Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vanilla Milk Syrup


My younger son has become a huge fan of a certain organic, sugary vanilla-flavored milk that comes only in single-serving boxes. I don't like the price or the excessive packaging, but I also don't like endlessly cajoling the boy to eat something -- anything! -- with calcium. As vanilla milk boxes became a once- or twice-a-week treat, I experimented with homemade versions that would make us both happy.

First I tried adding a few drops of vanilla extract to his milk. Easy and done! Except... My extract is just vanilla beans steeped in rum and vodka. Great in cakes, not in my kid's glass of milk. Imitation vanilla is a non-starter for me. There's sugar-free Torani syrup, if you don't mind Splenda.

So I tried steeping a vanilla bean in simple syrup, then added a large spoonful to my son's milk. He drained his cup, happily.

It still isn't guilt-free: An 8-ounce glass of low-fat or skim milk with two teaspoons of this vanilla syrup recipe contains about 25 grams of sugar, just a bit less than the 29 grams in the boxed version. So it's still in the "treat" category at my home, and you can certainly use a smaller amount of syrup to suit you -- or your child's -- taste.

I buy vanilla beans in bulk for a song, so my homemade organic vanilla milk in a reusable cup costs less than half what I pay for the version in a throwaway box.

Vanilla Milk Syrup

This makes 12 two-teaspoon servings. Save the vanilla bean and steep it with coffee grounds for cold-brewed coffee, or dry it and tuck it in a container of sugar. You can also add the syrup to cocoa, iced or hot coffee, lemonade, or adult beverages.

1 cup water, boiling
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half

Put sugar in a bowl. Pour in boiling water and stir to thoroughly dissolve sugar. Add vanilla bean, cover, and steep for 8 hours.

Put a paper coffee filter in a fine-meshed strainer and set over a bowl. Pour the steeped syrup through the filter, straining out the vanilla. (If your child doesn't mind vanilla bean flecks, you can skip this step.) Store in the refrigerator for a week or two, or freeze portions in an ice cube tray for longer storage.

To serve, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of syrup to 8 ounces milk, warm or cold. Stir and enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...