There is nothing better than a delicious drink during summer fun. The mix of cool refreshment and warming sun is a great combination that makes this season so special. But there's a lot of hidden calories in typical fruity beverages and sugar can hide under all that flavor.
Keep your summer figure and stay hydrated at the same time with these great-tasting - and healthy! - summer drinks.
Lemonade is a classic summer drink that can be packed with sugar to combat the tartness. This recipe uses raw honey
as a sweetener and lavender as an extra herbal bonus. Both honey and lavender have great health qualities. You can learn about honey here
and lavender can be a great way to relax or fend off a headache.
Honey Lavender Lemonade
|1 cup raw honey||1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil.|
|5 cups pure water||2. Remove from heat and add honey, stirring to dissolve. |
|1 tablespoon dried, organic culinary lavender (or 1/4 cups lavender blossoms, crushed)||3. Add the lavender to the honey water, cover and let steep from 20 minutes to several hours, to taste.|
|1 cups fresh-squeezed, organic lemon juice, strained.||4. Strain mixture and discard lavender.|
|Ice cubes||6. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups of cold water. Stir well.|
|Lavender sprigs for garnish||7. Refrigerate until ready. Pour and enjoy!|Notes:
Do not add the honey to boiling water, as it will strip away the healthy benefits. Let it sit a minute to cool before stirring it in. It'll still dissolve but you'll retain the antioxidants and other great benefits! Also, lavender essential oil is not
recommended for consumption, so using plant lavender is highly recommended. If you can find it, try it with pure lavender tea
Watermelons are high in water concentration so they make a great summer staple. Keep cool with this easy drink that has just a kick of jalapeno for flavor.
|8 cups 1-inch seedless watermelon cubes, frozen||1. Process watermelon, lime juice, honey and jalapeno in a blender until smooth.|
|3 tablespoons fresh lime juice||2. Serve over ice!|
|2 tablespoons honey||Makes 4 servings|
|1 jalapeno, halved and seeded|
Notes: This is great when spiked with 1 cup of tequila or alone for an afternoon chiller. If jalapeno isn't your flavor, mint leaves are a great substitution. Cut them fine and blend so you don't get large pieces in the drink.
It's hard to keep away from the soft drinks when they seem like the perfect thirst-quencher. Carbonated, ice-cold and packed with taste, this recipe will keep you away from the sugar-high sodas so you can keep up with summer without the guilt. This recipe uses maple syrup
, which has manganese, zinc, antioxidants and other nutrients in it. It does contain a lot of syrup but 2 tablespoons of maple syrup is less than 2 tablespoons of sugar so you'll great great, unique flavor without as much sugar. If you're still worried about that, though, try it without the syrup and see how you like it just with lime and mint!
Sparkling Thirst Quencher
|1/2 sup freshly squeezed lime juice||Makes 16 fluid ounces|
|1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed||1. Add lime juice, mint leaves and maple syrup to large glass, stirring to combine.|
|2 tablespoons pure maple syrup||2. Add ice to glasses and equally divide mixture between glasses.|
|2 cups sparkling seltzer water (pure carbonated water)||3. Top with sparkling water.|
|1 cup ice|
It's not summer without iced tea and this one is packed with great flavor and nutrients. Fresh thyme has been linked to heart health
like blood pressure and cholesterol. It's also helped with cough and immune health
. Peaches have fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline, all of which are great for the heart and other health benefits
Peach-Thyme Iced Tea
|1/2 cup honey||1. Place honey, chopped thyme, 2 cups room temperature water and 4 cups of peaches in a pan. Cover and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.|
|1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme||2. Stir and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.|
|8 cups water||3. Let cool completely (about 30 minutes).|
|6 cups fresh or frozen peaches, sliced.||4. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer, pressing solids to extract juices.|
|10 black tea bags||5. Place tea bags and remained 2 cups peaches in 3-quart heatproof pitcher. Add 6 cups boiling water.|
|2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice||6. Let steep 15 minutes.|
|7. Discard tea bags. Stir in lemon juice and peach syrup.|
|8. Serve over ice and enjoy!|
Notes: This recipe is refreshing and can be made into a cocktail. Add 9 ounces of bourbon when adding lime juice and peach syrup at step 7 for a great barbecue drink!
After all those weekend barbecues and parties, sometimes we just need something to sip on that resets our system. This detox water is a great way to clear out all that picnic food and get you back to feeling lighter. Sip it throughout the day for gentle restart to your digestion.
Flush, Cleanse & Detox Water
|1/2 gallon water||1. Rinse grapefruit, tangerine, cucumber and mint leaves. Slice and peel.|
|6 wedges pink grapefruit||2. Combine all ingredients in a half gallon pitcher.|
|1 tangerine, mandarin or small orange, sliced||3. Allow all ingredients to sit for 2 hours.|
|1/2 cucumber, sliced||4. Drink throughout day|
|2 peppermint or mint leaves|
About The AuthorMonica Levin, RHN is a Life Coach and has been a Registered Holistic Nutritionist for over 20 years with a degree from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Ms. Levin is also a Certified Body Language Trainer, Ordained Minister and Appreciation in the Workplace Facilitator who is an in-demand Corporate Speaker on health and wellness at events all over the USA and Canada.
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