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Chokecherry syrup made from wild fruit

Food safety starts with cleaning!

Wash hands for 20 seconds

  • Wet hands under hot running water. Add lots of soap.
  • Rub and wash back of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse well under running water.
  • Dry with paper towels.
  • Use paper to turn off the water faucet.

Clean and sanitize sink and counter tops

  • Wash counter tops and prep sinks with hot soapy water.
  • Fill squirt bottle with 1 quart water. Add 1 teaspoon of unscented regular chlorine bleach or ¾ unscented ultra (6% sodium hypochlorite) chlorine bleach. Or use commercially prepared cleaner and follow directions on label.
  • Spray counter tops and sink with bleach solution. Let air dry.
  • Wash hands.

Clean as you go

  • Wash dishes, utensils, cutting boards, etc. in hot soapy water.
  • Let air dry.
chokecherry tree

Chokecherry syrup recipe 

Wild fruits from Minnesota's fields and woods can make very good syrups. Extraction of juice from the fruit is the first step in the preparation of fruit syrup.

Steps for extracting juice

  • Use ripe chokecherries, wash in cool running water.
  • Place in a stainless steel or enamel kettle.
  • Cover with water
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until soft.
  • Cool and strain through cheesecloth or a damp jelly bag.
  • A pound of chokecherries will yield close to 2 cups of juice.

When extracting juice from chokecherries DO NOT crush the seeds. These seeds contain a cyanide-forming compound which can cause illness or death if eaten in large amounts. Chokecherry recipes often mention crushing but this procedure should not be followed.


  • 4 cups chokecherry juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ package powdered pectin


  1. Combine ingredients and boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilized canning jars. Seal with two-piece canning lids.
  3. Process in a boiling water bath. The time in the boiling water bath varies by elevation. For Minnesota, it is 5 minutes for half or quarter pints and 10 minutes for pint jars.

Isabel D. Wolf and William Schafer

Reviewed in 2018

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