Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a tall glass of fresh homemade lemonade.  Am I right?

I had forgotten how much I liked homemade lemonade until My Love made a delicious recipe using simple syrup and fresh squeezed lemons a couple months ago.  It was super tasty but a bit too much effort for my liking.  Make and cool simple syrup then juice a ton of lemons? Who has time for that when they are melting in the 100 degree weather?  
So, I came up with my own recipe for homemade lemonade that is a bit… Well…  Let’s just say my recipe is rustic, k?  
I just mash together some lemon and sugar creating a sticky mess, then add water and ice and voila!  Delicious lemonade in seconds!  No juicing or straining required here.  See, what I mean by rustic?  My lemonade even includes seeds, free of charge!!  🙂
What I love about this recipe is that by mashing the lemons, you not only get the flavor from the lemon juice but you also get the incredible flavor from natural oils released from the peel as well, making it super lemony.  The sugar dissolves as it mixes with the juice and oils so no need to melt it prior to adding it the lemonade.
This homemade lemonade is super quick and easy and it tastes divine!  Plus, the recipe is for single servings so you can whip up a glass any time the craving strikes or the temperature creeps over 100 degrees!
Easy Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Easy Homemade Lemonade
Recipe for one serving

Ingredients:
1/4 of a lemon, cut into small pieces
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
8 oz water
Ice

Instructions:
1.  Place the lemon pieces and sugar in a large glass.
2.  Using a muddler or the bottom of a wooden spoon, mash the sugar and lemon together until combined into a slurry.

3.  Top with the water and ice and stir to combine.
4.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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It goes without saying that it is HOT in Arizona, especially during the summer!  So, we cool off with refreshing fruit smoothies or slushies pretty regularly.   We just throw some fruit, ice, juice, yogurt and anything else we have on hand that sounds good into a blender and we’ve got the perfect snack on a hot summer day!

Our newest favorite is this Watermelon Slushie.  It is sweet, cold and refreshing and it does an excellent job of quenching thirst on the hottest of days.  There really isn’t much to it but that’s what makes it so good!  Next time you spend a hot day outside try this watermelon slushie…. You’ll cool off instantly!
Watermelon Slushie

Cool & Refreshing Watermelon Slushie

Ingredients:
5 cups chopped watermelon
3 cups Ice
Instructions:
Mix the watermelon and ice together in a blender.  Serve immediately.
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It is starting to get pretty hot here in Arizona so we enjoy refreshing smoothies pretty regularly around here lately.  This Strawberry Smoothie is my personal favorite.  We first made it on a hot day a few months ago when my sister and her kids were out visiting us and it has since become a staple as we make at least once a week.  Now that strawberries are in season (we have some in our garden)  it is the perfect treat that both satisfies our cravings for something sweet and keeps us cool.

I could literally have this smoothie every day.  It is that good!  I love the pretty pink color with specks of red running through.  Plus the vanilla yogurt swirled in on top is both tasty and decorative.  Best of all, this smoothie is a pretty healthy since its made of fresh fruit and yogurt but is sweet enough to pass for dessert!

Refreshing and Healthy Strawberry Smoothie



Strawberry Smoothies

Makes 4 smoothies

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt, plus some for topping
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
2 cups ice

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.  Serve in a glass with a dollop of vanilla yogurt lightly swirled in on top.

Enjoy!!

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Lovebug loves smoothies.  In fact, I don’t think she’s met a smoothie she hasn’t liked.  Lucky for her, it is starting to warm up here in Arizona so we have been enjoying refreshing smoothies in the afternoons.  This Orange Creamsicle Smoothie is one of the first ones we made this year and it is definitely a winner.  It is the perfect combination of orange and vanilla and the Greek yogurt makes it smooth and creamy.  It is the perfect cool afternoon treat that I feel good about serving her.

Healthy Orange Cream Smoothie

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
Makes 4 Smoothies

Ingredients:
12 oz orange juice concentrate
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 cups ice

Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients together in the blender until smooth and combined.

Enjoy!

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Did you know that a cantaloupe has more potassium than a banana, more vitamin C than an orange and more beta carotene than a carrot?  It’s true!  We have friends in the cantaloupe business so I have this information on good authority! Plus, cantaloupes are juicy, sweet and delicious too!  They are a staple in our home, especially during the summers as they are the perfect snack on a hot day.  We usually enjoy them sliced up, but on occasion I’ll make Cantaloupe Coolers as a special treat.  My dad used to whip these up for my sisters and I when we were younger.  He called it ice cream, but I can never get the nice thick consistency he gets.  Mine usually turn out more like slushies than ice cream so I call them coolers.  It was one of my favorite childhood desserts and is one of Lovebug’s favorites too!  This treat is nutritious, super easy to make and a great substitute for ice cream.   Give it a try!  I promise you won’t be sorry!!

Cantaloupe freeze; cantaloupe slushee

Cantaloupe Coolers

Ingredients:
1/2 of a ripe cantaloupe, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon water
2 cups of crushed ice
1-2 tablespoons of sugar*

Instructions:
1.  Place cantaloupe chunks, water, half the ice and sugar into a blender.  Place the lid on tightly and give the blender a good shake.
2.  Blend until mixture is combined.
3.  Add the remaining ice and continue blending until combined and smooth.

* The sugar will macerate the melon and help some of the natural juices come out.  I usually use one tablespoon but if your cantaloupe isn’t sweet enough you can add a little more to taste.

Enjoy!

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