When I was a kid, I really enjoyed a big spoonful of Nesquick Strawberry Powder or Carnation Strawberry Instant Breakfast Mix stirred into a glass of whole milk.
Little did I know how nasty that stuff truly is. My Mom didn’t know either as nutrition information wasn’t required on the label back in the day. She just assumed it was safe and that companies would do the right thing since the product was targeted at children.
Check out the ingredients of the Nesquick marketed by Nestle as “an irresistibly delicious, extra nutritious drink for your family” boasting “25% less sugar and specially fortified with added calcium, Vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals to help build strong bones”.
Nesquick Strawberry Powder Ingredients: SUGAR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CITRIC ACID, RED 40, SALT, BLUE 1. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: CALCIUM CARBONATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ZINC OXIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), COPPER GLUCONATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, BIOTIN
“Extra nutritious drink for your family” and “essential vitamins and minerals to help build strong bones?”
Seriously? You gotta wonder how these companies get away with this deceptive marketing language!
The first three ingredients of Nesquick are (GMO) sugar, artificial flavors, and neurotoxic, MSG laced citric acid! And, the list only goes downhill from there with a pathetic attempt by Nestle to somehow redeem the label with synthetic vitamins, completely indigestible inorganic calcium derived from rocks, and GMO derived, synthetic ascorbic acid masquerading as Vitamin C.
Fortunately, parents are wising up to Big Food’s preference for shareholder profits at the expense of their customers’ health and demonstrating their disdain by refusing to buy these toxic products in increasing numbers.
As a big fan of strawberry flavored milk, strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup on my pancakes, strawberry yogurt and the list goes on, I learned how to make homemade strawberry syrup to use in all my kitchen creations instead of the artificially flavored strawberry yuckies like Nesquick available at the supermarket.
You won’t believe how fast and easy it is to make a wholesome strawberry syrup yourself!
Strawberry Syrup is Best Made With Organic Strawberries
The one very strong suggestion I would have if you decide to make homemade strawberry syrup is to go to the extra expense of buying organic strawberries that are preferably not hydroponic.
Organic strawberries that are grown in the dirt have a flavor and taste that is far superior and will guarantee you the best tasting and most flavorful homemade strawberry syrup. Hydroponic strawberries are beautiful looking, but oversized and overloaded with water which will ultimately serve to dilute the flavor of your syrup.
And, since strawberries are one of the most highly sprayed crops, you will also guarantee a toxin free syrup by spending the extra money to go organic. This is the reason why I have only ever allowed my children to go strawberry picking at an organic farm even though we live in the heart of strawberry country here in Central Florida with conventional strawberry fields literally everywhere at certain times of the year.
Down to brass tacks. How do you make homemade strawberry syrup? With only 4 ingredients, believe it or not! Take that, Nesquick!
Homemade Strawberry Syrup
Makes approximately 1 cup of syrup of medium thickness
2 cups organic strawberries, preferably not hydroponic
1 cup filtered water
1 cup Grade B maple syrup or sustainably produced coconut sugar if a low glycemic syrup is desired (where to find)
2 tsp strawberry extract, optional, but strongly recommended (where to find)
Rinse your organic strawberries, slice off the crowns and cut in half.
Place sliced strawberries, filtered water, and sweetener of choice in a medium pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for a full 10 minutes.
Remove the lid of the pot and mash the strawberries thoroughly in the pot. Return the pot to the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes uncovered.
Strain strawberry mixture using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Return strained liquid to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes more to reduce and thicken the liquid. Watch the pot carefully to ensure it doesn’t boil down too quickly and burn the syrup.
Remove pot from heat and stir in optional strawberry extract.
Cool. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass jar. Syrup will keep for several weeks refrigerated.
Many Uses for Homemade Strawberry Syrup
I love to use my homemade strawberry syrup in a glass of milk as an occasional treat (2 tsp for an 8 oz glass). Note that it will only turn the milk a light pink color as there are obviously no artificial colors enhancing it!
Homemade strawberry syrup also makes a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles or mixed into homemade ice cream. Use your imagination and enjoy it whereever you might benefit from the taste of real strawberries!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Subscribe today and gain access to my exclusive & FREE weekly newsletter packed with the latest health news, Real Food recipes, video how-to's, special discounts and much more!