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food2Sometimes I wish I could be a food blogger.  With someone with so many allergies like me, I’m constantly adapting recipes to fit my needs, changing out an ingredient here and there.  But I don’t have that skill of just knowing what will work together, or to bake something and realize that the reason it didn’t work is because it needs more baking soda, etc.  Basically, I can tell you if food needs more salt.  That’s where the gifting ends.  But I do still love to play around in the kitchen, and that’s what I did today.  I wanted a refreshing summer drink and allowed that thought to carry me to the grocery store, where I just saw display upon display of fresh blueberries.  Yes please.

I’m one of those “I’ll just have some water, please” people.  I don’t drink soda.  I’ll drink juice as a last resort.  Iced tea–maybe, and as long as it is unsweetened.  I just like water.  But sometimes I do wish that I had something with just a little more flavor and pizzaz than another glass of water.  And I do like me some lemonade.  So given that it is summer, and that I will not drink those lemonade beverages that are more sugar than lemons, I decided to make my own and have fun with it.  I also have an obsession with putting basil in everything lately, including my smoothies every single day.  It just adds a whole other burst of flavor to an already yummy treat.  So I bring you basil-infused blueberry lemonade!  It has a lovely, light, refreshing taste with just a little hint of spice from that basil.  Extremely easy to make, and even more fun to sip on a sunny July afternoon.  Give it a try!

food1Basil-Infused Blueberry Lemonade:

1 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 4 large lemons, peeled

12-14 basil leaves (depending on how strong you like it)

2 tbsp raw honey or sweetener of your choice

Throw all the blueberries and the peeled lemons in a juicer, and pour the lemon blueberry juice into a saucepan.  Add your lemon zest and basil leaves to the saucepan.  If you are one of those fancy people that have cooking twine in your house, go ahead and bunch those leaves together.  I am not one of those people, so they just floated in there of their own accord.  Add the honey, and turn on the heat. Side note–I don’t like things to be that sweet, so depending on your tastebuds you may want to add more honey to sweeten it.  I actually thought the 2 tbsp was a little bit too much for me.  To each their own.

Once all of the ingredients have been added to the saucepan, allow it all to simmer for 15-20 minutes, giving the basil time to infuse those yummy juices with its fresh and spicy flavor.  Be careful to not allow the mixture to boil.  When it is done, strain the mixture into a bowl or container, and allow it time to cool.

Important to note: the above recipe creates a concentrate, so you need to add water or the liquid of your choice to make it into an actual beverage, either by the glass or all together in a big pitcher.  I mixed 3 tbsp of the concentrate with a cup of sparkling water, and found it was just the right amount of flavor for me.  Find what works for you!

Makes 2-3 cups of concentrate.

Also, I’m pretty sure that if you were to add a little vodka, it would be even more fun…

**If you do not have a juicer, you could just as easily make this in a blender.  You can blend the blueberries and the peeled lemons and strain the pulp.  Unless you like really pulpy lemonade.  I do not.

Enjoy!

food3This recipe was inspired by this Basil Infused Cherry Limeade recipe that I came across.  I’m not the biggest fan of cherries, so I used it as a starting point to create my own little refreshing treat.  Happy Summer!

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