MTT: Homemade Squash

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Homemade squashWhen it comes to what my kids eat and drink I’ve always been a bit of a fanatic. I don’t really understand those who simply see food as fuel for their bodies; for my family it has always been a way to celebrate, get together, enjoy each other and eat something lovely. It’s an occasion and I think is evident in my (and by indoctrination, their ;) love of cooking and restaurants.

Homemade squash Homemade squashBecause of this I’ve always placed an emphasis on the importance of healthy eating with my children. Whether it’s kale, avocado or salmon… they’re pretty good at not being fussy and trying new things and I’m really proud of them for that. Even at the age of almost-five Elfie (and Hux!) has never tried a fizzy drink and is interested only in water or milk. I know some people might think I’m depriving them of the pleasures of fruit juice and squash but having heard nightmares about children as young as four having their rotten teeth pulled out I’m happy with a little bit of healthy deprivation.

They have recently become curious about what other children are drinking however and there was one occasion this supper I caved and let Hux try a Fruit Shoot (he basically went into spasms of joy).

Homemade squash

I’d never considered making our own healthy drinks before so when BRITA got in touch to suggest we had a go at creating one at home I thought it would be a great idea. A chance for me to get in the kitchen with Elfie (she loves it), talk about why we eat the way we do (oh god I’m starting to sound like a cult leader) and teach them why we pick healthy alternatives to some food and drinks. BRITA sent across one of their classic water filters and some recipes for us to base ours on and we got cracking.

I’ve never owned a BRITA filter and was amazed at the difference it made to the taste of our water. It definitely now has less of a chemical taste, it’s softer, much easier to drink and as I think it’s so noticeable as our area is hard water. The filter works by reducing impurities and chloring, resulting in the best possible taste. 
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(They’re standing on a little stool, FYI. Not giant children)

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Raspberry and Blackcurrant Homemade Squash

We decided to go for a berry infusion for our homemade squash, beginning by steeping two fruit teabags (Twinings are my favourite – we used Mango & Strawberry and Cranberry & Raspberry) in 210ml of BRITA water boiled on the hob and taken off the heat. Leave these in for about 15 minutes before removing.

Homemade Squash Homemade Squash

Then add your berries. We don’t use anything fancy – just 3tbsp of Waitrose’s Frozen Berry Smoothie Mix which I stick in my morning juices – and 1 or 2 tbsp of Maple Syrup (depending on how sweet you like things, I used 1). Simmer for around 10 minutes.

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Strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Discard your berrries or keep to serve with yoghurt or ice cream.

Fill a class about 1/4 full of your squash and top up with BRITA or sparkling water for a bit of fizz – this should serve around 4 people.

Refreshing when cold, warming when hot, yum!

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The homemade squash went down well with these two so we’ll definitely be making it again for a special treat. I loved the fact that I knew exactly what had gone into it – all natural, no nasties – so spent the evening polishing my mum halo.

Eat your heart out, Fruit Shoot.

 

10 Comments
  1. This sounds fantastic! Do you know how long this would keep? I am also thinking this might be great to freeze as ice cubes to put in (filfiltered) tab water. Thanks for this inspirational post!

  2. Before I had my kids, I heard too many parent’s tales of woe about how their kids would only drink squash and it cost them a fortune, wasn’t good for their teeth etc etc. It was no surprise when the majority had been giving it in bottles since their kids were nowt but a few months old. It seemed a no-brainer that kids can only refuse to drink anything other than squash if that was all they were given!

    I vowed to only let mine have water (and even milk in moderation, because I don’t believe it’s necessary) and lo and behold… they both happily drink water. I’m not a complete snob (honest) and they have actually both had squash (we like the very expensive/middle class Rock’s organic squash ;) ) and lemonade, but only as a treat.

    I must admit mind you, it’s all fairly academic when you consider I took them to McDonald’s last Friday and watched as they chowed down on salty fries and chicken nuggets. I guess I have to have something to be holier-than-thou about, haha ;)

    1. You’ve articulated this better than I ever could!

      It is completely easy to not wean your children on to a diet of squash and always seemed so easy to me – just don’t give it to them! I always feel like some sort of weird snob at birthday parties when I refuse the jugs of orange and purple squash doing the rounds and ask for water instead.

      I’ve never tried Rock’s! It’s going on the shopping list. The kids might not drink squash but I always find myself craving it if I’ve had a night drinking vino.

      (PS: Elfie totally embarrassed me the other day by asking if she could go to McDonald’s. I loudly said “Why, has Daddy taken you there?” to which she responded “No silly mummy, YOU DO!”. FYI I always order the water to go with their happy meals)

      1. What a great idea to make your own – I think I might have to have a go with D at this. He’s been allowed the odd bit of squash here and there but always very weak. He occasionally has fruit juice but never fizzy drinks… apart from sparkling water on occasion as a treat. So I guess I’m of a similar mindset as you.

        Your kids though – they are so cute. I love that third picture with Elfie smiling.

  3. Looks lovely! Re kids and eating, it’s funny how many different schools of thought there are, and how emotive (and sometimes judgmental!) other parents can get. I’ve always taken a very relaxed approach – my kids are between 3 and 15 now. At home, I always served unprocessed food that I cooked myself, but I’ve also never refused any requests. After the age of around 4ish, when the kids started going to other people’s houses, seeing what their friends had in lunch boxes etc, this is when the outside influences started to creep in, and they would sometimes ask for things I hadn’t previously bought myself. I always said yes, because I believe that the minute something becomes “off limits”, the kids become more obsessed by it. And contrary to the horrified parents who thought I was a terrible mother when I agreed to provide crisps on demand, etc – the fact that I did, meant they weren’t demanded that much! Nothing is “only a treat” or rationed in our house, and honestly, there have never been any issues. The kids have always naturally found their own limits and preferences, and they genuinely enjoy healthy options 80-90% of the time. There have been fussy phases along the way when they were younger, but again, I believed the best way to get through these was not to make them a big deal, or punish the kids in any way – eg, when my son was 7, he announced he wanted to eat only cheesy pasta FOREVER. So he got it for dinner for two days, and then on the third day, when the rest of us we’re enjoying something else, the phase ended. I also remember a time when my daughter was around 8, and she had a friend over. I asked what they wanted for snacks and the friend asked what was “allowed” – I told the girls that anything was allowed, which has always been the case. My daughter, who could have had crisps or chocolate if she wanted, chose a yogurt. Her friend, whose mother was normally very strict with food, couldn’t believe what was on offer, and asked for both crisps and chocolate! I have so many other anecdotes like this – I’m not saying I’m right, but this has always worked well for our family :)
    One more thing – when my youngest (aged 3) is happily smearing chocolate cake across her face, I remind myself that I’m glad food isn’t yet “an issue” for her – and sadly know that one day it may well be. I’ve always been careful not to promote dieting and calorie obsessions and the idea of good and bad foods, but you can’t control the outside influences as they get older. It’s sadly been years since I saw my 15 year old daughter pig out on chocolate cake with guilt-free joy – now (whilst she doesn’t have an eating disorder or anything like that), she and her girlfriends are all obsessed with staying a size 8, and rarely “treat” themselves. So enjoy their childish love for all foods whilst it lasts :)

  4. I love that you english call it squash I was thinking at first it was going to be actual squash not juice. lol Your little ones are so adorable and how much do they look alike now. WOW. I can’t believe how grown up they are getting. So adorable and definitely eat your heart out fruit shoot. hahah Not sure what that is but I am assuming an english version of kids store bought juice. hahaha Lovely photos and post darling.

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