13 August 2015

Summer Food: Blueberry Lemonade To Beat The Heat

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Grandma's Blueberry Lemonade
2TheAdvocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND

From Denny:  Blue food.  It's pretty to look at and cooling in this summer heat.  Blueberries are the very essence of summer.  Did you know the silvery bloom on blueberries is a naturally protective waxy coating?  

Most people don't wash them until just when ready to eat.  Well, that doesn't work in our house so I pour a large bowl of water, add about 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and let the entire plastic box and blueberries soak for about 5 minutes to kill bacteria.  Drain the entire box well, dry off a bit with a towel and throw back into the fridge.  Usually, a reputable grocery store - and even from the farm - they give the berries a quick vinegar wash to brush off leaves and bugs.

We all like to dine on blueberries by the handfuls as snacks, toss them on to the breakfast cereal or yogurt and make breakfast muffins. Here's a new twist: how about blueberries in your homemade lemonade?

This interesting recipe (from our local newspaper food writer) combines two fruit syrups:  a blueberry syrup and a lemon syrup.  You only use the blueberry syrup to color the lemonade to your preference.  The remaining blueberry syrup can be used on pancakes, waffles, toast or even in salad dressings.  OK, you got me, this lemonade is so doggone pretty!  Great idea for summer entertaining...



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Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Grandma's Blueberry Lemonade
                                     The Advocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND 



Grandma’s Blueberry Lemonade

Serves:  6 - 8

From:  Corinne Cook, food writer @ TheAdvocate newspaper, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "Lemonade starts with a base of lemony simple syrup then the fresh lemon juice and cold water are added to make the beverage. The pink color is from the blueberry syrup. The extra blueberry syrup can be used in salad dressings or over pancakes."


Blueberry Syrup

1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

In small saucepan, combine blueberries, water and sugar. Bring to boil, reduce heat to slow boil and cook for 2 or 3 minutes or until juicy. Remove from heat, strain and press juice from berries into small dish. Set aside to cool.

Lemonade Base

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
Yellow rind of 2 lemons (remove all pith then chop into large pieces)
1 cup fresh lemon juice (5 or 6 lemons)
4 cups cold water
Ice
Lemon slices for garnish or mint sprig
Sugared rim of glass, optional

Directions:

1. In small saucepan, bring sugar, water and rind of 2 lemons in saucepan to boil. Stir, reduce heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved; about 1 minute. Remove rind then set aside to cool.

3. When syrup is cool, add fresh lemon juice and 4 cups cold water.

4. Add some of the blueberry syrup to the pitcher of lemonade to desired color. Taste for sweetness.

5. To serve, fill glasses with ice and pour cold lemonade over ice.

6. Garnish pitcher or glass with lemon slice or mint.

7. For a sugared glass rim: Rub glass rim with cut lemon slice then dip glass rim in a small plate of sugar to which a bit of finely minced mint is added; or mash 2 mint leaves in the sugar with the back of a teaspoon to release some of the oil into the sugar. Remove the mint leaves before dipping glass edge into sugar.


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