6 Cool and Refreshing Summer Beverage Ideas


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Officially, summer is just around the corner, but here in North Carolina, summer has arrived! It’s been 90F and above for the last few weeks, and that means it’s time for some cool, refreshing beverages. However, you can skip the sodas, which just leave you thirsty for more. 


I like to throw some fruit and herbs or tea and herbs into water and place it outside in the sun to make interesting flavored water or sun tea. I thought I’d share some of my favorites here. These and many more recipes are in my Summer Detox E-Quipment Kit, which will be available online soon. Check back! 


Skip the sports drinks too! The recipes below will give you everything you need to keep those electrolytes balanced naturally. If you train a lot and need to add back a little sodium (lost in perspiration) then add a dash of Himalyan or full-spectrum sea salt to the recipes. These salts have not been refined and contain many beneficial trace minerals.


Enjoy these healthy beverages that will satisfy your thirst without sugar, artificial sweeteners, food coloring or other chemical additives!


ORANGE BASIL WATER


8 cups filtered water

2 oranges, sliced (peel and all)

1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped

Let steep for at least a few hours, preferably in the sun. Remove basil which turns brown, but leave orange slices in.



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CUCUMBER GINGER WATER


8 cups filtered water

1 large peeled and chopped cucumber

1/2 cup chopped ginger

1/2 cup rosemary, coarsely chopped

Steep in sun at least 4 hours or let sit overnight.


HONEYDEW MINT WATER


8 cups Filtered water

1/2 honeydew, cut in thin slices

1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped

Let sit for at least a few hours or overnight in refrigerator. Remove melon and mint. Super refreshing!


SUN TEA:  Add your favorite herbal tea bags to a large glass jar filled with water. If possible, add bunches of fresh herbs from your garden. Tighten lid and leave in the sun all day, or at least 6 hours for best flavor.



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STRAWBERRY-MINT CITRUSADE

 

4-5 cups filtered water, divided

2/3 cup local raw honey

2 cups strawberries, divided in half

½-1 cup loosely packed mint leaves

2 cups fresh squeezed citrus juices*

liquid stevia, if desired

Ice

 

Boil 2 cups water and let cool for a few minutes. Add honey and dissolve. Let cool while you squeeze the citrus juices and drain through a sieve. Trim 1 cup strawberries and puree along with the mint leaves and honey-water. Combine citrus juice, honey water, pureed strawberries and 2-3more cups water. Sweeten to taste with liquid stevia, if needed. Chill.

 

When ready to serve, slice the remaining 1 cup of strawberries. Add to lemonade, along with lots of ice. Give it a taste and see if you want more water or not. 

 

*I used 1 grapefruit, 2 oranges, 2 lemons and 1 lime.

 

Stevia is an herb that is very sweet and has no calories. It comes in a liquid and powdered form, as well as the whole herb. 



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POWER PUNCH

(filled with powerful antioxidants)


8 cups seedless watermelon pieces

3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)

1 cup red grapes

1-2 T. chopped fresh tarragon

honey and/or liquid stevia to taste

ice

lime wedges


Put everything except the ice and lime wedges in a blender or Vitamix. If desired, strain. Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.


Nutrition Facts:


Watermelon is a great source of vitamin C, A, magnesium and potassium. It's also packed with antioxidants. Next to tomatoes, it's one of the best sources of lycopene. Did you know watermelon also contains amino acids? It's high in the amino acid citruline which is converted into arginine, which in turn is beneficial to the heart!


I added some grapes just to naturally sweeten it up a bit and to add more heart healthy resveratrol. Resveratrol has been proven to protect the cardiovascular system and provide many other anti-aging benefits. Blending up the skins and seeds will up the ante, as they are a rich source of flavonoids called proanthocyanidins (OPCs) which are more potent antioxidants than vitamins C and E!


Throw in some lime for more vitamin C.


Sweeten to taste with stevia, honey or a little of both.



© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™