Sure that powdered yellow stuff might suffice as “Lemonade” when you are 9, but when you start to appreciate the fresh, intense flavors of REAL food, a small cup of fresh squeezed lemonade would be accepted over gallons of fraudulent lemonade any day!
Colorado has been HOT the past few weeks, add in the dry wind and a tasty thirst quencher is a life saver. We had a few lemons sitting around the house that were begging to be used and we thought we would have a little fun them to forget about the heat for a second. So bust out your old glass citrus juicer and get to juicing! You will get a lovely little arm workout in reward for your efforts as well. Along with the delicious tartness fresh lemons provide they also act as a liver cleanser, antioxidant, digestive aid, and immune booster!
After juicing your lemons is the time to add a little creativity into your drink. Our little Basil plant was bursting with leaves to be picked. I get so in love with my little edible plants around the house that it can be hard for me to actually use them sometimes! We picked a small bunch, washed them, tore into large pieces and added into the lemon juice. Then it was time to workout your other arm and muddle the leaves for a good few minutes to release all their yummy flavors. Not only does the basil add a nice “grown up” touch to your lemonade but it also adds in health promoting, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds!
I try to limit my sugar intake so adding a couple cups of pineapple juice gave the lemonade a little more sweetness as well as a fun tropical twist! You could definitely change this up and try peach juice, mango juice, or muddle in some strawberries!
If you like it tart then all you have to do is add about 6 cups of water, stir and enjoy! But most everyone around my patio was looking for it a little sweeter. You can stir in some stevia to taste or make a simple syrup with honey like we did (recipe below).
Lemonade is so easy there really is no way to mess it up! Simply keep adding in small amounts of water, sweetener, or juice till you get it just how you like it and you are good to go! Freeze into ice cubes for your “adult beverages” and you have a unique, cooling mixer for your cocktails. The possibilities are really endless! So have fun with it and enjoy the fresh goodness with all the nutritional benefits as well.
Basil and Pineapple Lemonade
Makes Roughly 1 large pitcher (depending on how strong you like it 🙂
12 Juicy, Yellow Lemons
1/2 cup Basil pieces
1.5 cups 100% pineapple juice
4+ Cups of Water
Simple Syrup to taste (recipe below)
1) Juice all of your lemons in your handy-dandy glass juicer. Pour juice through strainer into your pitcher to remove seeds.
2) Add Basil into your lemon juice and muddle for 1-2 minutes.
3) Stir in Pineapple juice.
4) Stir in water cup-by-cup until juice is diluted as desired. The less water the stronger flavor the juice!
5) Add in simple syrup until sweetness level is satisfactory!
1) On stovetop over medium-low heat combine 1/4 cup honey with 1 cup water.
2) Stir continuously until sugars are dissolved and consistency is a light syrup.
What are some of your favorite summertime drink recipes?