Alternatives to flavoured sugar can be hard to find. Your kids might want sweet things, but knowing there are some unsafe ingredients may make you hesitant to bring them into your house.
There is the standard maple syrup and honey option. But you can also make your own flavoured syrup. This is something you can use to make popsicles or your own soda. And after a while you can reduce the amounts of sugar you use to make it less and less sweet. Making it more and more healthy and weaning your kids off sugar, or keeping them off sugar.
The recipe is simple and so is the method to reduce it. And you can swap blueberries for pretty much any other berry.
Healthy Organic Blueberry Syrup Recipe
5 cups organic blueberries, washed
1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1 organic lemon, whole, washed
Method of preparation:
Using a sharp paring knife (or a potato peeler), peel three or four strips of lemon peel from the lemon. Skin should be about 1/2 inch wide and not have too much of the bitter pith or white part on it. Then juice the lemon, and set both zest and juice aside. (Using a potato peeler can reduce the amount of pith you get while skinning the lemon).
Place blueberries and water in a medium pot. Don’t worry about stems or leaves; they will be strained out later. Using a potato masher, crush the berries. (It’ll be easier if you let them soften a bit in the hot water.)
Over medium-high heat, bring the berries and water to a boil. Then lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer berries for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will darken considerably.
Remove pot from heat and ladle berries into a fine sieve set over a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup. Using the back of a smaller ladle, press on the berry solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids.
Return the blueberry juices to the pot, then add the lemon peel (not juice yet) and the sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and stir to combine. Boil another minute or two. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Remove lemon zest.
Using a funnel, pour syrup into clean jars. Top with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to three months, or the freezer for up to nine.
You can replace blueberries with blackberries or raspberries. You could also swap it for other fruit, so long as you adjust boiling time. I like pear syrup.
The syrup can be put to use on pancakes, over ice cream, to flavour Greek yogurt, in your morning oatmeal, it also makes a great white wine sangria base. Or you can use it in popsicles or soda for your kids.
If you’re making popsicles remove the leaves and the stems before you boil the fruit. Save the mashed fruit for use in the popsicles to add more flavour and more fiber! Steps:
Put the mash into the bottom of your popsicle container.
Mix the syrup into cold water, pour over mash.
Cover in saran wrap, fit your popsicle stick into the center. Freeze overnight.
Pour syrup into glass
Pour carbonated water overtop syrup
Image source: http://www.framedrecipes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DSC_7343_Blueberry_Sparkler_Final1.jpg