With peak lemon season right around the corner, there is no better time to learn how to make lemonade. If you happened to read our “Ask Erin” columnist’s post on lemons a while back, then you already know plenty of reasons why this sunny superfood deserves to be a staple in any clean eating lifestyle. Packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants, including a hefty dose of vitamin C, I always keep plenty of fresh lemons on my kitchen counter on a decorative lemon stand that my mother-in-law bought me a while back. Ever since having the lemon stand and seeing the lemons right there on the counter I have been able to easily incorporate this superfood into my daily diet in so many different ways, one of my favorite being fresh lemonade.
How to Make Lemonade
If you do a quick Google search on “How to Make Lemonade” plenty of homemade lemonade recipes pop up. But, the problem is, almost all of them are loaded with refined sugar! One of the most popular recipes for homemade lemonade calls for 2 cups of regular white sugar in a recipe that serves just 6 people. Yikes!! That’s a lot of sugar people. All that sugar in the lemonade pretty much wipes out the goodness of the antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamin C that makes lemons such a superfood in the first place.
But I know, I know….lemonade is supposed to be sweet. Trust me, I get it. I grew up drinking sweet lemonade just like everyone else and so my expectations are such that if something is to be called lemonade, it must be sweet.
So, how to make lemonade without refined sugar? Is it even possible?
And no, you don’t need to use those terrible calorie-free sweeteners either. There is nothing about sugar substitutes such as Stevia or Splenda that satisfies me in the least, so the last thing I want to do is sweeten my lemonade with something like that.
My trick to making unbelievable homemade lemonade without refined sugar is simple. I use nutrient and fiber-rich medjool dates and phytonutrient-rich pure maple syrup (No Aunt Jemima please!) I then whirl these two natural sweeteners together with fresh squeezed lemon juice, water and ice in my super powered Vitamix (by the way, did you know you can get a reconditioned Vitamix for just $379?) In addition to pulverizing the dates, the Vitamix whirls so fast it makes this amazing lemonade foam that I absolutely love. Can’t get that from Country Time!
Ok, enough chit chat, here is the exact recipe…
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup cold water
- 5 medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process for at least 2 minutes. Pour and drink at once.
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