As July comes to a close and we really start to get into our summer groove we thought what better drink to refresh on a hot summer night than lemonade? This lemonade is exceptionally summery because it's flavored and slightly sweetened with blueberries. We also used raw honey as a sweetener instead of sugar to mix things up and will explain why before we get to this refreshing recipe.
Honey is made from nectar mixed with bee enzymes. Nectar is essentially a sugary liquid extracted from flowers using a bee's long, tube-shaped tongue. The nectar is stored in the bee's extra stomach, or "crop", and then mixed with enzymes which transform the chemical composition and pH, allowing it to have a longer storage time. The nectar is passed from honeybee to honeybee in a scientific way until the partially digested nectar is finally dropped off into a honeycomb to become honey. But the honeybees' work is NOT done yet! The honeybees continue to work by fanning the honeycomb with their wings (so cute!) to get all the extra water out of the nectar which creates a thick concentrated substance - honey! Are you just as amazed with the honeybees as we are?! Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way after its creation by the busy bees. Raw honey contains vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants which would partially or completely be destroyed with high heat. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Because of these reasons, we chose to use raw honey as our sweetener for this recipe instead of simple sugar which just cannot compare. The taste of honey can differ based on nectar from different flowers. Clover honey is a very light tasting honey, whereas buckwheat honey is very dark in color and intense in flavor, similar to molasses. We used clover honey in this recipe but feel free to use whatever honey is your favorite. Now let's get to this sweet recipe!
Blueberry Pucker Lemonade
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 10 mins
Servings: 4 , 8 oz glasses
4 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup organic blueberries
4 1/2 cups water
5 Tbsp raw honey (we like our lemonade sour but feel free to add more to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink)
Juice 4 lemons into a large pitcher with a secure lid and set aside. Combine 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup water in a high speed blender. Mix on high until evenly pureed. Strain bluebery puree through a mesh strainer or cheese cloth over a glass bowl, allowing the solids (blueberry skins*) to sperate from the liquid (blueberry juice). Add 1/2 cup of blueberry juice to your pitcher with 4 cups water and 5 Tbsp raw honey. Secure with lid and shake well until all honey is fully dissolved (you may notice some honey sitting on the bottom of the pitcher which means...keep shaking!). Serve over ice with a lemon wedge and sip away!
*Make sure to keep the leftover blueberry skins. These contain a lot of nutrients and should not be thrown in the garbage! We froze ours to use at a later time. Here are a few examples of what we plan to use them for: mixed into ice cream, yogurt, goat cheese, or to create a summer salad dressing.
We hope you're enjoying this somewhere outdoors with your feet up because you can bet that's just what we would be doing. The color of this drink is stunning and the flavor is subtly sweet and fruity. We'd suggest keeping a pitcher of this stocked in your fridge all summer because you're going to want more, we promise!
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.