There are certain things that I always look forward to just as the weather begins to get warm. Beach towels are wrestled out of closets, piles of flip flops accumulate at the front door and colorful Adirondack chairs make their first appearance on the lawn. With the long, lazy days of the season stretched out ahead, the very beginning of summer is the ideal time for get-togethers outdoors with family and friends. This cool and sweet real food beverage has become a favorite of mine for such occasions. With just four ingredients, no added sugars and loads of flavor, watermelon "juice" is the perfect addition to any cookout menu.
For many people, warm weather carries with it a tradition of sugary drinks. Soda, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks, cocktails and sparkling juices have become staples of the summer season. Unfortunately so many bottled beverages today are full of junk. From high fructose corn syrup to artificial colors and concentrates, most drinks bought at the store contain nasty ingredients that make blood sugar go haywire and only dehydrate the body in the long run.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the consumption of such sugary drinks has continued to grow at a quick pace in recent years. From 1989 to 2008, the percentage of children consuming sugary drinks rose from 79% to 91%. Today, on any given day about half of the people in the U.S. consume a soft drink; 1 in 4 consume at least 200 calories from such drinks; and 5% drink at least 567 calories—or four cans of soda.
It is important to mention that there is a myth that store bought juices don't count in the "sugary drink" category. While a carton of juice does tend to have more nutrients than other soft drink options, the truth of the matter is that it still contains just as much concentrated sugar (yes- even if it is organic). Unless you own a juicer and are pressing your own from fresh fruits and vegetables, juice is not typically a beverage I would recommend.
This recipe for watermelon juice is the perfect alternative for children and adults however, especially if you don't have a juicer of your own. All that is needed to make it is a watermelon, a lime, a handful of herbs and a food processor or blender. No questionable preservatives, added sugars or funky chemicals involved.
One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it is easy to churn out large quantities in a short amount of time, making it a breeze to serve to a large group or to simply have on hand in the refrigerator for whenever a hankering arrives. I've been serving it in these darling beverage glasses from Lifefactory and this pleasant, slightly-slushy drink has become a much anticipated hit.
Refreshing Watermelon "Juice"
By Kayla- Radiant Life
1 watermelon, cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped mint
Toss watermelon pieces into the food processor (or blender) along with basil and mint and blend until it reaches a slushy consistency and there are no remaining watermelon chunks. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze the juice from half of the lime into the mixture and turn on food processor for about 5-10 seconds. Taste and add the juice from the other half of the lime if more citrus flavor is desired. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!