These versatile syrups are great to have on hand for adding quick flavor and a hint of sweetness to beverages of all kinds. I sip on unsweetened naturally flavored waters most of the time; but sometimes I enjoy a little bit of sweetness in my beverages, too. The great thing about these syrups is that you can add a little or lot, depending on how much sweetness you prefer. They're a great way to wean yourself off of sugary beverages, too, by gradually adding less and less of them.
Natural, healthy ingredients. I like making my own syrups so I can control the ingredients and know exactly what is going into them. These syrups are nothing but honey, fruit, herbs, and spices.
No-cook method retains nutrients. Most of the syrup recipes I come across involve heating and simmering the ingredients for quite awhile. That's a quick way to extract flavors and make syrup. Trouble is, heat destroys the nutrients in honey, fruit, and herbs. I've found that taking an extra day to let raw ingredients marinate in the fridge results in fresh flavorful syrups with all of the nutrients left intact. This no-cook method is healthier and easier, but you have to be patient and wait 24 hours before you can use them. That inconvenience is well worth it to me.
Nutritional information per tablespoon of syrup: 44 calories, 0g fat, 11.8g carbs, 11.7g sugars, 0g fiber, .1g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 1
They're freezable. Because these fresh syrups aren't cooked, the fridge shelf life is shorter. Mine were good for a month (or longer); the exact time will vary depending on the types of fruit and ingredients used. If you want to extend their life, these syrups freeze well. So, you can keep some on hand in the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer for later use.
Printable labels for gifting and serving. I've made some labels you can print and use on these syrups. You'll find those near the end of the post, so keep scrolling if you want to check them out.
8 syrup flavors plus how to invent your own. I've been working on these recipes for awhile. King-Man thinks our refrigerator has been invaded by a few too many fruit syrups--they've been taking up 2 full shelves in the fridge. The beer to "fruity stuff" ratio is all wrong, in his opinion. He, for one, will be happy for me to be moving on to new recipes. Here's what The Yummy Life refrigerator laboratory has looked like lately:
But, it's been worth it. These syrups are delicious and have so many uses beyond flavoring drinks. Try stirring them into yogurt or smoothies--yum. I've experimented with lots of fruit and herb combos and have settled on 8 favorites that I'm sharing today. However, it's easy to create your own syrup flavors, and I'll tell you how.
Step-by-step photos for making
8 Fruit and Herb Honey Syrups
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients. Choose from these.
Step 2. Prep your ingredients.
view on Amazon: cherry pitter
Step 3. Combine ingredients in a jar (I used quart mason jars). Below, I'm demonstrating making blueberry sage honey syrup. I used the exact same procedure for the other flavors.
Step 4. Strain out the solids.
Use this same procedure to make any flavor of syrup you like.
Here are my
8 favorite honey syrup flavors:
#1. Blueberry Sage. Honey, blueberries (or blackberries), torn or chopped sage leaves, fresh lemon juice
#2. Ginger Lemon. Honey, chopped ginger, lemon zest and juice; the ginger is too hard to muddle it, so it's important to chop it fairly small to release it's flavor. You can chop the ginger in a food processor, if you prefer.
#3. Strawberry Basil. Honey, coarsely chopped strawberries, chopped or torn basil, lime zest and juice.
#4. Peach Almond. Honey, coarsely chopped peaches (or mangoes or nectarines), lemon juice, almond extract.
#5. Apple Maple Cinnamon. Honey, maple syrup, juice from 1 lemon, broken cinnamon sticks, chopped apple; the apple is too hard to muddle it, so it's important to chop it fairly small to release it's flavor. You can chop the apple in a food processor, if you prefer.
#6. Cherry Vanilla. Honey, pitted & coarsely chopped cherries, lemon juice, vanilla extract.
#7. Pineapple Mint. Honey, lemon juice, torn or chopped mint, coarsely chopped pineapple.
#8. Raspberry Orange. Honey, orange zest & juice, raspberries.
Here's the whole gang. Not only do they taste great, but they also have beautiful, vivid, all-natural colors without the need for any yucky artificial coloring. Aren't the purty?
Invent-Your-Own Syrup Flavor!
Get creative and combine your own favorite ingredients for a recipe you can call your own. It's fun and easy when you follow my simple formula.The printable recipe at the bottom of this post gives you ingredient amounts to use.
What to do with the leftover fruit. Eat it! The honey flavored fruit that remains after the syrup is strained out is delicious stirred into yogurt or smoothies, spread on toast or bagels, or on top of ice cream. (I chose to remove the darkened herbs pieces from the leftover fruit). The leftover ginger is the only one that I don't recommend eating that way. However you can brew it with some hot tea or water to add some amazing, nutritious taste. That means that these syrups can be completely waste free--good for your budget and Mother Earth. Here are my tasty leftovers in jars in the fridge, ready to enjoy:
I keep my syrups stored in mason jars. (There's a reason I'm called a
Label them! I made these labels for making gift bottles of syrups or for easily identifying them when they're set out for guests to enjoy with hot or cold tea. I found these bottles on Amazon. They're a great size, and it's easy to pour directly from them into a cup or glass of tea.
view on Amazon: 8 oz glass bottles
Half pint jars work well for gifting these syrups, too. You can serve from these jars if you spoon the syrup instead of pouring it.
view on Amazon: half-pint mason jars
To use the tags:
If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.
Click on this image to download a printable sheet of tags:
If you invent a syrup flavor of you own, you can use these blank labels that have space for you to write in the flavor.
Click on this image to download a printable sheet of blank tags:
A fun activity for kids. Although my kids are grown and gone, this is exactly the kind of recipe I would have loved to make with them when they were younger. Kids can come up with their own favorite fruit syrup flavors to make. These could also be turned into a homemade gift for them to give a teacher, relative, or neighbor. If your kids don't drink tea, they can stir the syrups into water, yogurt, or ice cream for a fun treat. Or, drizzle them over crushed/shaved ice like a snow cone.
How much syrup to add. Well, that's up to you, and it's the beauty of creating your own flavored drinks. You can make them as sweet and flavorful as you like. I like between 1/2 and 1 tablespoon of syrup added to a glass of iced tea. That's enough to add a hint of sweetness and flavor.
Make Flavored Sparkling Water. I use my syrups the most for making homemade carbonated soft drinks--a refreshing, healthy substitute for sugary soda. Check out my post about it, and see how easy it is:
In upcoming posts, I'll be sharing more recipes for refreshing summer drinks. Many of them use these flavored syrups. Stay tuned.
Make it a Yummy day!
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