recipes for healthy living

Tag: drinks

Summer Drinks – Limoncello and Elderflower


Summer is here, temperatures are soaring and plans for eating outdoors and summer cocktails are all being made. 2 weeks ago I collected a bag full of elderflower (when there was still plenty of rain about) and now I am delighted to have this in the fridge ready for any callers. Those wanting something stronger can try the other bottle, also equally good on a summer evening. Limoncello brings memories of a lunatic driver from Naples to Amalfi careering round hair pin bends and stopping at the side of the road in blistering heat to offer us granita to cool down.

There is still elderflower about if you fancy getting up in the morning to collect it otherwise try recipe #2.

1l bottle vodka
5 lemons (unwaxed and washed)
700gr sugar dissolved in 700ml water

Make sure you have big enough bottles to hold nearly 2 ltrs of liquid. I used old lemonade bottles which I sterilised.
Take the zest from all the lemons making sure not to include any white as it will add bitterness.
Put the zest in a large clean jar and pour over the vodka. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and leave for a week, shaking the jar each day.
When the vodka is ready add the syrup to it, leave for a further week shaking the jar regularly.

Elderflower Syrup – Delicious with sparkling water and loads of ice.

2kg white sugar, either granulated or caster
1.5 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons
About 20 fresh elderflower heads (stalks trimmed)
85g citric acid (from chemists – used for flavouring)

Put the sugar and water into a pot and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Give it a stir every now and again. Pare the zest from the lemons then slice the lemons into rounds. Add to the sugar and water.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Fill a washing up bowl with cold water. Give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs. Lift flowers out, gently shake and transfer to the syrup. Add the citric acid, then stir well.
Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 24 hrs.
Line a colander with a clean tea towel, then sit it over a large bowl or pan. Ladle in the syrup – let it drip slowly through. Discard the bits left in the towel.
Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles (run them through the dishwasher).
This ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Cold Remedies and Breakfast Smoothies

Need a Boost? Check, Working a bit too much? Check, Still carrying a cough or cold from weeks ago….and check again.

I’m double dosing with fruit smoothies and home made punches and feeling better for it. Great for an antioxidant boost with anti inflammatory and disease preventing compounds. They are easy to whip up and taste yummy too- the raspberry smoothie is taken to a new level of flavour with the addition of the cinammon and the Lemon and Ginger punch is great generally for coughs, colds and upset stomachs. A shot of something strong would also elevate it to a new level!

Raspberry Boost Smoothie
2 Cups frozen raspberries
1 Orange, peel and pith removed, coarsely chopped
1 Cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 Cup cranberry juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups ice
1 scoop protein

Throw everything into the blender and blend until really smooth
Serves 2.

Lemon and Ginger Punch
Serves 2
A 1 inch piece of fresh ginger scrubbed and chopped
1 stick of cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp of honey (Optional)
2-3 cloves

Slice the ginger and place in a heat proof container with the cloves and cinnamon stick.
Cover with 2 mugs of boiling water
Leave to infuse until the mixture is cool enough to drink
Stir in the honey, lemon juice and Strain to serve

Beetroot and Carrot Power Boost
1/2 small beetroot juiced
2 medium carrot juiced
1 sweet apple cored and chopped
1 pear cored and chopped
2 tbsp ginger peeled and grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water
1 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until really smooth.
Serves 2.

Lemon & Lime Apple Drink
14 fl oz of sugar free apple juice
Juice of 2 fresh limes or Lemons, or 1 of each
.5inch thick slice of ginger peeled
2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 small apple cored and sliced

Mix the juices and add the slice of ginger to infuse.
Leave to cool in the fridge until required.
Serve with a sprig of mint and a few slices of fresh apple in each glass

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