The most refreshing drink to have on a hot summer day is an ice cold glass of fresh squeezed lemonade, with a hint of mint. This sweet citrus delight not only tastes good, but is also loaded with beneficial compounds. Lemonade is simple and easy to make.
Lemons contain compounds that have antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant properties. Use of freshly squeezed lemon, is a great way to get a blast of the benefits. A ¼ cup of freshly squeezed juice contains nearly 50% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. Lemons also contain cooling properties, which may be why lemonade tastes so satisfying on a hot day.
For more details on the health benefits of lemons see: World’s Healthiest Foods
How to Make Sustainable Lemonade
Lemon trees cannot survive in the ground throughout most of the state, except for in the Valley area. So, finding a locally grown lemon is near impossible, unless you or someone you know has a potted tree. Lemons can successfully be grown in containers and left outside throughout warm weather.
Lemon trees can be ordered through Happy Gardens during the early spring.
Lemons can be grown in California, Arizona, and Florida. Organically grown lemons are also available.
The freshest lemons are pale in color.
Cane sugars- The lesser refined, the better. Fair Trade Certified sugar is widely available.
Honey- Locally produced honey makes a great cane sugar replacement.
Sources for local honey: Batsmith Creek Beeyard, Round Rock Honey, local farmers markets
Filtered water from the tap creates minimal waste.
Avoid or minimize water bottled in plastic as much as possible.
Plants in the mint family are easy to grow, and the leaves can be picked for use at any time.
See the article link above for more details about growing mint.
Lemonade Recipe for 1 large glass
- 3 large lemons, squeezed, seeds removed
- 1 ½ – 2 cups cold water, taste to determine amount
- 2-3 Tablespoons sugar or 1-2 Tablespoons honey
- 5 leaves fresh mint or lemon balm
- Squeeze lemons into glass
- Remove seeds with spoon
- Add ice cold water
- Add sweetener
- Mix well, dissolve sweetener
- Tear edges of herbs
- Add herbs to mix