This quintessential summer bevvy is a bit like me: refreshing, tart and spicy. Okay, probably more tart than anything! There’s nothing that seems to quench the thirst better than lemonade on a hot summer day, am I right? Except maybe a frosty cold b-e-e-r, but we’ll save that for another day.
I’ve had homemade lemonade more times than not, but I still find most homemade lemonade recipes to be sickly sweet: not enough tart and way too much sugar. In many ways the sugar pretty much cancels out the health-promoting benefits of the lemon, that mega-healing citrus fruit. Luckily I’m a holistic nutritionist and this isn’t your grandma’s lemonade!
I’ve talked about the health benefits of the spicy rhizome we know and love as ginger before, but lemons can be equally healing in their own right. For one thing, the vitamin C content in lemons is legendary! Vitamin C is key to thousands of human body processes and affects everything from the health of your immune system to your circulatory system to your digestive system. As a water-soluble vitamin, which just means it isn’t stored in the body, vitamin C is one we need to make sure we get enough of every day.
Lemons are a natural diuretic so they can help reduce excess swelling and edema. (It also means that you’ll be using the washroom a lot more if you’re chugging back my Lazy Girl’s Ginger Lemonade like a 2-4 on a long weekend!)
Vitamin C and iron are also naturally best friends because vitamin C helps with iron absorption. That’s why I recommend eating vitamin C-rich foods with iron-rich foods, particularly non-heme (vegetable or plant-based) sources of iron, which are more difficult for the body to absorb. This is especially important if your doctor has told you that your iron levels are low or even deficient.
This is the second post in my Lazy Girl’s recipe series and of course it’s just as easy as the first.
This super simple lemonade is for lazy cooks like me because you won’t have to wear yourself out juicing lemons or peeling ginger (even though, let’s be honest, peeling ginger is pretty simple when you know all the tricks). Not hard, I know, but it does take time you may not have when you’re hot, sweaty and desperate enough to consider guzzling down a high-sugar sports drink found in a rainbow of artificial colours. So… Just say NO and walk away. You’ll have this lemonade in your pretty little hands in no time!
For this recipe, you need to roughly trim the peel off the lemons, remove any seeds you can see, and toss them whole into a blender with the unpeeled ginger (gasp! what would grandma say?). Then just add water! And also maple syrup, honey, agave or another liquid sweetener of your choice…
I’ll be honest, it’s a bit sour without some kind of sweetener. So, be brave but don’t be a martyr.
If your lemons are anything like the ones I normally get, and they have a lot of extra white pith, I recommend keeping some of it on.
For one thing, it saves time (see I’m the epitome of lazy sometimes!) and for another, it’s supremely good for you. It’s quite bitter but it has high levels of antioxidants. The peel also offers pectin, which helps thicken fruit bases and if you’ve ever made jam the conventional way (and not the 20-minute version I prefer) and added a lemon peel or 2, you’ll have seen the pectin working its magic.
Here’s the recipe for this Lazy Girl’s Ginger Lemonade:
Lazy Girl’s Ginger Lemonade
- 3 organic lemons peeled and de-seeded
- 1 large thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup less or more to taste
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until well blended.
Strain over a fine mesh strainer, a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.
Chill in the fridge and then serve on its own or over ice.
Easy peasy! Hope you enjoyed this second installment in my “Lazy Girl’s cooking series”. More super simple recipes to come in the future!
What’s your most favourite, can’t-survive-without-it summertime drink?