Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Like Cold Beverages

So when I was a kid, I knew making a plastic pitcher of Kool-Aid like the back of my hand. A packet of red powder, a (larger than necessary) scoop of white sugar, fill with cold water, stir and stir, taste test frequently off the wooden spoon and presto! A big sugary vat of artificial flavor and color on the rocks!

During the summer months here at the House, we want to keep everyone duely hydrated during long days of outdoor play. We have a small table with fresh flowers and two large clear pitchers - one with water and one with daily made lemonade, lime-ade or cold herbal fruit tea. The kids have also mastered a handful of other natural summer beverages that are very satisfying and have been rewarding to make. Here are a few of our favorites:

HERBAL SUMMER TEAS: Today we have hot-brewed mint tea that one mother made with a touch of agave and then refridgerated.
We've experimented with different sun-teas. Tomorrow we will be trying fresh mint, blueberry honey tea. We'll put the mint and blueberries in a large jar, fill with water, cover and set it out in the sun for 4-5 hours. Stir in honey and serve.
Our favorite and easiest for the summer is Celestial Seasonings Cool Brew tropical fruit herbal tea. It has hibiscus, rooibos, honeybush, rosehips and other delicious things. You just put a few bags in cold water, add a few drops of stevia and keep in a pitcher outdoors for the day.

BANANA MILKSHAKES: Almost Daily! Rosetta bought a huge quantity of over-ripe bananas for .10 cents a pound. The kids peeled and froze them in bags. All we have to do is take a few out each day, put them in the blender, cover with milk and you have a very sweet and satisfying milkshake.

SPARKLING WATERMELON SODA: Inspired by a friend's recent birthday party. We scoop out watermelon chunks, put them in the blender, pour a few inches of cold seltzer water over it and blend on smoothie setting. When the watermelon is really ripe and sweet...oh goodness.

LEMONADE AND LIME-ADE: Depending on the day, the kids will squeeze fresh lemons or limes. In hurries, we just use bottled juice, add water and stevia to taste.

FLOWER ICE: Tomorrow we will be freezing edible flowers from our garden and strawberries into ice cube trays to make adornment for our blueberry mint tea.

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