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What says summer, more than icy cold — sweet and juicy — watermelon? It’s definitely one of my favorite warm, weather indulgences! Kool-Aid’s new ready-to-serve, 96 ounce bottles made it easy for me to meld that favorite flavor with some lime and jalapeno to come up with a kickin’ sweet Jalapeno Lime Watermelon Jelly recipe for our family to enjoy, this summer. It’s so quick and easy, you’ll have a batch put together in under 30 minutes and have jelly to enjoy as well as to share. What a great treat to add to an Easter Basket, to give as a hostess gift or as part of a gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day! Flavor builds upon flavor as your tastebuds experience, first, the sweetness of watermelon with the slight tang of lime; and then are called to attention with the slight heat of the jalapeno at the finish. Fruit drinks are more than just beverages, my friends. You can get incredibly creative and make some fabulous summertime recipes! Enjoy this one and then put your crafty pants on and create something spectacular in your own kitchen. I know you can do it!
- 7 Tablespoons pectin
- 1 Watermelon Kool-Aid packet, (unsweetened powder)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups ready-to-drink Watermelon Kool-Aid
- 1 medium lime, juice and zest
- 1 jalapeno
- Mix the sugar and pectin in a large, deep pan. Make sure to choose a pot with enough extra room to allow the jelly mixture to boil up double in height in the pan.
- Add the Watermelon Kool-Aid packet and stir to combine. (This picture shows three packets, but you only need one for the recipe.)
- Pour in the ready-to-drink Kool-Aid.
- Add the lime juice and zest.
- Cut four slits down the sides of the jalapeno without cutting all the way to the end. This will allow some of the heat from the veins and seeds of the jalapeno to cook into your jelly, without having to strain seeds out at the end.
- Bring the jelly mixture with the jalapeno, to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of your pan, being careful that it is immersed in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pan.
- The jelly should come to a full-rolling boil. You can reduce the heat slightly, if necessary to keep it from boiling over, but keep the heat high enough that it continues to vigorously boil. This is evaporating excess water and thickening your jelly.
- Boil the jelly until it reaches 225 degrees on your candy thermometer.
- Remove the jalapeno.
- Pour the jelly into clean, hot canning jars. I used ½ pint jars, but pint or quart jars will work, too. Be sure your jars are warm, so they don't break when you pour the hot jelly into them. The easiest way for me to prep canning jars is to run them through the quick-cycle on my dishwasher.
- Place the jar flats and bands on the jars and screw them on tight. At this point, you can decide to keep all your jam in the fridge. It will easily keep up to 6 weeks. As a matter of fact, the jars will probably seal on their own, as they cool. However, for long-term storage, outside the refrigerator, you will need to process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes, or the recommended time for your altitude. For detailed information and pictures on how to complete this simple water-bath canning process, read the post I did about making Strawberry Jam. You'll be shocked at how easy it is!
This recipe was even simpler because of being able to use the new Ready-to-Drink Kool-Aid. It is available in three flavors, Fruit Punch, Watermelon and Grape. It was a snap to find at my local Walmart. At our store the display was right in the juice and beverage aisle next to the other Kool-Aid products. Some stores will even have an island display in the center aisle, so check both locations at your own store.
Thanks to Kool-Aid, and their #KoolOff campaign, a few of our lucky Busy-at-Home readers may have Jim Dillard, pro fisherman, coming to their local Walmart, throughout June and August! There will be product giveaways, t-shirts, games, and more fun activities! The participating stores and dates are: Friday May 30th 5-7pm: 13675 Highway 43 Russellville, AL WM Supercenter, Saturday May 31st 3-5pm: 3100 Hough Rd Florence, AL WM Supercenter, Saturday May 31st 6-8pm: 517 Avalon Ave Muscle Shoals, AL WM Supercenter, Friday June 20th 5-7pm: 1210 Mineral Wells Ave Paris, TN WM Supercenter, Saturday June 21st 3-5pm: 1225 Paris Rd Murray, KY WM Supercenter, Saturday June 21st 6-8pm: 809 N 12th St Murray, KY WM Supercenter, Friday August 8th 5-7pm: 360 Harbison Blvd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter, Saturday August 9th 3-5pm: 1326 Bush River Rd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter, Saturday August 9th 6-8pm: 2401 Augusta Rd West Columbia, SC WM Supercenter.
The fantastic 3/4 gallon bottles of Kool-Aid fruit drink are an ingenious idea – not just for quick and easy recipes, like my Jalapeno Lime Watermelon Jelly, but as a time and mess saver at picnics and birthday parties in the park, or even at your neighborhood barbecue. If you’ve ever tried to transport a pitcher of fruit juice or drinks, you’ll agree with me, that the size and shape of the bottle, along with the sealed lid, make it a much easier solution to the outdoor beverage problem. And the hand grips molded into the bottle, make it super easy to handle and to pour. I envision all kinds of quick and easy summer treats, like popsicles, cupcakes with Kool-Aid frosting and some Kool-Aid ice cream!
Kool-Aid’s Facebook page has some great ideas and tips for using Kool-Aid in recipes and craft projects. Be sure to check them out! What delicious ideas do you have for using quick and easy, ready -to-drink Kool-Aid, this summer? I can’t wait to hear what you would make!