i don’t know about you, but i’ve noticed there are two types of people in the world.
1. the type of person who is REALLY into their birthday
2. the type of person who just isn’t
the first type will openly count the days until their birthday arrives - it’s usually a month-long countdown, but can be a week or even three months. these people are usually the ones who also like to celebrate their half-birthdays, and the ones who indulge in week-long, even month-long birthday celebrations. (maybe this open display of excitement wanes after a certain age, but you know who i’m talking about.) there’s nothing wrong with this. if you’re this type of person - go for it!
i happen to be the other kind of person - the kind of person who doesn’t really make a big deal about their birthday and, on occasion, has just let it slip by without many people noticing.
except for this one.
i just have to say it…today is my birthday, and i have been counting down! i’m excited and happy because this birthday is a milestone that i am so relieved to cross. if the last few months are any indication of what’s to come, i have a lot to look forward to! more and more, i feel like i’m settling into myself. i feel confidant in who i am, in my own skin, what my talents and skills are, and what the future holds for me. today, i feel blessed and grateful and hopeful. :)
ok. now that i got that out of the way, let’s move on to the recipe…
i love juice. i just love it, i do.
but since i’ll drink it instead of water, i don’t like to keep it around. instead, i opt for making my own fruity concoctions that have less sugar and more beneficial components. usually i indulge in smoothies, as an attempt to keep the fiber of the fruit used. but in the summertime, i am a sucker for some lemonade!
last week i made a wonderful goji ginger lemonade from my new roots that was delicious and thirst-quenching. a few days later i hosted a fancy-pants lemonade stand for kids at work, where they got to mix different fruit purees into a homemade lemon or limeade.
lemonade stands are the epitome of the american childhood summer. even though i was raised in japan, we were fortunate enough to spend summers in california and hawaii. (i know, i know.) well, like most kids do, one summer i decided to have a lemonade stand. i wanted to raise money to ride the rollercoasters at great america.
i learned two things that summer:
1. to make money from a lemonade stand, you have to have great lemonade
2. and, probably most importantly, you also have to have people around to sell it to
needless to say, that summer i didn’t make enough money to go to great america. but, we got to go anyway! :)
last week organic blueberries were on sale. boy, was i happy when i realized they were actually sweet! i’ve been eating them by the handfuls, and have been putting them in everything. hence, this blueberry vanilla lemonade.
blueberries are high in many phytonutrients, (which literally means “plant” nutrients, or nutrients that come from plants) especially antioxidants like anthocyanins. anthocyanins provide blueberries and other fruits & veggies with their blue, purple and even red hues. they are mainly known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. the color of a food is an indication of different antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. so, it’s always best to get a lot of color in your diet!
blueberry vanilla lemonade.
makes about 4½ cups
3 cups water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract (or, if you’re extra fancy, the seeds from an inch of a vanilla bean!)
sweetener to taste (optional…i used a couple tbsp of raw honey)
combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. the longer you blend this, the more vibrant the color will be. if you don’t want gritty bits in the lemonade, i recommend filtering the lemonade through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer.
you’ll find the vanilla ties the flavors together, making this lemonade an extra special treat! serve with ice cubes, fresh blueberries, lemon slices and/or even lemon zest for a nice touch. enjoy!
©2012 amanda corissa