Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade


While I love eating healthy, I'm not really into the idea of "superfoods." There seems to be a trend in the media surrounding food and nutrition these days to hero-ify certain foods to the point where you think they ought to just give these foods some capes and a Saturday morning cartoon. (I'm looking at you, salmon and kale.) "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's flaxseed meal!" Foods are foods, okay? Some are healthier than others, but as long as they're real and unprocessed, I think everybody's on a pretty level playing field. However, there are certain positive, even medicinal properties associated with specific foods. Ginger is one of these.

For centuries, people have relied upon ginger as a medicinal herb. Reports of its healing powers date back 5,000 years. The ancient Chinese regarded it as a healing gift from God. That rich history plus numerous clinical studies are enough to convince me that ginger is effective at combating nausea, reducing inflammation and gas, and even inhibiting bacterial growth. (If only donuts had so many benefits, amirite?) So getting an extra dose of it in your diet can only be a good thing.

This sparkling ginger lemonade is a great way to incorporate a little ginger into your day in a unique twist on the usual summertime cooler. You do have to like ginger to enjoy it, because the flavor is definitely robust, but I find it a refreshing lemonade with just a bit of bite! (And you could always go a little easy on the ginger for a subtler taste.) So for nausea, inflammation, or just a light drink on a hot day, it's just what the ancient Chinese doctor ordered.

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade
(Barely adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients:

2 c. water
1/2 c. honey
2 Tbsp. minced ginger root
2 c. sparkling water (lemon-flavored is a plus)
1 c. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, bring the water, honey, and ginger to a boil. Remove from the heat. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and discard ginger. Cool.

2. Pour into a pitcher and add sparkling water and lemon juice. Chill completely before serving and enjoy over ice.

Serves about 5.

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