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There’s no denying it: summer is suddenly here!
Our family is doing everything we can to stay cool. The kids have started using the bathtub as a swimming pool, our ice cream machine* is back in business, we’ve been making all sorts of homemade popsicles, and we’ve been doing everything else that I’ve written about in my “How to beat the summer heat” series.
And what else? I’ve been drinking loads and loads of homemade lemonade.
We’re lucky enough to live in an area where lemons grow abundantly, so we have no shortage of organic local lemons. And, because vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, I’ve been ingesting lemon in every possible way to help my body in its very slow recovery from the extreme blood loss that led to a 4-night hospital stay last month. So besides squeezing lemon juice on every vegetable known to man, I’ve been drinking glass after glass of delicious homemade lemonade!
And besides its health benefits, how incredibly refreshing lemonade is on hot, humid summer days! You know, those days when you can barely move because of the suffocating heat? And I’ve also come up with a recipe without sugar so it’s a 100% guilt-free pleasure for the whole family!
I make up two or three batches of lemonade at a time so that we’re sure to always have plenty of it in the fridge. And it’s perfect for offering to guests or bringing to an outdoor summer party! Remember, fellow US peeps, July 4th is coming up, and this stuff is perfect for your holiday cookout!
So, are you ready to find out the secret to making this incredibly healthy, delicious and refreshing summer drink? Read on for the Cucicucicoo sugar-free lemonade recipe!
The healthy secret is: honey! Hardcore no-sugar people will not use honey either, but I personally use it a lot because of its health benefits and because I try to avoid using sugar as much as possible. A friend of ours has beehives and so we always get our honey local and organic. The one problem with honey is that it does not dissolve as well as sugar in a non-heated liquid, but I have another secret for doing this. I’ll get to that in a moment. For now…
INGREDIENTS for 1 liter of sugar-free lemonade
- 150 ml (5 oz) lemon juice (3 or 4 lemons, depending on size and juiciness)
- 50 ml (7 tsp) honey
- 800 ml (27 oz) water
1. Wash and dry the lemons. If they’re organic, get bonus points by using the peels, too! Use a potato peeler to remove just the outer yellow part of the peel (not the white pith). You can dry them to make delicious flavored salts or make tasty limoncello liquor from them.
2. Squeeze the lemons until you get 150 ml (5 oz) of juice. Put the juice in a largish bowl or pitcher with a wide opening. I mix up my lemonade directly in my fantastic 4-cup/1 liter OXO angled measuring cup*. I love this thing because it’s big and it has both metric and imperial measurements so I don’t have to keep converting volumes. I’ve had mine for 12 years and use it all the time.
Did you know that lemons work wonders for degreasing kitchenware? Wipe greasy or fatty pans or plates with the insides of the squeezed peels, or just stick them on an upper rack in your dishwasher next time you run it!
3. Mix 50 ml (7 tsp) of honey into the lemon juice. Honey will not dissolve in room-temperature or cold water, so the trick is to dissolve it in the pure lemon juice.
4. Add the water so that the total volume comes to 1 liter. That would be about 800 ml (27 oz).
5. Pour the lemonade into a pitcher or bottle. I prefer using simple glass swing top bottles* because that way I can store the lemonade in the fridge horizontally if necessary. I don’t actually buy them, but clean out olive oil or craft beer bottles with this type of top.
If you have a 1-liter container, you can always pour the lemon-honey mixture in it and then just fill the rest of the container with water. Whatever’s easiest for you.
Put it in the fridge to cool and you’re done! Wasn’t that easy?
Obviously you can adjust the water-lemon-honey ratio to your taste. I actually usually make two different versions because my kids don’t like strong lemonade. For their lighter version I mix 100 ml (3.5 oz) lemon juice with 4 tsp honey, and then fill the rest of the liter up with water.
Now all that’s left to do is to fill up a nice tall glass, put your feet up and relax!
Get your kids involved making it too! My children love squeezing lemons and they enjoy drinking lemonade even more when they’ve participating in making it and understand how it’s made. (Here my Sofia is modelling not only the lemonade, but also her Everyday Tank Top.)
And because it’s sugar-free, you don’t have to worry about the negative impact that sugar has on their little bodies, and can concentrate on what good the lemon and honey do do for them!
And if you don’t know what to bring to a summer cookout, bring two or three liters of your homemade lemonade and you’ll soon find that EVERYONE will invite you to their parties!
This healthy sugar-free lemonade recipe is part of the Beating the Summer Heat series! Click here for more ideas on how to stay cool at home on hot summer days!
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12 thoughts on “Healthy Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe”
Thanks! You could also use stevia to sweeten the limonade naturally without adding calories. This plant is magical!
You’re right, Hélène! I have stevia, but just have never tried it in lemonade. That’s something for me to experiment with! 🙂