The only cordial that held a special place in my heart while growing up was Ribena. It was always good, thirst quenching deliciousness and drilled inside me - thanks to my mother - that blackcurrants are one of nature’s richest source of Vitamin C.
Did you know that Ribena’s name is derived from ‘Ribes Negrum’, the Latin word for blackcurrant? Now that I am a parent myself, I have no qualms continuing the tradition of giving Ribena to my monkies - since not only is it made from 100% New Zealand Blackcurrants, it is rich in Vitamin C and contains no artificial colour, flavour or sweetener!
The purple colour of the cordial comes from the blackcurrants' fruit skin (or Anthocyanin for you scientific people out there) and in fact, no matter whether you are drinking a ready-to-drink Ribena Tetra pack, Cheerpack or Sparkling version, each Ribena pack meets 100% of the Children’s Daily Requirement of Vitamin C.
Personally though, I still prefer making my own Ribena drink from cordial and it seems that the monkies agree with me too!
Okay, so I suspect the real reason of them preferring the cordial over the ready-to-drink ones is the flexibility of the blackcurrant concentrate... especially since after I told them they had the opportunity to whip up a storm in the kitchen using Ribena as one of the ingredients!
Somehow, the kitchen never fails to remain as a fascinating place for the monkies. But I can understand why. Cooking and/or baking are fantastic activities for kids to learn and practice a whole range of skills. Plus it gives them the opportunity to learn about food and create good eating habits as part of a balanced lifestyle through the growing years.
So if you are looking to introduce your kids to the world of cooking and baking, making Ribena Blackcurrant Berries Jam will probably be one of the easiest recipes to get the little ones started. For starters, the ingredients are extremely fuss-free to obtain:
200g blueberries, stemmed & rinsed
40g fine sugar
1½ cups Ribena Blackcurrant Fruit Cordial Drink
1½ tablespoons water chestnut flour
Firstly, weigh out 200g of blueberries. Remember to pick all the stalks and give them a good rinse.
Next add in ½ cup Ribena Blackcurrant Fruit Cordial Drink.
Pour in 40g of fine sugar.
Finally, transfer the mixture into a ziploc bag and refrigerate it for about 8 hours.
Yes, the wait can be so agonizing for the monkies. LOL.
Once the 8 hours are up, combine the chilled sugar blue berries and 1 cup of Ribena cordial in a deep sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while stirring constantly.
In a separate bowl, mix 1½ tablespoons of water chestnut flour with 3 tablespoons of Ribena Cordial. If you do not know what water chestnut flour is, this is how the packaging looks like.
Mix in the Ribena cordial chestnut flour mixture into the pot and return to boil. Lower heat and let everything simmer for 20 minutes, or until the skins of the blueberries become tender and the mixture thickens.
Transfer the thickened jam into a jar and there you have it - Ribena Blackcurrant Berries Jam!
Frankly, this is one super easy recipe to get the kids working in the kitchen. And the best part? The monkies have been requesting the jam to go with their bread almost every morning!
Looks like we may have to make another batch of jam really soon. Either that, or I have to search online for other creative ways to incorporate Ribena Cordial into equally fun and simple recipes for kids!
For more updates on Singapore's number one cordial, follow Ribena Singapore's Facebook page!