Happy Monday, everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Although it poured all weekend long, we managed to fit in a lot of fun. Saturday the boys and I drove around looking at houses and running errands before hitting up Mi Patria for lunch. Locals, you have not lived until you’ve tried their Camarones al Ajillo, aka gluten-free spicy shrimp soup made with house broth (their Churrasco is also TDF!) So, so good and just what we were craving on a miserable, rainy day. Later that night I stayed up until 12am (legit have not seen that hour in…years?) gabbing with two of my best friends from high school who were in town, and Sunday we spent the afternoon at my parent’s house celebrating my sis-in-law’s birthday. Phew…but, fun!!
I was initially pretty miffed about being stuck indoors all weekend but decided to turn lemons into lemonade by turning lemons into lemonade…literally! I tested a few batches of Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade, and while it was grey and drizzly outside, my kitchen was allll summer – the ant invasion that was taking place inside it confirmed the feeling. Seriously, every. single. year. Hate those little critters!!!
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a few things lately (and these are riveting thoughts so please pay attention.)
- I am craving drinks with flavor. I don’t drink pop (I mean, a Sierra Mist will sneak in once or twice a month but as a general rule, no,) and Grapefruit Perrier is great when I want something fizzy, but sometimes I need something highly concentrated in flavor without being packed with added sugar. (La Croix gives me instant headaches otherwise that would probably be my go to.) I legit don’t know what this mystery drink could be though.
- My KID is craving drinks with flavor. I’m a complete sucker and want my child to be happy at all times, and I know sugary drinks make him happy, so I want to give him something flavorful but low in added sugar.
- I want something that’s nutritious, but fun. Don’t get me wrong, smoothies are great, but I can’t help but focus on the fact that they’re doing my body a solid vs feeling like I’m splurging a little while drinking them.
Am I making any sense right now?!
Anyway, all these random thoughts swirling around inside my head eventually morphed into 4-ingredient (plus water) Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade, aka your new summer drank that’s perfect for the pool, patio, or a picnic. Or, you know, a random rainy weekend. I lost track of how many glasses I had!
Strawberry Lemonade has been on my to-make list for the past few weeks since strawberries are so sweet and delicious right now. I was trying to think of a way to decrease the amount of sweetener I’d have to add to it though when I opened the fridge and a little container of coconut water was staring back at me (Lincoln is obsessed.) BINGO!!
Coconut water isn’t sweet tasting on its own but it significantly cuts the tartness of lemons which means I didn’t have to add a ton of sugar to make the lemonade palatable. PLUS coconut water is extremely hydrating and perfect for the scorching hot temps coming our way over the next couple of months. Add in the health benefits of fresh lemon juice – vitamin C! Flavonoids! – and fresh strawberries – inflammation fighting! More flavonoids! – and you’ve got a nutritious drink that is FUN, full of flavor, and low in added sugar. We’re talking roughly 1/3 cup simple syrup, which is half water half sugar, in the entire 5+ cup recipe.
This stuff is checking ALL the boxes!
Here are all the ways I’m recommending you enjoy Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade this summer besides straight from the blender, which the entire recipe is made in (three cheers for easy clean up!):
- Topping with sparkling water for a little fizz. Ohhh my, you have to try.
- Mixing with strawberry vodka. ‘Nuf said.
- Making into popsicles. Lincoln LOVES them.
- Adding said popsicles to wine glasses then topping with Sauv Blanc or Champagne. Because boozy popsicle cocktails.
What can I say, this recipe is a hit with all age groups!
Start by squeezing 4 lemons, to get 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, through a fine mesh sieve set on top of a measuring cup to catch the seeds and any rogue segments.
The best way to get every last drop of juice is to first microwave your lemons for 25-30 seconds.
Next, firmly roll them against a cutting board before slicing in half lengthwise and squeezing. Promise you’ll get every last drop without needing a fancy juicing gadget or anything!
Next trim 1lb strawberries then slice in half and add to a blender along with the lemon juice. Blend until very, very smooth. Love my Blendtec – always gets the job done!
Then add 2 cups coconut water. Be sure to read the ingredient list on the brand you buy as a lot will include excess added sweeteners and/or thickeners which don’t need to be in there.
Also add a splash of simple syrup, which is equal parts sugar and water microwaved until the sugar has dissolved (1-1/2 minutes,) then chilled. I used about 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons simple syrup in the entire 5+ cup recipe – aka WAY less than store-bought lemonade! The amount you use will depend on your tastes and how sweet your strawberries are.
Stir everything together then pour the Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade over ice. If you’re craving a little bit of fizz I love adding a splash of sparkling water – Ice Mountain Raspberry Lime is my favorite and La Croix (if it doesn’t give you headaches) would be perfect too – then pop in a straw and sip!
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Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade
Strawberry Coconut Water Lemonade is a sweet-tart summery drink made with fresh strawberries, lemons, and coconut water. Top with sparkling water for a little fizz!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (~4 lemons)
- 1lb strawberries, trimmed and halved
- 2 cups coconut water (I like Vita Coco brand)
- Sparkling water (optional)
- Stir together water and sugar in a mason jar or glass bowl then microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave then stir until all the sugar has dissolved - you now have simple syrup. Refrigerate until completely cool - simple syrup can be made several days ahead of time.
- Combine lemon juice and strawberries in a blender then blend until very smooth. Stir in coconut water then simple syrup to taste (I used 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of simple syrup - amount used will depend on your tastes and how sweet your strawberries are.) Refrigerate lemonade until ready to serve then pour into cups with ice and top with sparking water (optional) just before serving.
- Tip to get more juice out of lemons: microwave lemons for 20-30 seconds then firmly roll against a cutting board before slicing lengthwise and squeezing.
- Add a splash of vodka or champagne for a little fun and/or turn leftovers into popsicles!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Tart, tart, tart, with the perfect amount of sweetness, and full of real, whole foods, I am incredibly thrilled with how this drink turned out. I think a few frozen blueberries and/or a sprig of mint added to each glass would add a little something something presentation-wise, too. However you serve it – enjoy!!