We’re officially into the “dog days” of summer, so when it’s hot there’s nothing quite like a cold glass of lemonade to help cool you cool down on a hot day.  But wait …don’t reach for the pre-made mix or bottled stuff.  This summer, try making your own fresh lemonade–I promise, you won’t regret it!  First off, there is no comparison when it comes to taste.  And second, using fresh lemon juice can provide up to 40 percent of your recommended daily requirement of vitamin C.  Plus, there are some very refreshing variations on the basic lemonade recipe …so let’s mix it up!
To start, we’ll make basic Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.  Again, the key is using fresh lemons–forget about using the lemon juice in the bottle.  You’ll need about 1 and 1/2 cups of lemon juice, which is roughly 7 lemons (depending on size), 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar (you can use a different sweetener if you choose like Stevia), 2 cups boiling water, and 4-5 cups cold water.  Add your boiling water to a jug with the sugar and let the sugar dissolve.  Add four cups of water to dilute and then add the lemon juice.  Stir to mix and add more water and ice according to taste.  Garnish with sliced lemons.
Courtesy of Nostastic
Homemade Raspberry Peach Lemonade is a real treat!  This recipe calls for 8 cups of water, 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 large peaches, and 1 cup fresh raspberries.  You’ll use less sugar in this recipe as you’ll let the fruit add most of the sweetness (a bonus!).  In a blender, puree peaches, raspberries, and 1 cup of water.  Push the contents through a strainer until you get out as much liquid as you can.  To a pitcher, add the raspberry/peach mixture, 7 cups of water, fresh lemon juice, and sugar.  Stir and serve over ice.
Courtesy of Joyful Healthy Eats
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade is the definition of refreshing.  For this recipe you’ll use 2 drops essential lavender oil (make sure it’s food grade–not all oils are the same), 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 3 cups cold sparkling water, 1 drop purple food coloring (optional).  Create a simple syrup by coming the 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan.  Simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to room temperature.  Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling water, and lavender oil to the pitcher.  Add food coloring if desired.  Serve with ice.
Courtesy of Oh So Delicioso
Enjoy your week and I’m back next Monday with some ideas on ways to enjoy summer zucchini year round.
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