Friday, January 27, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

The weather is less than fabulous this time of year in Pennsylvania.  I try to focus on the warm days that await us in just a few months.  Today we prepared for the heat by making lots of lemonade concentrate to store away in the freezer.  January is a great month for all things citrus; I’ll also put away some grated lemon, lime and orange peel to add some pizzazz to future recipes. 
Jason got a little bored with the process. 
Yes, it would be easier to just buy drinks by the gallon this summer, but have you noticed how much sugar is added to them?  Our lemonade is different – NO SUGAR, instead we use Agave Nectar.  It does taste a little different but there is no compromise on the sweetness or refreshment on a sweltering day.  Agave is available in most health food stores; substitute 2/3 cup agave nectar per 1 cup sugar in your favorite recipe.  That’s what I did with my prized lemonade recipe.  Here it is for your enjoyment:
Yes, Jason washed his hands again before helping.
(I freeze the concentrate and add the 6 cups of cold water & ice when I’m ready to serve it.)
1 Cup Agave Nectar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
½ Cup water
1 ½ Cups freshly squeezed lemon juice    
6 Cups cold water
Ice Cubes
Before juicing the lemons I’ll let them soak in a bath of warm water.  This makes them really easy to work with.  Combine agave, rind and water; whisk until agave dissolves then add lemon juice. 

Granny & I in 1982.
Now you may be wondering why in the world I’m trying to cut back on the sugar when I could stand to gain a few pounds.  Over the years few people can resist asking me why I’m so thin.  Believe me; I’ve had nothing to do with it.  No amount of eating or lack of exercise has ever added an inch to me.  I’ve always known that my body type comes directly from my Granny Ada.  My dear Great Grandmother from North Carolina was a tall, bony woman much like myself.  My Uncle once told me that getting a hug from me was like getting one from Granny. 
Granny Ada holding me, her first great grandchild, in 1981.

A few months ago, with the help of my doctor, I came to realize that not only did I inherit my Granny’s frame but I’m also at risk for her health problems – Sugar Diabetes (better known as Type 2).  Yes, much to my amazement those who are underweight are also at risk for the disease.  I don’t claim to understand it all, but my body does not break down food properly, so that is why I’m so small and I stay that way. 

Life has handed me this lemon but I choose to make the best of it.  My Granny lived a healthy 89 years and I’m determined to do the same.  Sugar is loaded in so many of our pre-packaged foods and drinks!  Whether you’re “at risk” or not, take the road less traveled and try making some of your foods from scratch.  Is it time consuming?  YES!  But it is all worth it.        

No comments:

Post a Comment