Contributor post written by Renee from Raising Generation Nourished
I remember that bright yellow and pink bottle being brought out just a few select times in my childhood. We drank a lot of milk, but very rarely got to “flavor” it with strawberry syrup. I remember the syrup experience being super exciting and really loving it.
Of course now I know better. That pink bottle filled with red 40 dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and other toxic additives is anything but an innocent treat. Not a strawberry to be seen on that ingredient label, but real strawberry milk syrup is quite easily replicated. Go figure…strawberries and a little honey!
I originally wanted to take a bit of a shortcut to create a strawberry syrup recipe and just put milk, strawberries, and honey in my blender and let it go. While it was tasty, and my girls were all over it (they have never had flavored milk before – other than a smoothie), I know there will be some children not too keen on the seeds left behind. I think a high powdered blender would take care of them, but I was curious how taking the extra step of making a smooth strawberry syrup (similar to the bottled syrup sold in the store, but with real ingredients) would make a difference.
It was a big difference. Just 15 minutes in a saucepan transforms the strawberries and honey into that super sweet strawberry flavor that easily beats out that yellow and pink bottle in a taste test (although I don’t recommend a taste test with the latter).
We still won’t see fresh strawberries where I live until about June. We will U-Pick a major haul in the summer to stash away in the freezer, so we were able to enjoy this syrup with summer-sweet strawberries. If you purchase store-bought out of season strawberries, you may need to bump up the honey for additional sweetness. The strawberries I purchased to take the photos in this post looked pretty, but the flavor sure wasn’t what we are used to picking in June!
This was such a fun treat, and I think it would be great for not only Valentine’s Day, but to serve in small glasses with fun straws at a birthday party with real strawberry cake and real strawberry ice cream! The strawberry syrup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge – let the kids stir up their own strawberry milk upon serving!
DIY Strawberry Syrup For Strawberry Milk (Dye and Refined Sugar Free!)
- 2 cups strawberries frozen or fresh
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey add more if you want a sweeter syrup
- Put everything in a small sauce pan and bring the ingredients to a simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally squishing the strawberries along the way.
- Strain the syrup. Be sure to squish the strawberries with the back of your spoon to get all the juice out. (Save the left behind strawberries to put in your morning smoothie, or top on vanilla ice cream.)
- Use 3-4 tablespoons of syrup per 1 cup of milk (raw/grass-fed is preferable or whole coconut milk if you are dairy free).