Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coconut Limeade: Refreshingly Simple

Well, it was inevitable.  After the shock of actually having a bona fide Spring, with happy green lawns, prolific flowering and fruiting, and the chirp and buzz of thriving birds and bees, we were shocked yet again when triple digits ambushed us a few days ago, the weight of the heat visible in the droop of plants, the seemingly overnight crisp of grass, and the ghost town nature of restaurant patios everywhere.  

There's no way to deny it:  Summer is here.

Living in Texas, months of triple digit heat is not uncustomary.  I've been here for 10 years, and while I wouldn't say that I'm used to it, I can say that I've found ways to make it more tolerable.  For instance, never, ever showering less than an hour before I go outside to avoid "steaming" myself, baking and cooking in the early morning or late at night, bringing a cooler with me in the car to pack all my snacks and drinks on the go, and practically memorizing where all the shady parking spaces are in a 10 mile radius.  And of course, hydrating.

Just the beginning...

I like to think that I do a good job of drinking fluids, but when the heat is as oppressive as it is right now, I realize that "good" is not enough.  Being as active as I am, before I'm even thirsty, I need to be drinking something to replenish the moisture that too easily gets sucked away from me by the convection oven atmosphere of the outdoors.  And more than moisture, electrolytes and minerals also need to be replaced, so I can keep my body cool and in working order.  

Enter coconut water. [cue marimba & the sound of ocean waves]

I love me some coconut water.  Beyond the smooth, slightly nutty crispness, it boasts an impressive bevy of electrolytes, helping to invigorate and rejuvenate the body without added sugars or artificial colors or flavors.  And with the 4th of July quickly approaching and all-day outdoor activities the par de course, I thought I would offer up this refreshing and super simple take on limeade to help you stay one step ahead of the hydration curve.  

And if you happen to fall behind and "indulge" a little too much, it's also a wonderful recovery drink for the 5th of July.  FYI.

Coconut Water Limeade with Mint & Ginger
Gluten Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time:  5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time:  none
Cooking Time:  n/a
Yield:  approximately (5) 8 fl. oz servings

1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/8 c fresh lemon juice
33.8 fl. oz unsweetened coconut water

3-4 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
2 teaspoons ginger puree
8-10 mint leaves

extra mint leaves & lime slices, to garnish

What you'll need:  large mason jar with lid, small mixing bowl, tablespoon or muddler, ice

1.  Combine lime juice and lemon juice with coconut water in mason jar.
2.  In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and ginger puree and then tear the mint leaves into it.  Either with the round side of the spoon or a muddler if you have one, bruise the mint leaves to release their flavor.  Note: If you opt to use a simple syrup or agave, you may need less than the amount of maple syrup called for here.  Adjust to your taste.
3.  Add mint/ginger/maple syrup mixture to mason jar and seal tightly.  Shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds.
4.  Pour over ice and garnish with additional mint leaves and a slice of lime.

I used Persian limes, but Key limes will also work.

Infusing the maple syrup with the mint.

Ready to refresh.

I prefer my lemonade/limeade on the tart side, because when temperatures soar, the last thing that will quench my thirst is something sweet and sugary.  But knowing that my palate is less than typical, feel free to take the amount of sweetening in this recipe as a starting point/suggestion.  And making this ahead of time, while not necessary, can help boost the mint flavor if that's something you would like.  It's such a wonderful sensation smelling the mint as you sip the limeade - relaxing, refreshing, and cooling in more ways than one.

I hope you love this drink as much as I do - perfect for the Summer ahead.  And if you're looking for a cocktail that's still fancy but doesn't include alcohol, this can really hit the spot.  Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July, celebrating the opportunity to be with those you love and care for and understanding that freedom and having choices is not a given, but a precious gift passed on from those before us as they sought to be the change they wished to see in the world.

Keep passing it on.


  1. You have to love those mason jar wine glasses =) I made a fresh limemade from persian limes, fresh mint from the garden and ginger syrup. I even made a slush with the nutribullet with it and it was really refreshing. Let's raise our glasses to a beautiful summer 'Mabuhay!!!!' =)

    1. Oooo, that slush sounds amazing! I will have to make that soon! [raises mason jar wine glass]

  2. Coconut water RULES! It's my go to when I feel dehydrated or when I know I'm on the edge of it. Plus it just makes me feel better whenever I feel blah. :D

    1. I feel the same way! But, really - is that any surprise? ;)


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