Friday, October 7, 2011

Fresh Homemade Lemonade

In our new casa, there are several fruit trees.  We've got grapefruit, mandarin orange, mango and lemon.  There is also an avocado in the growing process, but it probably won't start producing fruit for another year, as it is still a baby.

But out of all of the trees, the one that continues producing all year round is the lemon tree.  Daily there are new lemons reading to be picked.  These aren't the big bright yellow ones you can buy in the produce section at the grocery store.  These are smaller, round and only turn a very soft pastel yellow...but can be used while they are light green in color too.

We had several lemons that had accumulated in our fruit bowl, as the kids had been going by the tree daily to check for ripe lemons.  Truly some that they had picked were not yet ripe, but I wanted to find a use for all those lemons (and the lemons to come...)!

Of course, lemonade came to mind.  But I've made fresh lemonade before and usually what happens is the lemonade comes out bland and watered down, with a sludge of sugar that sank to the bottom at the bottom of my glass.

So I decided to look up 'recipes' for lemonade.  I found this one at Simply Recipes.  OF COURSE!  Why didn't I realize that I needed to dissolve my sugar in order to keep it from sinking to the bottom and creating the 'sugar sludge'.  So here's a pictorial of our homemade lemonade creation.

Our lemon tree outside in the yard.  The lemons in the tree are still green, not ready to be picked...

But once they turn light yellow, like this, they are ready!

I squeezed 7 lemons in order to get just barely 1 cup of lemon juice!

While I was squeezing lemons, I had one cup of water and 3/4 cup of sugar boiling on the stove, to dissolve the sugar.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, but it also said we could reduce the amount of sugar to 3/4 cup if desired.  I figured we get plenty of sugar in our diets, so why not cut back a bit?

The leftover lemons after all the juice got squeezed out of them!

The final steps, which I did not get pictures of, were to combine the lemon juice (I poured it through a strainer into the pitcher in order to strain out seeds), the boiled sugar/water mixture, and 3-4 cups of cold water to dilute.  Refrigerate until cold, then top off the pitcher with some ice and slices of freshly cut lemon if available.   


  1. That sounds great! I learned from Rachael Ray that if you hold the lemon cut side up when you squeeze it, all the seeds stay inside the skin. Then you wouldn't have to strain - not that straining is that difficult :-)

  2. Hmmm...good idea Erica! Why didn't I think of that? I'll try it next time!