Monday, July 21, 2014

Cucumber Mint Lemonade with Chia seeds

I've been seeing a lot of posts on social media lately about this place called Lemonade. They serve interesting types of salads, sides, sandwiches, desserts, and you guessed it, lemonade. I've never been to any of their locations, but I have managed to get a glimpse of their menu online. Being that its summer and very hot, what caught my attention was their cucumber mint lemonade. I thought to myself "that sounds really refreshing." I'm sure I can find a way to make it if I looked on Pinterest. Sure enough, I found this recipe on Pinterest from The Domestic Geek. I asked my parents for some lemons from their tree in exchange for some of this yummy lemonade, and they were pretty eager to give me some. The end result was this delicious and refreshing beverage, perfect for the summer. Hubby really liked this. He said it tastes like a mojito without the alcohol. I obviously modified the original recipe by adding the chia seeds, which I hear is super healthy for you. But if you can't find chia seeds or prefer not to have it in the drink, you can definitely omit it altogether. I happened to like the texture in my drink and it reminded me of the pineapple agua fresca I had not too long ago that contained chia seeds. I had never had chia seeds before, but I think I may have found a new favorite.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
handful of fresh mint leaves
8 cups water
1 Tbsp. chia seeds

1) Make simple syrup by combining sugar and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool completely.

2) In a blender, add cucumber, mint leaves, and 1 1/2 cups of the simple syrup. Puree until smooth.

3) In a large pitcher, add lemon juice. Pour about 3/4 of the cucumber mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the pitcher to remove most of the pulp. Pour the remaining 1/4 of the cucumber mixer directly into the pitcher. Stir. Add the remaining 8 cups water. Add more of the simple syrup if you like it sweeter.

4) Stir in chia seeds. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to expand. Serve cold.

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