5 Delicious Ways to Upgrade Your Lemonade

posted: 04/06/16
by: Ashley Lauretta

With longer days and warmer weather comes the need for a bit of extra refreshment in your life. A classic go-to is lemonade, and whether you make it from scratch or use concentrate, it is the perfect way to cool down and enjoy the taste of summer.

Unfortunately, even small portions can contain a lot of sugar and not too many nutrients. Thankfully, Georgie Fear and Brandice Lardner of One by One Nutrition helped us find healthy options that won't add too many calories but will seriously amp up traditional lemonade's flavor.

Add cucumber and basil

Once you make the lemonade, add in a handful of cucumber slices and basil to the pitcher and allow to infuse overnight. "Cucumbers are not only refreshing to your taste buds, but they are hydrating to your body due to their water and potassium content," explains Lardner. Drink up and enjoy the added benefits!

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Stir in pureed strawberries

"Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, non-caloric nutrients that will help our body stay vibrant and strong," says Lardner. "Antioxidants are associated with a reduction in many health conditions. Lemons and strawberries both pack a vitamin C punch!" Puree strawberries and add into your lemonade for added vitamins and garnish your glass with a whole strawberry for an added touch of luxury.

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Serve it with peaches

Peach season usually runs from May through September and you can puree or infuse them in lemonade for an added seasonal twist. "Peaches are a great source of magnesium and potassium, which are important minerals for bone health," adds Lardner. Have your kids drink a glass for added benefits as their bones grow!

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Mix in mint and watermelon

Puree some watermelon and add mint in, allowing it to infuse before serving. "Mint is an herb that helps with digestion and has been shown to calm digestive discomfort," informs Lardner. "While tomatoes are often praised for the lycopene content, watermelon actually contains of higher concentration of this phytochemical associated with eye and skin health." While you could choose to add one or the other if needed, adding both gives even more benefits--and flavor--to your drink.

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Pour in some iced tea

Making lemonade iced tea--also known as an Arnold Palmer--is another way to cool off during the hot months. "Add a shot of green or black tea--drop the tea bag in to steep or brew it separately--and stir it in," notes Fear. "Having lemon and tea together (whether green or black) increases the availability of the polyphenols in the tea, so you absorb more of them." Polyphenols can help prevent degenerative diseases and are obtained through our diets. With this version, you have control over the flavor, by adding more or less tea.

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