Homemade Reduced-Sugar Strawberry Milk – Savor the flavor of early summer with this wonderfully tasty and nutritious alternative to those sugary drinks!
Throughout the spring and early summer my 18-month-old son has been sporting a pink mustache. He’s not an early bloomer or anything like that… He just likes strawberry milk.
Both of my kids are constantly asking for sweetened drinks. It’s “Mommy can I have juice or soda or chocolate milk, or this sugary sweet hyperactive diabetes drink?” The answer is most often a resounding “no.” I’m an RN after all, and I get how bad sweet drinks are for little kids (and big kids too). Sadly, my “no’s” are often met with tears and “no fairs.”
As the weather gets warmer, however, and I try to keep the kids well-hydrated, they sometimes get that sweet “yes” that they’ve been waiting for. After being a mom for the last 7 years, I’ve collected a few “getting the kids to eat better” tricks up my sleeve. There’s the classic watered-down juice. I’ve also gotten my kids to be the only ones in the neighborhood that will actually drink fresh citrus-flavored soda water.
My latest trick is Homemade Reduced-Sugar Strawberry Milk. It’s lightly sweetened with just 3 Tbsp of honey for 6 servings. Traditional strawberry milk uses a half cup of granulated sugar! The other great thing about making your own strawberry milk is that you get the nutritional benefit of the strawberries plus the milk. Benefits like vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin D. This strawberry milk is guaranteed to grow pink mustaches that will make both the kids and mom and dad smile!
- 1 lb (about 3 heaping cups) hulled and quartered strawberries
- ¼ C water
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1-6 C dairy or non-dairy milk*
- 3-4 Tbsp strawberry sauce
- 2 drops vanilla extract (optional)
- Wash, hull, and quarter the strawberries and combine in a saucepan with the water and honey.
- Over high heat bring the strawberry mixture to a boil. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes taking care to stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for about 1 hour until it comes to room temperature. You can expedite this by placing it in the refrigerator or the freezer.
- Once the strawberry sauce is room temperature, purée it until smooth with a hand blender or a traditional blender.
- Strain the sauce through a fine metal strainer and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The finished sauce can all be used immediately or it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 1 year (think strawberry milk in February).
- To make the strawberry milk, just mix together 1 cup of milk with 3-4 Tbsp of strawberry sauce and a couple of drops of vanilla extract as desired. Stir to combine and serve immediately.