Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lemonade NOT out of a can.

Ok...I don't know about where you live, but where I live, it's been hot.  Icky, humid, oppressive, hot.  It was a beautiful spring, and all of a sudden, Mother Nature decided to have a hot flash :-P.  It was 98 degrees yesterday, which broke a previous record of 97 in 1895.  Ugh.

With the sudden onslaught of hot weather, I've had a hankering for cool stuff.  Salads for dinner.  Ice cream, Italian ice, and lemonade.  I usually just buy a can of lemonade in the frozen food aisle, but  I thought "why not MAKE some lemonade?"  Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a can of frozen lemonade?  I can guarantee you at the top of the list is "high fructose corn syrup".  Unless it's organic, that bad boy is not going into MY body.  It's most likely genetically modified, and I'm making a concerted effort to remove *all* GM ingredients from my house.  Yes, this means almost anything that is not organic - unless it does not contain soy, corn, or canola.  If you are not familiar with GMOs, or genetically modified ingredients, you can start your education HERE .  I'm going to stop now, because if I get started, this will be a blog post about Monsanto and GMOs, not lemonade :)

Making your own lemonade is ridiculously easy.  And good.  You also to get to put lots of fun stuff in it - like pomegranate juice, or raspberry juice, or tea, or anything else your little heart desires.  I make mine with a healthy dose of pomegranate juice - which I happen to love.  It also gives the lemonade a pink color, which is pretty!

This recipe is so simple, you don't even need a printable one.  There are just 4 ingredients - sugar, water, lemons, and pomegranate juice.  If you are a purist, omit the POM juice.

What you DO need however, is a juicer.  I have a fancy Jack LaLanne juicer, but honestly, I use my little 99 cent plastic one, and it works JUST FINE.


So, gather about 4-5 good sized lemons, your POMegranate juice, some sugar and you are set!
First, take 1 cup of sugar and put it in 1 cup of very hot water, and stir with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved.
Obviously not dissolved.  See the granules on the spoon?
No granules - the sugar is fully dissolved.

 This will give you 1 1/2 cups of what is known as simple syrup.  This will sweeten your lemonade, and you won't have any undissolved sugar at the bottom of your jug.

While you are stirring your sugar and waiting for it to melt, you can start juicing the lemons.  You'll need about 1 cup of lemon juice.  Use your juicer, and clean those bad boys out.  There shouldn't be much pulp, if any left.  Didn't I tell you this would be easy? *TIP* roll the lemons firmly on a hard surface with the palm of your hand before halving and juicing them.  You'll get more juice out of them - it loosens up the pulp.


Now...grab a half gallon container, pour the simple syrup and lemon juice in there.  I will add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice because I like to.  Fill up to the top with cold water, and give a shake.  Voila! Pomegranate Lemonade!


I thought with the hot weather, maybe I should have put the lemonade in a pretty goblet on a table with white linen and a flower arrangement in the background, but I quickly suppressed my Martha Stewart and went practical.  My only nod to Martha was the lemon slice.


This takes no time at all to make - maybe 10 minutes, tops.  You can zest the skin before juicing the lemons, and freeze it for future recipes.  You can put the rinds in your garbage disposal to freshen it, and rub the leftover lemons shells on your cutting boards to freshen them up as well.

Variations:


1.  Juice about 8 limes, and make limeade.
2.  Juice 3 lemons and about 4 limes, and make lemon/limeade.
3.  Add 1/2 cup of raspberries you've pureed in the blender to the lemonade.
4.  Add 1/2 cup of strawberries you've pureed in the blender to the lemonade.
5.  Heck, add 1/2 cup of *any* berries you've pureed in the blender :-)
6.  If you like your lemonade pulpy, just add some of the pulp from your juicer to the mix.
7.  Add equal parts of water and tea (green or black) instead of just water.

This doesn't even last a day in my house.  Hubby and son scarf it down so quick, Meg and I are lucky if we get a small glass.  Be warned though - once you taste the homemade stuff, you will *not* go back to the store stuff.  Ever.









1 comment:

  1. YUMMM i love lemonade. and that looks quite delicious

    ReplyDelete