As I have mentioned before, soups make up a big part of the recipes I cut out of magazines or tag to make in cookbooks. Sorting through a stack of recipes the other day I realized another big category for me is beverages of all different kinds; teas, fruit juices, cocktails, flavored waters, yogurt drinks, etc. It shouldn't surprise me--in a gourmet grocery store or natural foods store, I usually head straight for the bottled beverage section to see what's new, and if a restaurant has a special iced tea, herbed lemonade, or different sounding cocktail, I am sold. In order to work through all the recipes, and because summer is a great time for cool, thirst-quenching drinks and Saturdays seem perfect for a low-key, easy post, I am starting a goal for myself and having "Simple Saturday Sippers" (this girl loves her alliteration!). On Saturdays for the next few months (or ongoing, depending on my mood), I'm going to post some kind of different drink; whatever strikes my fancy that week. They will mostly be healthy, or at least somewhat healthy, as that's what I am into these days, and they will come from magazines, cookbooks, my own imagination or maybe even be something I have purchased to try. Whatever sounds good--just something that I would want to sit, sip and enjoy.
To start off, a Lemon-Cucumber Spa Hydrator from The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux. A book that I love for its eco-friendly focus on whole foods, good health and recipes that Renee says, "nourish the mind, body and soul." (BTW--I have posted a couple of other recipes from this book Raspberry (or Strawberry) Lavender Lemonade and Smoked Pine Nut Farmer's Cheese in case you want to take a look). The book has a whole chapter called, "Drink Deeply", with a wide assortment of beverages. I am a big cucumber fan and this recipe with its pairing of cucumber and lemon, seemed like the perfect refresher for the warmer, muggy weather we have been having.
Renee says: "Fresh lemon juice and cucumber blend into pure hydration for beautiful cells and skin. Lemon is juicy with electrolytes to rehydrate the body, especially after a good workout. Just a pinch of sea salt lifts the flavor and actually allows your cells to drink deeply."
Lemon Cucumber Spa Hydrator
The Balanced Palate, Renee Loux
(Yields : 4 Servings--a bit more than a quart)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
1 lemon, peeled and seeded
1-2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups filtered water
Blend the cucumbers, lemon, agave, salt and water at a high speed until smooth. Pour through a fine strainer or sieve. Serve chilled.
Nutrition At A Glance: 20 cal, Og total fat, 0g sat fat, 1g protein, 4g carbs, 1g dietary fiber, 150mg sodium.
Notes/Results: Cooling, calming and thirst-quenching, this is the perfect drink for a hot day. Feet up, drinking this on the lanai, I felt revived and if I can't be relaxing at a spa, this drink gets me partially there. It is like a cucumber-flavored lemonade, which might sound odd to some but I find delicious. You need to drink this one icy-cold, in a glass, (preferably a nice goblet!), and garnished with some fresh mint. I found to get the 4 cups of the cucumber I needed about 2 & 2/3 of them. I thought mine were medium-sized, but maybe they were on the small side. I used agave nectar, a natural sweetener, as the recipe specified, (I used just 1 Tbsp), but if you don't have any agave, you could substitute maple syrup or honey. You could also leave the sweetener out, but the touch of sweetness tempers the sourness of the lemon. An adult version with some good vodka would be fun for a party on a warm afternoon or evening too. I have a feeling I will be drinking this one all summer long.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend and sipping something delicious!