Sparkling Strawberry Basil Lemonade

We are right in the middle of summer here in California.  The Central Valley has had a month of triple digits and that heat has extended over to the coast.  When our Sprout was a newborn, I often drove the twenty minutes over to the central coast just to get a break from the heat. It was so nice to top those hills in Atascadero, and drift down into Avila Beach, Morro Bay or Cayucos.

Now that we live on the coast, I am spoiled with lovely weather every day, or almost every day.  Instead of running to the coast to get a break, I now get to run home from our activities inland and breathe a sigh of relief when I see that fog cresting over the hills.

Heat or no heat, there is one thing that we make all the time during the summer…lemonade!  This is the season when bright, beautiful citrus is ready for your kitchen!  There’s a reason all the kids in your neighborhood start pulling out their card tables and plastic cups.  Lemonade is a classic drink that satisfies your sweet tooth as well as your thirst.

In today’s recipe for our Summer Produce Series, we pair juicy lemons with sweet strawberries and a hint of fresh basil.  It’s topped off with some sparkling water to make it refreshing and satisfying.

The recipe is easy to prepare and customize.  Any berry can be substituted for the strawberries and the basil can be swapped out for rosemary, or mint.  Another favorite of ours is blueberry/rosemary lemonade.

img_2039The key to our lemonade is to use a fruity flavored honey.  We buy it locally at our farmers’ market.  I tend to use “Orange Blossom” or “Wildflower.”  They both add a layer of flavor that you won’t find with store brand honey.

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This is a great option to use up strawberries that are starting to over ripen or basil that is less than perfect.  Just wash all produce well and remove blemishes.

Another tip is to use Meyer lemons if you can.  Meyers are thought to be a cross between a mandarin and a lemon.  They have a richness and natural sweetness that allows you to reduce the amount of sweetener used, in this case, honey.

img_2052We hope you enjoy this recipe!  Follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.  Don’t forget to tag #TheSproutedCottage in your posts!

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Cheers!signatures

Sparkling, Strawberry Basil Lemonade

  • Servings: 8 Cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A bright and summery lemonade with a refreshing twist.



Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries, halved and stems removed
  • 6-8 medium basil leaves
  • 4 Meyer Lemons, (yields about 1 cup of juice)
  • 1 cup honey (more or less to taste)
  • 6 cups sparkling water or club soda

Directions

  1. In a blender, puree the strawberries, basil, lemon juice and honey until smooth and syrup like.
  2. Pour the strawberry mixture into a pitcher or carafe. Mix in the sparkling water and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices or strawberries.

Mouthwatering Bruschetta with Tomatoes (Bruschetta con Pomodoro)

Today’s recipe for mouthwatering bruschetta with tomatoes, is a quick and tasty version that works great when you don’t have a lot of time. It also uses up all those juicy tomatoes and zesty basil leaves that are flourishing this time of year!

We love to cook and experience food from all cultures here at The Sprouted Cottage. Dave is a classically trained chef who loves the adventures of Asian cuisine and classic French techniques. He works as a chef at a local bakery in a neighboring town and gets to play with food everyday. I have always enjoyed learning about other cultures because of my love for art and textiles. I love discovering the unique traits of different people. There is one thing that both Dave and I see in every culture; sharing a meal is a common way to enjoy others company.

In true American fashion, our Sprout is a melting pot of ancestry. She has Italian, German, Polish, Norwegian, Irish, English, Scotch and possibly even Mongolian. We love how unique this makes her and have enjoyed watching her grow and seeing different characteristics show up as she matures. It also inspired us to expose her to foods and cultures that make up her ancestry. Continue reading “Mouthwatering Bruschetta with Tomatoes (Bruschetta con Pomodoro)”

Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…

Produce season is upon us! It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets get fuller and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge!

Produce season is upon us. It is a relatively short season, even in some parts of California. Some farmers’ markets in the mountains are just now seeing the first fruits of all their hard work.

It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets fill up with vendors and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge! At one point last week, our entire dining room table was covered with strawberries and plums.
This leads to our first series on the blog; a week of daily recipes to help you preserve and cook your way through all that produce! Continue reading “Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…”

Never Board…

Games for the whole family that will capture your attention and make you fall in love!

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only link to products we personally love!

Okay, that’s a cheesy title, but it’s true! As big time board game enthusiasts, we are never “bored” when it comes to unplugged fun with friends or our two year old!

Definition: any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board, such as chess or checkers.

Growing up, this term had a very different meaning for me than it does now, some twenty years later.

Back then we would play the “classics”: Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Clue, Risk, Stratego, Battleship and the board/card game Sequence. Continue reading “Never Board…”

7 Reasons Homesteading is Great for the Modern Family

We believe there are certain lessons to be learned from this lifestyle and we’ve rounded up 7 reasons homesteading is great for the modern family.

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only link to products we personally love!

Defining the modern family is often difficult and complicated.  Schedules, sizes, passions and the like, all vary greatly.  While our differences can be great, our goals are often similar in purpose.  We seek a nurturing atmosphere and loving company;  strong and devoted marriages alongside well rounded and developed kiddos.  For me and my husband, having a homesteading mindset is bringing us so much happiness as we build our life together. We believe there are certain lessons to be learned from this lifestyle and we’ve rounded up 7 reasons homesteading is great for the modern family. Continue reading “7 Reasons Homesteading is Great for the Modern Family”