I had some friends over for a beautiful dinner last night. It was a warm, balmy night on the deck with fresh food and fabulous company. We decided to make use of the huge bowl of lemons I had been given by my neighbor and make home made lemonade. When the universe gives you lemons, make naturally sweetened ginger lemonade recipe!
I've always had a penchant for ginger beer and lemonade. But, they're usually loaded with refined sugar. This ginger lemonade still contains quite a bit of natural sugar, but it's a little more forgiving than commercial lemonades.
The secret ingredient to this lemonade is whole lemons. The zest and pith adds a strong, aromatic citrus essence, a depth of flavor, and a tart quality that takes the edge off the sweetness, and the freshly grated ginger adds a special zing that makes this ginger lemonade rock.
If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, you could use Nu Naturals alcohol-free liquid stevia, or Sweet Leaf lemon sweet drops. Stevia is glucose free, does not affect your blood sugar levels and has no calories. Those of you on the Body Ecology Diet, Sugar Circuit Diet, other sugar free diets, or just watching your sugar intake should add in the desired amount of Stevia drops to your mix. You can halve the difference with this ginger lemonade recipe and use a little bit of natural sweetener like coconut nectar or yacon syrup, and then accent it with some drops of stevia. Play around and find you perfect blend.
But for a treat, this agave-sweetened blend hits the spot for me. Agave also keeps the lemonade a nice pale yellow color, whereas other liquid sweeteners can turn the entire blend brown. I must admit, it is quite a bit more naughty than I had anticipated. But as a treat on a hot Summer’s night, you just can’t beat this lemonade. Just make sure to be generous with your lemon juice, and blend the whole lemon in until smooth and creamy.
A tip on juicing lemons: juice them at room temperature in order to get the most juice out of them.
If you want a quick easy lemonade with a real edge, try making home made lemonade with whole lemons by cutting the lemons, removing the seeds and adding in some ice and water. Garnish with mint and ginger. This tastes like a limoncello mocktail. Just know that this lemonade is very different and not for everyone. If you don't like the bitter bite to this lemonade, halve the difference with this lemonade using juice, sweetener and adding one or two whole lemons.
Last night we made some regular lemonade with still water; and some spritzers using sparkling water. Either way, this whole lemonade is delicious. I am going to make lemonade ginger mocktails with this blend when Melly, Craig, Martin and Roman and I have our annual New Year’s Eve dinner.
Happy New Decade!