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Friday, March 7, 2014

peppermint lemonade


Spring has almost sprung, at least in central Arizona, and with my peppermint herb popping out fragrant green leaves everywhere, and the warmth of the sun on my back, I got a hankering for summery drinks. Cool, refreshing, nourishing, hydrating, easy. Must have easy on that list or the other things end up not happening. You know what I mean. Failing to drink is my most frequent problem. And I really like water, but sometimes a change is helpful. Put something tasty on the tongue, something nourishing in the body, and instincts will start turning to the better option more frequently than the yucky options full of refined sugars and food colorings which seem to abound at church groups, barbeques and other gatherings. You might well find that a half gallon jar of my peppermint lemonade disappears more rapidly at the next family birthday party than you anticipated!

We love lemonade. My son calls it "mayomaid", and gets very excited whenever we have fresh lemons in the house. I'm not the biggest fan of the sugar, though. Traditional lemonade works out to a proportion of 1 part lemon juice, 1 part refined sugar, and 6 parts water. That amounts to several tablespoons of sugar per adult size glass of afternoon refreshment.

Peppermint lemonade is a great alternative. With 1 quart boiling water, 2 Tbs cut stevia herb and 3 Tbs cut peppermint herb, make a strong infusion. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to get good and dark. The tea will be quite sweet as the stevia imparts a sweet flavor from the veins in the leaves that is not only naturally calorie free, but completely raw and natural (being processed only as far as dehydrating and chopping the herb), and full of healthy enzymes from the plant material.

Strain the sweet tea into a half gallon jar or jug. Add 2 Tbs raw honey (if needed) and 6 Tbs fresh lemon juice. Stir or shake to dissolve the honey. Top up with water and store in the fridge. Serve over ice and use within a week. You can freeze peppermint lemonade into delicious popsicles for an anytime hydrating summer treat.


Alternatively, I have also made this lemonade with 2 fresh lemons and no honey. Yummy! Add the lemon slices to steep in the hot brewed and strained tea for 30 or so minutes before adding ice.





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