Lemon Blueberry Mint Ice Cubes

We are in the middle of a blizzard so naturally I’m making ice cubes. What? It’s important to stay hydrated while watching Hubband and the kid shovel snow. I kid, I do my fair share of shoveling.

I love water. It’s my go to drink. But sometimes I just need a little more flavor and these cubes are perfect for that. I just toss a few in my water bottle every morning. They are also super versatile. You can use any number of flavor combinations.

What You’ll Need

icecubes

ice cube tray

blueberries – or whichever fruit you’d like

lemon juice

mint – I used mint we dehydrated from our garden last summer.

That’s it. Put a few berries in each slot, add a splash of lemon juice, a pinch of mint and freeze. Toss them into your water and enjoy!

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Infused Water

photoI may be the thirstiest person on the planet.  I’m always chugging water.  I take it with me everywhere.  You name the type of water bottle, I probably own it.  I’m proud to say I’m passing this obsession on to my daughter.

Even though it’s my go to beverage, I occasionally tire of plain water.  Enter infused waters!  This time of year is particularly awesome for them because there is so much fresh, local produce available.  Making them couldn’t be easier.  Really.  All you need is a 2 quart container for your filtered water, cut up fruits, veggies, herbs, and a fridge. Throw it all together and chill overnight.   My two current favorites are cucumber, ginger, mint and pineapple, lemon, apple mint.  Play around with different combinations until you find ones you like.  Stay hydrated friends!

Stinging Nettle Tea and Garlic Pesto

IMG_8882Let’s talk about this prickly, often cursed, but highly nutritious herb. It grows wild in most parts of the world and, until recently, was often found on dinner plates and in medicine cabinets.  Because it supplies iron, vitamins A, D and K, it’s a cure for practically every ailment- allergies, arthritis, skin conditions, as well as a plethora of others.

The nettle in our yard  is currently in a race with the lettuce to see who can outpace me faster.  I got busy this weekend processing a bunch of leaves for tea and pesto sauce.  Be careful when harvesting.  It’s called stinging for a reason- it hurts if you grab the bristly side of the leaf.  BAD.  So learn from my mistake and use gloves.

The first thing you need to do is wash the leaves.  Get a pot of water boiling and once the leaves are clean, use tongs to drop them  in.  Let them boil for 2 minutes or so.  This takes the sting out of them.  Pull them out of the water with your tongs and wring out the excess water back into your pot.  You now have nettle tea. I enjoy mine with a splash of agave syrup.

What You’ll Need for Pesto

1/4 pound of nettle leaves

2 TBSP minced garlic

1/2 C pepitas

1.5 TSP lemon juice

3/4 C olive oil

1/4 C vegan Parmesan cheese

1/4 TSP adobe seasoning

dash of red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Place your cooked nettle leaves, lemon juice, garlic, pepitas, Parmesan, and seasonings in a food processor. Once they’re finely chopped, slowly add in the olive oil.  Pulse a few more times and you’re done.  We made pesto pasta but it’s also awesome on homemade bread.  Enjoy!

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Beet Lemonade

IMG_8503I love beets.  I especially love their color.  As I’m the only one here who does, and there are roughly 100 beet plants growing in my garden, I need to find creative ways to use them.  What’s more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than lemonade? Beet lemonade! Isn’t it beautiful?

The idea didn’t come to me until I’d already made a batch of plain lemonade.  My lemonade recipe is fairly standard and simple-  I squeezed enough lemons (roughly 6) to make 1 cup lemon juice. I combined a cup of water and a cup of sugar to a small pot and heated until the sugar dissolved to make a simple syrup.  I added the syrup, lemon juice and about 5 cups of water to a glass jar and chilled.  I then washed, peeled and grated a small beet. I’m guessing it made about 1/4 cup.

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I poured the lemonade and grated beet into my super mixer and blended for 20 seconds or so.  This didn’t completely pulverize the beet, but it was fine enough I didn’t mind it.  Next time I’ll run it all through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits.

It was just enough beet to make a beautiful color and taste.  I didn’t want the beet to overpower the lemon.  It’s even toddler approved.  As was the chocolate she ate just before having a sip.

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Enjoy!