Kids consume a great amount of juices, especially during school hours and I have always tried to reduce fizzy drinks or soda because of the high amount of sugar content in them. It is of common knowledge that many packaged juice drinks are actually made from concentrates with high amount of sugars and preservatives. So, naturally, I try to reduce the amount of such drinks because when kids consume too much sugar or carbonated drinks, they become restless and difficult to manage. Plus, excess sugar pose a lot of health risks to kids and everyone alike.
So, in my bid to go natural, I make healthy drinks for my kids from juices and smoothies. One of my favorites is zobo drink. Zobo is a drink made from roselle leaves found in West Africa. So what we do is wash these dry leaves gotten from a specie of hibiscus plant, and cook them in water. On its own, zobo is not sweet but rather than add sugar and artificial flavors, I use fruits and dates to sweeten the drink.
By using fruits and dates as natural sweeteners, one is creating a vitamin C rich drink that is just right for Kids. On its own, roselle (zobo) leaves have high vitamin C content amongst other nutrients, coupled with fruits like pineapple or golden melon which are sweet and rich in vitamin C. So this zobo drink keeps cold and flu away while boosting a child’s immunity. A healthy zobo drink has added nutritional value as it contains calcium as well as help to aid appetite. It also lowers high blood pressure. Common sweet fruits like pineapple and golden melon are great in sweetening zobo but you can use other sweet fruits as well. You can also opt for natural honey to sweeten zobo drink as well.
RECIPE FOR HEALTHY ZOBO DRINK
8 Liters of Water
1 Liter of zobo (roselle) leaves
1 whole pineapple
2 cups of soft dates
A handful of ginger
This is a pot of zobo (roselle) leaves with blended fresh ginger. Ginger gives the drink flavor and taste as well as fruits and dates. When this boils, I leave it to cool to room temperature before sifting out the leaves and ginger.
Once the zobo is at room temperature, I blend pineapples and dates in the blender. The dates must be soft and not hard. So if you have dry, hard dates, please soak it over night in warm water to soften before blending. For a bowl of 8L zobo drink, I used a whole bunch of pineapple.
The pineapple always makes the zobo drink even more foamy so expect bubbles!
Sift the pineapple and dates once blended into the zobo drink as shown in the picture.
With this zobo drink, your child can take it to school in bottles or drink at home.
It is sweet, nourishing and healthy.