My kids love soda as much as any other kids, though they hardly ever get "real" soda like cola or root beer because the chemical sludge in them is too scary for even the most Halloween-hardened humanoid. Recently, a friend and I attended an interview with Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook and many others, as part of an innovative series of lectures and demonstrations about food the library system in my area is sponsoring this year. She has such an engaging and relaxed personality, I ended up buying her new book and my friend bought two of her cookbooks for kids. As October Unprocessed rolled around, I took a look at the "natural" sodas I had been buying for my kids that were sweetened with fruit juice and had no hfcs. I noticed that in spite of all their positive ingredients, they were also loaded with "natural flavorings." (There are very few things that annoy me more than food labeling buzz words. "Natural," "Cage-Free," "No Sugar Added" none of these things mean what you think they mean.) I was so disappointed because my kids love to get "soda" once in a while and I had felt great because I wasn't filling them with junk. Except, of course, I was.
My friend mentioned that Mollie Katzen had a homemade soda recipe in one of her kid's books and sent it to me. I was sad to see it used frozen juice concentrate since I rarely use concentrates and I figured it wouldn't fit into the whole October Unprocessed thing. (Carbonated water is also on the iffy side, but I figured I had to draw a line somewhere...) So I just kinda messed around and figured out my own recipe based on hers. And it just so happened to be the right color for a certain holiday that's quickly approaching. You can definitely make a ghoul or two happy with this simple concoction. In fact, you may have a mad scientist under your roof who'd like to help you whip this up!
Yield: 1 serving
1 C orange juice
3/4 C carbonated water
Combine juice and water and stick a straw in it! You can make any size portion using a similar ratio juice to water. I have found a tablespoon or two of cream added to each glass gives it a nice Creamsicle flavor, but the boys aren't crazy about it. You can use any juice you want, but you may have to fiddle with the ratios.
My kids actually like this better than their favorite store-bought "natural" soda! To be sure this is still a "sometimes food" but it's definitely a healthier alternative.
If you need a few ideas for your Halloween party this year, have a look at some of my previous Halloween Party posts!
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for details of our party this year!