Week 11: You know what they say. When life gives you lemons…

The most refreshing juice there is.

Lemonade is one of the most refreshing drinks you can make. There are many reported health benefits to drinking fresh squeezed lemonade. Some I believe, others are just a bit too fantastic for me be to believe. Especially with a lack of peer reviewed research available. There are also well documented health benefits to eating ginger, or in this case drinking ginger juice. Especially for inflammation. I will give you my favorite lemon-lime-ginger juice recipe.

Juice 12 lemons and 2-4 limes depending on taste and how juicy the limes are. Wet limes I use 2, dryer limes I will use 4. This can depend on the time of year they were picked. And one large hand of fresh ginger.

I like an old style compression juicer but a reamer style works as well. I don’t like the electric rotary juicers because they can grind bits of the membrane into the juice. I love my Breville centrifugal juicer for veggies but I hate it for lemons. I need to cut off the peel and pith but it will still totally grind the membrane into the juice and I don’t like the taste. I do use the Breville to juice the ginger.

Juicing ginger in a centrifugal juicer is a pain but fairly easy to do. The problem is the fibrous nature of ginger means it almost instantly clogs the spinning filter. It you force it to continue to juice you will waste all of the juice because the juice just flows over the filter basket because it is clogged. You need to juice a small piece ginger, stop the juicer, clean the filter basket and repeat until the hand of ginger is juiced. Easy to do, it just takes several cleanings to juice a full hand of ginger.

A dozen lemons and two juicy limes will give me about 26 ounces of juice. I add to that the ginger juice. Start adding the ginger slowly until you find the ratio that you like. A little ginger goes a long way, but I love a strong ginger taste in this juice. I am also drinking it for its anti-inflammatory properties to help with an old back injury instead of medications that have “long term use” side effects.

So mix the juices together and dilute with water as needed. A very strong juice will be about 1:3 or 1:4. A more traditional tasting lemonade will be diluted from 1:6 to 1:8. My wife dilutes it about 1:4 and drinks it hot as a tea. Of course sweeten to taste with what form of sweetener you like. If my backs bothering me and I want to deal with the inflammation I usually just drink it unsweetened. This makes a lot of juice by the time it is diluted and I don’t want that much sugar. plain sugar is traditional but honey or agave are interesting variations. With summer just around the corner I hope you enjoy this variation on lemonade.

Thanks. John

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