One of my girls’ favorite treats is Italian Cream Soda. Who could say no to sparkling water flavored with fruit syrup and a shot of rich cream…and of course, it must be topped with a generous pile of thick whipped cream! The word “soda” carries with it visions of chemical additives, artificial flavors and colors, and toxic sweeteners. And rightfully so! Anyone who has read the “helpful hints” floating around the internet that suggest cleaning your toilet bowl or car engine with cola products would be justified in thinking twice before putting them in their body!
It’s possible, however, to make a soda at home that’s not only fizzy and tasty, but also good for you. Not only that, it’s also easy enough that your kids can make it with you!
We invited some natural-food friends over to share in the fun, picked up a few simple ingredients, and let the kids get to work. Traditional Italian syrups contain a lot of what’s wrong with regular soda, so I planned ahead and made a reduction from organic, 100% fruit juice (pomegranate, blueberry, and cherry are good choices). Drop some of this homemade goodness into sparkling natural mineral water, add some raw, organic cream and top with whipped cream made with organic cane sugar and you have a fun, healthy treat!
The kids had fun adding sugar to the cream…
Pouring the sparkling mineral water…
Adding the cream…
And enjoying the end result!
- Pour the 4 cups of juice into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer juice for 60-80 minutes, until it has reduced to a thick syrup. The time it will need to simmer varies depending on the natural sugar content of the juice, so plan ahead on this step and keep an eye on the stove!
- Allow the syrup to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- While the syrup cools, whip raw, organic cream with the cane sugar until it's thick and frothy.
- Pour about 10 ounces of sparkling mineral water into a glass, followed by 2 or 3 tablespoons of the fruit juice syrup and 1 tablespoon of cream.
- Add ice cubes to taste.
- Top with as much whipped cream as you can handle!
- Store left over fruit juice syrup in the fridge for the next round of soda.
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Do you like Italian Cream Soda? What’s your favorite flavor?