Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade

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Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen

Have you ever tried adding fresh aloe vera to your drinks? As soon as the days get unbearably hot around here, I like to keep a few aloe leaves in my fridge for a good number of reasons, especially for healing unexpected sunburns and making the most refreshing post-beach tonics. Aloe is one of those amazing, all-purpose healing plants; it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, helps lower cholesterol, works wonders when applied topically to skin by moisturizing it and helping ease acne and blemishes, and the list goes on and on.
If you’ve never taken apart a fresh aloe leaf before, its insides are made up of a clear, jellyfish-like material, which is where most of the healing magic is contained. The problem is that on its own, the flesh is quite bitter and soapy. I’ve noticed that citrus really helps neutralize that unpleasant taste, so I love adding aloe to lemonade. This lemonade recipe is pretty special – it’s just the most refreshing thing you can think of after a hot day outside. It’s minty, with a cooling effect from the cucumber and a nice tartness from freshly squeezed lemon juice. I also think it would make for a great summery cocktail mixer, if you feel so inclined 🙂 One last aloe tip – when I’m cutting apart an aloe leaf in the kitchen and putting most of the flesh into the blender, I rub the green skins with any leftover flesh on my (clean) face, which makes for a refreshing face mask.
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Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen
Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen

Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka KitchenMinty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka KitchenThe Next Gluten

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Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen
Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen

Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka KitchenMinty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka KitchenMinty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade - Golubka Kitchen

Minty Aloe and Cucumber Lemonade

 

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup mint sprigs, plus more for serving
  • 3 cups purified water
  • half of a large cucumber
  • 1 large aloe leaf
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Bruise the mint a bit by rubbing it between your hands. In a small saucepan, combine the mint sprigs and water, bring to a boil and let cool to infuse. Once cool, strain the mixture into an upright blender and discard the mint sprigs.
  2. Cut the cucumber half in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Optionally, shave off a few cucumber ribbons with a vegetable peeler for serving in the glass. Roughly chop the cucumber and put it into the blender.
  3. Cut the white base off the bottom of the aloe leaf, then cut off the spiky sides. Cut off the top layer of the skin lengthwise. Scoop out all the flesh into the blender using a spoon.
  4. Add the lemon juice and maple syrup to the blender and blend everything until smooth. Let cool completely in the refrigerator. Serve over ice, with cucumber ribbons and more fresh mint leaves.

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