Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cranberry "juice"

During our vacation (that by now you are probably clear that I won't stop talking about for a while :) Allie discovered little juice boxes. It was good to have a plan "B" for when Allie was getting too tired for vacation activities and give her a juice box that instantaneously made her happy, but now we find ourselves on an almost dangerous territory where the juice is all she wants to drink. As I said in one of my posts I am all for the moderate amount of juice for Allie, but I like it to be freshly squeezed, or real in other words. Juice in the box is, of course, not the same as the real stuff, but there isn't just enough hours in a day to squeeze the fresh juice out every time Allie asks for it. So here is the solution I found: I make a cranberry  drink that will keep in the fridge for an entire week. It's very healthy and tastes great. I offer it to Allie when she asks for her juice and she really enjoys it.

Cranberry "juice" recipe

12 oz bag whole fresh or frozen cranberries
5 Tbsp sugar
6 Cups water

Cranberries are at their pick right now, so you can buy them bagged at your grocery store. But when they are not in season, I make the same drink out of frozen cranberries. It's super quick and easy.

Before you do anything, start boiling 6 cups of water.

Rinse cranberries with lots of water. Discard the ones that are going bad (soft and discolored)

Sprinkle cranberries with sugar (feel free to add more sugar is the amount I indicated makes a drink that's still too tart for you/your child). Mix the sugar with the cranberries.

Once the water boils, transfer the cranberries and sugar mixture into the pot with the water. Cover, simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for another 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid into a clean dish that is heat resistant. I don't usually do anything with the pulp, but I am sure my aunt would make a pie with cranberry filling out of it. So feel free to recycle it. It would probably make a good addition to a smoothie.

Once it's cool, transfer the liquid into a container (or pitcher like I did) and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. 

You can also freeze some in the ice cube tray and have fancy and pretty looking ice cubes for your water or to flavor other drinks,

Cranberries have lots of antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. This drink is so great to give a boost to your little one's immune system this time of year!

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