Cranberry Lemonade with Fresh Lemon Balm

  • Servings: 6-10 glasses
  • Prep time: ~ 10 minutes
  • Cook time: ~ 5 minutes
cranberry-lemonade-with-fall-flowers-in-background

Ingredients

  • 1 bag organic cranberries
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 10 leaves of lemon balm
  • 7-9 cups spring water

This cranberry lemonade is the perfect mix of sweet and sour. The bright red color naturally given by the healthy proanthocyanidins in the cranberries makes this drink perfect for fall parties. It is also a delicious mixer for football games.

The cranberries are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants as well as have anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. It may help your liver so using it as a mixer may be good for you!

This recipe calls for whole cranberries to be cooked and then puréed so you get all the health benefits. Some of the skins do not make it in the lemonade but we spoon them from the strainer and eat them. I luckily got a couple bites after my daughter started eating them straight from the strainer. They are very sweet from the lemon zest and lemon balm sugar mixture.

You can make this without lemon balm but I highly recommend adding it for all the health benefits. Lemon balm may help with Alzheimer’s symptoms and improve your sleep. Lemon balm relaxes your muscles and helps with cramps, including the ones that women dread each month.

Directions

1) Place one package of organic cranberries in a sauce pan. Add the zest from half a lemon and 2 heaping tablespoons of cane sugar. Stir and bring to a boil.

2) Add 2 cups of spring water and 2 cups of cane sugar. Stir and add 10 to 14 large leaves of lemon balm. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Let cool.

3) Purée the cranberry simple syrup in your blender. Then strain the skins and lemon balm pieces. This is a very important step or your lemonade will be chunky.

 

 

4) Squeeze about 10 lemons and set the juice aside. I lost track of the number of lemons we used since the kids were so excited to use the juicer. We ended up squeezing about 4 cups worth of juice.

5) Pour into a large pitcher. Add 5 cups of water and 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice if you are making a mixer. Add more water (up to 2 more cups) if you are serving lemonade. If you like more of a tart lemonade, add more lemon juice.

6) Serve with ice and a rim of lemon balm sugar or a sprig of lemon balm. Be careful you do not spill, cranberries do stain.

Why you Want to Drink This!

Cranberries

“Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that can prevent the adhesion of certain of bacteria, including E. coli, associated with urinary tract infections to the urinary tract wall. The anti-adhesion properties of cranberry may also inhibit the bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers.Recent scientific research shows that cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases.” read more

Lemons

Lemons are rich in vitamin C and have anti-bacterial properties. Below are some remedies to help with the following from Dr. Oz:

  • Digestion and cleanse as well as stomach ulcers- mix 1 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon of flaxseed and 1/4 teaspoon or tablespoon of lemon juice in a small cup and drink
  • Anti aging – 1 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon brandy, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix. Spread on the face.

Lemon Balm

  • memory aid and may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • improves your sleep
  • may improve your test taking abilities

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=145
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/health-benefits-lemons

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Recipe by Back To Organic at http://backtoorganic.com/cranberry-lemonade-with-fresh-lemon-balm/