RECIPE: Homemade Lemonade "Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy!"
My daughter LOVES lemons. Even when she was very little, she wanted to suck on lemon wedges. I have become very adept at making fresh lemonade, even if it is one glassful on the fly for a hot, cranky child. It is really not that hard and real lemon juice is full of great health benefits. I urge you to skip the powdered stuff and make a batch for your family. A little extra time spent on a Saturday and you can have a pitcherful all week (well, maybe, if it lasts that long!). Now for the big pitcher I heat the water and dissolve the sugar into a simple syrup before adding the juice. You don't have to do it that way, and in fact a single cup for my daughter I just throw together quickly. But for bigger batches, the flavor and texture of the lemonade is better if you do take the syrup step.
Easy, Fresh Lemonade
Roughly 2 quarts (see below for one cup ratio)
8 cups water
12 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
24 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. salt
First measure your cold water and put in your pitcher. Then, take half of the water and pour in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, simmer the water and add the sugar and salt. Simmer the water until all the sugar is dissolved into a simple syrup. Let cool slightly and then add back into the pitcher.
Next, squeeze lemons to extract the juice. We have a hand crank juicer that works great and captures seeds and such. Kids love getting involved here, so let them do some of the labor! It makes for a fun activity and they will enjoy the "fruits" of their labor. (ha ha, couldn't resist.)
Measure out your lemon juice, and I would squeeze a little more than the recipe asks for because you might want to adjust tartness once you taste. All lemons have different strengths so be ready for an extra couple of doses of lemon juice to kick things up should you need it.
Pour juice into the sugar water and taste. Adjust for more tartness, and serve over ice cubes. You might want to garnish with a mint sprig from the garden! Yum!
Here is the ratio for a quick one cup lemonade for your little monkey:
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice (usually about 1/2 a large lemon)
a pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. of sugar (or less)
Mix it up in a cup, add a couple ice cubes, and VOILA-amazing Mom strikes again!