I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive ingredients that can be used in lots of recipes. I’m especially happy when I find unexpected uses for a common ingredient. I was wandering the frozen foods aisle and did a double take on a can of frozen lemonade. The wheels began to turn.
I keep frozen juice concentrate in the freezer at all times. Lemonade is a particular favorite because it’s a useful ingredient for many different beverages and much more.
Some beverage ideas: Add strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to make fruity lemonade. Add mint or basil for a sophisticated twist. Mix lemonade with different soft drinks, like lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, for bubbly treats. Or mix with iced tea to make an Arnold Palmer.
Summer cocktails come to life mixed with lemonade. Who doesn’t enjoy a hard lemonade slushy by the pool? Or a Lynchburg lemonade mixed with whiskey? Lemonade even makes a perfect base for a margarita.
How about dessert? Since frozen is as frozen does, here’s the classic frozen lemonade ice box pie. Remember that one?
LEMONADE ICE BOX PIE
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container whipped topping, thawed
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
In a mixing bowl, blend the first three ingredients. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and freeze until solid. Tart and creamy, cold and dreamy.
But here’s where I got excited! I thought, what is frozen lemonade? It’s a concentrate of lemon juice, citrus pulp, lemon oil and sugar. You know what else uses those ingredients? Marinades. Especially marinades for chicken and pork. I can feel your skepticism. Stick with me!
I went all “mad scientist” in the kitchen and played around until I came up with two marinade recipes that all my taste testers loved. I promise, they’re not sweet! Here are the winners.
Both recipes make 1 cup of potent marinade, enough for 3-4 pounds of your preferred chicken pieces.
LEMON, ROSEMARY AND GARLIC MARINADE
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic cloves, crushed (or more!)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
In a gallon-size resealable food storage bag, combine lemonade concentrate, Worcestershire, vinegar, garlic, rosemary and onion powder. Add chicken pieces, seal the bag and smush to blend. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour or, even better, overnight. Optional — before you add the chicken, reserve 1/4 cup of marinade and mix with 1 cup plain yogurt to make a delicious sauce for the chicken.
LEMON, GINGER AND SOY MARINADE
6 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
In a gallon-size resealable food storage bag, combine lemonade concentrate, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper. Add chicken pieces, seal bag and smush to blend. Marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
To cook the chicken — Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. You can also grill, broil or pan fry this chicken.
Please note lemonade concentrate comes in two sizes: 6 and 12 ounces. These recipes call for 6 ounces, so you may get two recipes from one can. When buying concentrate, purchase brands that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup. They may cost a few cents more, but it’s truly worth it.
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website ‘Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!’ Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at email@example.com
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