Thoughts from author: innocent drinks

Winner winner cress for dinner

At the start of March we launched our innocent and GIY Sow & Grow schools pledge. We had schools all over Ireland sign up and over 15,000 kids got planting their own vegetables and herbs. Their lovely teachers posted some brilliant photos to our gallery.

We were blown away by the amount of work all the teachers and kids put in. With so many great photos it was really hard to pick a winning school. But we can announce that the winning school was 5thclasses of St. Thomas’ SNS, Tallaght. The classes really got involved by planting over 50 plants and uploading lots of very creative photos. They even got to taste what they grew with cress sandwiches and soup at the end of the project.

St thomas' St thomas'2

This Friday 1stof June, the kids of St Thomas’ are off to Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park to get their award from Donal Skehan and enjoy a trip to Dublin Zoo. The school also gets a mentorship from GIY and €500 worth of growing equipment.

The runner up schools in the innocent and GIY Sow & Grow schools pledge were Cloghan’s Hill NS, Tuam and Scoil Ui Fhiaich, Kildare.

St cloghans

Ui fhiaich

A huge thanks to all the schools to took part.

Michael Kelly of GIY says, “If you encourage a child to sow a seed, you potentially change their attitude towards food forever – that's why we have been so excited to see the level of participation in the innocent GIY Sow & Grow schools campaign this year. Up to 15,000 children have got stuck in and sown a seed in schools up and down the country – these are the next generation of GIYers. We want to thank all the teachers and children that got involved, and congratulate this year's winners. The future truly belongs to those of us willing to get our hands dirty.”

Juicy mocktails

After a lot of grey skies and drizzle, the sun is finally out.

So dust off the deckchairs, mow the lawn and clean up the BBQ in preparation for basking in the garden with friends, a refreshing drink and a pink and black sausage or two.

We’ve been busy in the kitchen, mixing up some very special mocktails, just perfect for those long hot summer days. They’re healthy, taste delicious and are really easy to make. Leaving you more time to work on your tan/power wash the patio.

Sister Citrus

Serves 6

What you’ll need

• A 900ml bottle of innocent orange juice (with bits or smooth, depending on your OJ preference)

• 4 clementines

• Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste

• Slice of lime to decorate

• 1 hammock (optional)

How to make it:

Cut the clementines in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Next, pop some ice into a big glass jug and pour in the orange juice. Add the clementine juice to the jug, squeeze in as much lime as you like and give everything a good stir. Then pour into nice glasses, garnish with a slice of lime, kick back in your hammock and enjoy

Apple do nicely

Serves 6

What you’ll need

• A 900ml bottle of innocent apple juice

• A punnet of raspberries, washed

• A small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

• A few sprigs of fresh mint to garnish

How to make it:

Pop the raspberries into a bowl and mash into a mushy puree using a fork. Next, pop some ice into a big glass jug and pour in the apple juice. Add the raspberry puree and chopped mint to the jug and mix it all together. Then pour into tall glasses, adorn with a sprig of mint and sip daintily.

Let us know how you get on. Tweet us your sunshine photos to @innocentIreland or post them to facebook.

Innocent juicy mocktails

Cherry good

We haven’t made a new kids smoothie recipe for a while, but we think this one was worth waiting for. Combining the delicate taste of cherry with a sweet, jammy strawberry-packed punch, it’s one of our most refreshing recipes yet and perfect for quenching your thirst after a game of mini-golf in the park. And just like all of our drinks, it contains real, pure fruit and no rubbish whatsoever. It’s cherry cherry good (sorry) and on the shelves in selected Dunnes and Tesco stores now.

To celebrate we're giving away a case of our new smoothie. To win write your answer to this question in the comments below: Name a county in Ireland that rhymes with cherry. We'll pick the winner from a hat. Good luck.

This competition is now closed.

Congratulations Sinead C, you've won a case of cherries & strawberries smoothies for kids. We'll send you an email.

Sow & Grow school visits

This week, our grassy van headed back to school. We drove across the country visiting some of the schools who have taken the innocent & GIY Sow & Grow schools pledge. We got sowing and chatting with kids in Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Dublin and Galway.

The boys and girls in St Brigid's Presentation Primary School in Middleton got a very special visit from GIY patron Darina Allen, who got her hands dirty and chatted to the kids about how great it is to grow your own.

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Darina is encouraging school children nationwide to grow their own, she said:

‘As a keen GIYer I am delighted to see primary schools around Ireland take part in the innocent and GIY Sow and Grow schools pledge. It is really important for kids to learn about where their food comes from an early age and I was very proud today to help my local school today take their first steps in growing their own.’

Darina planting 2 Sow and grow

A big thanks to all the schools; Scoil Moin A Lin, Limerick, St Brigids Presentation Primary School, Middleton, Our Lady of Good Council, Ferrybank, Waterford, St Colemans NS, Kilkenny, Educate Together Blessington, Patrician College Finglas and Scoil Rois Taylor's Hill, Galway, who were all so welcoming and doing some really great growing.

Check out the progress of Sow & Grow on our website.

Our carton family

We are delighted to announce that both our kids juicy drink carton and our 1.25 litre carton are now made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified card, making the whole carton family forest friendly.

Forests are special places, and we want them to stick around. By using card with the FSC stamp of approval, we can be sure that it comes from responsibly managed forests where people, animals and trees are all treated with the respect they deserve. If you want to read more about the great work of the FSC visit their website.