There’s nothing like a chilled drink on a hot summer day!
Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, even more so during the wild fires that are currently raging across Canada and affecting far and wide across North America. To minimize the accumulation of the fine particles released by the smoke in our system, increasing hydration seems to be a logical step.
This is a delightful twist on traditional lemonade, combining the flavours of juicy watermelon, refreshing cucumber, bright lemon, and aromatic basil. Drink it as it or add in some chia seeds to turn into more of a smoothie consistency.
Watermelon is a quintessential symbol of summer that is also nutrient-dense - it’s a rich source of lycopene, a carotenoid ‘cousin’ to beta-carotene. Strawberries are high in anthocyanins - beneficial plant compounds that support our health. Besides, it’s a strawberry season and they’re at their best! Fresh basil makes an aromatic addition to the drink and lemon always brightens up the taste.
Along with cucumbers, both watermelon and strawberries are high water content foods and great for quenching that summer thirst. Sip on it all season long or any time you're craving a fruity and hydrating beverage.
Here's how to make this refreshing beverage:
yields about 4 cups
- 2 bags of hibiscus tea (or 1 tablespoon loose hibiscus)
- 1 cup just boiled water
- 3 cups watermelon, cut into large cubes
- 1 cups strawberries
- 2 small cucumbers, skin removed*
- 1/4 cup fresh basil**
- juice of one lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)
- ice cubes
- Put the tea bags in a cup, cover with just boiled water. Cover and let steep while you’re preparing the other ingredients.
- Put the watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers and basil in a blender. Squeeze in the lemon and add the optional maple syrup.
- Pour in the hibiscus infusion.
- Blend on high until all incorporated.***
- Place ice cubes into 4 glasses, pour your lemonade and garnish with more basil.
Keeps 2 days in the refrigerator.
*you can leave the cucumbers unpeeled, but the colour will be more muted
**or use mint
***straining is optional
****you can pour the mixture into popsicle molds