Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homemade Pink Lemonade with Honey & Blueberries

Homemade Pink Lemonade with Raw Honey & Blueberries

When I was in college, I used to buy jugs of Simply Lemonade to sip on in between writing essays and studying for exams. I'd already ditched powdered lemonade mix (too many funky ingredients) and was happy with the convenient switch. 

However, I gradually reduced my sugar intake over the years (first by eliminating soda completely and then cooking/baking with unrefined sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup), and suddenly sweet store-bought drinks like lemonade and sweet tea tasted waaaaaay too sugary to me.

Healthy Homemade Lemonade

Thankfully, I realized how easy it was to whip together a small batch of cold brew tea (sans the sugar), as well as fresh squeezed lemonade with healthy ingredients like fresh lemon juice, raw honey, and purified water. 

When I make it at home with a natural sweetener like raw honey, I can adjust the level of sweetness myself while also benefiting from the trace vitamins, minerals, and enzymes properties in the honey. Want to learn more about raw honey? Read here

The result is a bright, slightly tart and semi-sweet drink that quenches thirst like none other when it's hot and muggy outside! Fresh lemonade is also amazing during the cooler months when you need a citrusy boost packed with vitamin C from the lemon juice and enzymes from the raw honey. Your immune system will love it! :)

Colorful Eye Candy: Pink Lemonade

Today's pink lemonade recipe was inspired by my love for blueberries and a developing penchant for colorful drinks like blood orange margaritas and cranberry sangria. The secret weapon for making the lemonade a reddish pink color without any artificial food dyes is blueberry ice cubes! 

An easy recipe for healthy homemade pink lemonade using fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and blueberries!

Simply place 3-4 frozen or fresh blueberries into each slot of an ice cube tray or silicone mold (I use this same mold for lemon vanilla coconut butter bites and homemade chocolates), fill with water and freeze for a few hours. 

Then when you're ready, fix a regular batch of golden homemade lemonade like so...

An easy recipe for healthy homemade pink lemonade using fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and blueberries!

...then drop in several blueberry ice cubes per glass and watch the magic happen without stirring.

An easy recipe for healthy homemade pink lemonade using fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and blueberries!

But, of course, you're going to stir it because you want the color to deepen. And if you want an even deeper color, you'll add more cubes (I should have made more). 

From here you can slurp away or get fancy by adding a few lemon slices for garnish and a pretty straw. It's also mandatory to eat the lemony blueberries at the bottom of the glass once the ice has melted. If not, you're crazypants!

Jazz Up Your Pink Lemonade Further
  • If you want to make this lemonade even more hydrating and healthy, substitute canned coconut water instead of water when making the blueberry ice cubes! 
  • Turn this into a yummy adult beverage by pouring in a jigger or two of homemade blueberry infused vodka or sparkling water + wine for a spritzer. 

Homemade Healthy Pink Lemonade 
An easy recipe for healthy homemade pink lemonade using fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and blueberries!
Serves: 1

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons, depending on size)
1 1/2+ tablespoons of raw honey (unfiltered & unheated)
8 ounces of purified room temperature water (I use reverse osmosis)
6 blueberry ice cubes (add more or less depending on the cube size)

Recommended Equipment
ice cube tray or silicone mold (I used THIS)
biodegradable paper straws, reusable glass straws, or stainless steel straws (optional)

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For the blueberry ice cubes:
A few hours before you plan on drinking the lemonade or the night before, drop some frozen or fresh blueberries (organic is best because blueberries are on the dirty dozen list) into an ice cube tray and fill with purified water. I put three or four blueberries into each cube. Freeze until solid. 

For the lemonade:  Roll out the lemon(s) with the palm of your hand to redistribute the juices. Slice each in half and squeeze through a strainer or your hand (to catch the seeds and any pulp) then pour the juice into a glass. Measure in the honey (add more if you like it sweeter, less if you enjoy tartness) and stir until it's all dissolved. If your honey is solid or crystallized, this may take a minute or so, but it works. 

Pour in the purified water and taste. If necessary, add more honey. Drop in the blueberry ice cubes, stir, watch it turn pink, and you're ready to drink! Once you've finished off the lemonade, you can munch on the blueberry cubes or if the ice has melted, eat the blueberries whole.

Notes & Tips
  • Feel free to adjust the ratio of water, lemon juice, and honey to suit your tastes. Some folks like it pucker tart, others nice and sweet!
  • If you have enough lemons on hand (or a bottle of lemon juice) it's easy to make a big batch for a crowd. Just keep the ratios the same and taste it after measuring. It's easy to tweak lemonade by adding more lemon juice, water, or sweetener. 
  • If you dislike blueberries, feel free to substitute another fruit. Sliced organic strawberries, raspberries or peaches would be perfect. 
  • Try throwing in fresh herbs like mint or basil into the blueberry cubes before freezing for extra flavor. 

I'd like to hear from YOU! 

What's your favorite food to pair with lemonade? Do you think it's worth making fresh squeezed at home or do you prefer the mixes? 

An easy recipe for healthy homemade pink lemonade using fresh squeezed lemon juice, raw honey, and blueberries!

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