Do you love lemonade? This quick and easy homemade lemonade recipe tastes like summer in a glass and you’ll feel good knowing it’s all-natural.
Summer is in full swing and that means one thing–my kids are bored. Seriously?? School has only been out for a few weeks! Since we limit their screen time to a few hours a day in the summer, there’s been a lot of grumbling and rolling of the eyes.
And that’s just from me!
So I decided what my boys needed was a tall glass of homemade lemonade to cool off and a pen and paper to make a list of activities they enjoy doing (preferably outside). As I squeezed lemons and my kids brainstormed things they could do to keep themselves entertained, it became clear to me that the real joys of summer are always the simplest. And what’s simpler than a delicious glass of ice-cold of lemonade?
After we drank our lemonade I started making my own list. With my crazy schedule, boredom is never a problem so instead I wrote a gratitude list of things I love about summer. The list made me so happy that I taped it to my desk and plan to keep adding to it.
Summer Pleasures by Leah Harvath
–seedlings poking up in the garden
–hummingbirds darting around the feeder
–a great summer read
–the laughter of children playing in the yard
–the feeling of grass on bare feet
–dining al fresco
–evenings on the porch visiting with friends
–kids selling homemade lemonade on the corner, of course!
Is it weird that just a list of summer pleasures can make me smile?
Now, of course there are things I don’t love about summer like road construction, mosquitoes and sunburns just to name a few. When farm kid #2 came home from a camping trip last week with a pretty bad burn I was so happy I had recently made a batch of my Soothing Sunburn Relief Spray. Farm kid #2 was happy that his brothers hadn’t quite finished off the homemade lemonade.
Is Homemade Lemonade Healthy?
As a health conscious mom and an all-natural living blogger, it’s a question I had to ask. But I was pleased to learn that lemons are actually considered a superfood since they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which boost health and well-being in several ways. Since lemonade is just lemon juice combined with water and some sugar, it’s an easy way to get a healthy dose of lemon.
That said, it requires a lot of sugar to make it taste good so drinking it occasionally, or on special occasions, it probably best. Adding a slice of lemon to your water, on the other hand, is a good idea any time.
Unless life also gives you water and sugar,
your lemonade is gonna suck.
Is It Really Easy To Make?
Yes. Yes it is. You’re gonna need one cup of lemon juice for this recipe and that will take 6-8 lemons depending on the size. To make the job easier, roll each lemon on the counter with your hand to break up the fibers and release the juice. Don’t worry if you end up with extra juice either. Just freeze it in an ice cube tray, pop it in a freezer bag and you’ll have fresh-squeezed lemon juice whenever you need it.
The secret to perfect homemade lemonade is one cup each water, sugar and lemon juice. You just put the sugar and the water in a sauce pan and heat just until sugar is dissolved. This is called a simple syrup and it ensures that the sugar is completely dissolved in the water. Pour the simple syrup in a pitcher in the fridge until it cools. Then just add the lemon juice and six to eight more cups of cold water to taste. I think seven cups is just right.
If you want to take this recipe to a whole different level it’s as easy as adding either fruit or herbs or both. Berries go particularly well with lemonade but you really can let your imagination go wild. Here a a few of my favorite add-in ideas to get you started:
- Berry Lemonade–add 1 1/2 cups mashed strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. Strain if desired.
- Cucumber Lemonade–add 1 peeled and sliced cucumber.
- Basil Lemonade–add 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- Pineapple Lemonade–add 1 cup pineapple juice and a squeeze of lime.
- Mint Lemonade–add 2 tbsp. chopped mint leaves.
- Pomegranate Lemonade-–add 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice.
- Sparkling Lemonade–replace 5 cups of the cold water with club soda
I’m making a promise to myself to spend more time this summer enjoying those simple pleasures on my list and the many others I haven’t even thought of yet. I will also try to keep a pitcher of homemade lemonade in the fridge because there’s nothing that would make those simple joys better than adding a glass of fresh-squeezed lemony goodness.
And of course I will still stop and buy a glass from any kid with a lemonade stand on the corner.
Easy Homemade Lemonade
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup hot water
1 cup lemon juice (from 6-8 lemons)
6-8 cups cold water, depending on taste (I use 7)
Put hot water and sugar in a pan over medium heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Put sugar water in pitcher and put in refrigerator until cold. Remove pitcher from refrigerator, add lemon juice and 6 cups of cold water. Sir and taste. Add up to two more cups of water, one cup at a time, until lemonade reaches desired strength. Pour over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.
What’s your favorite summertime pleasure?