space.  The links above have no actual links in them yet.  My blogging time works out to about 45 minutes a day if I'm lucky, so I'm going to slowly "unpack" a few boxes one night at a time.

A favorite punch recipe in my family is Luscious Slush Punch from allrecipes.com.  It's hard for something to not be delicious with a whopping TWO AND A HALF CUPS OF SUGAR in it.  Wowzers!  I set out to "healthify" it for Jack's birthday party this past weekend.  Judging by the almost empty punch bowl, I believe it was a big hit with adults and family alike.  Even better, it was made without any sugar.

Healthier Slush Punch, ala Sarah
1 large (42 oz?) container of unsweetened pineapple juice
1 quart of orange juice (I used homemade juice that I had in my freezer)
3 tblsp of unsweetened gelatin
1/2 cup of honey (raw and local if you can get it)
2/3 cup of lemon juice
1 lb of organic strawberries (I used frozen)
Sparkling water, or a "clear" soda (I used 1/2 sparkling water, and 1/2 Fresca.  Ohhhh bad hippy)

1) If using frozen strawberries, thaw them out.

2) Using a food process or immersion blender, process the strawberries until liquid.
Note to self: clean your nasty ass kitchen window.
3) Add 3 tblsp of unsweetened gelatin to the strawberries, and mix.

4) In a dutch oven or other pot, heat the honey, pineapple, lemon, and orange juice until the honey has dissolved.  Add the strawberry mixture, and stir until pretty well combined.

5) Pour in to containers, and freeze.  If using canning jars, make sure you leave 1 inch of space between the top of the liquid and the lid of the jar!  Also, only freeze in wide-mouth jars.
6) A few hours prior to serving, take the "punch" from the freezer and let thaw a little bit.  Chop it up with a spoon (it should remain slushy), and add to a punch bowl.  Pour in your sparkling water, and top with slices of organic oranges.

My recipe makes more of a sparkling juice than an actual "punch", but people still very much enjoyed it!

Cost - let's run the numbers
Pineapple juice - $2.39.  I couldn't find organic.  Blast
Orange juice - from a batch I made in winter.  Maybe $2?
Unflavored gelatin - I get it in bulk from Azure Standard...let's say $.35
Organic frozen strawberries - $2.50
Lemon juice - $1.59
Organic orange - $.89
Raw, local honey - $1 max
Sparkling drinks - $5
Total: $15.72

Seems expensive, but there were probably 35 people at our house on Sunday, and we didn't run out of punch.  Assuming everyone had about two glasses, that means that my one batch of punch cost about $.22 a glass.  Soda for 35 people would be much closer to $.66 per person (assuming people drink multiple cups or cans), but the fact that I sent kids home without a sugared-punch buzz was worth it in my opinion.

I however take zero responsibility for the cake they consumed.   It was, um, whole wheat at least!

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