Homemade ginger-ade, a refreshing healthy summer drink

I love ginger! I love lemonade! I love limeade! And I love love love the combination of ginger and lemon or lime*, sweetened to taste, a yummy and healthy way to stay hydrated during the summer.

ginger

Here’s the easy way I make it:

  1. Get a big fresh ginger root and cut into slices. No peeling, no grating, just slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with filtered water and add the sliced ginger.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a pitcher.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice or lemon juice. (If squeezing yourself, first roll the fruit on the counter beneath your palm to break down cell walls and release more juice.)
  6. Sweeten to taste with whatever sweetener you prefer. I used coconut palm sugar, which adds a nice brown color. I’ve also used agave nectar, honey, and stevia.
  7. Stir. Refrigerate or serve immediately over ice.

I love the pungent flavors of ginger and lime/lemon, but if this is too strong for you, dilute with water or ice. Let experience teach you your preferred proportions of ginger, water, juice, and sweetener.

You can refrigerate the ginger slices and reuse them to make another couple of batches of ginger-ade before the flavor becomes too diluted.

Both the ginger and the lemon or lime have numerous health benefits, with the main ones listed below. If you are concerned about the effect of sugar on your health or weight, I recommend using stevia to sweeten. It has no calories and doesn’t affect blood sugar.

Health benefits of ginger: Eases gastrointestinal distress, motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy. Detoxifies the liver. Protects against cancer. Induces sweating/breaks a fever. Anti-inflammatory (especially helps with arthritis). Antiviral. Antibacterial. Antifungal. Immune boosting.

Health benefits of lemon/lime: Eases gastrointestinal distress. Stops internal bleeding. Reduces high blood pressure. Protects against cancer. Can prevent kidney stones from forming. Induces sweating/breaks a fever. Helps prevent diabetic heart disease. Anti-inflammatory. Antibacterial. Antiviral. Antifungal. Immune boosting.

Also, you may be aware that the acid in lemon and lime juice can soften teeth enamel. You can take precautions as described here.

*Apparently there’s a shortage of limes in this summer of 2014, so you may prefer more affordable lemons. I buy fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice from Central Market. I prefer lime juice as both the taste and the aroma are more stimulating to my olfactory and gustatory senses than lemon juice.

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