How to hydrate in summer

In the hot Dubai summer my Aloe Vera grows bigger and bigger. At least one of us enjoys the climate…. !
Today I gave it a try to start reducing it a little bit, so it would not take all the place away:

I made a refreshing lemonade with jelly like pulp of the leaves. What to say, it turned out to be a delicious drink I will definitely have again!

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Aloe Vera Lemonade
1 portion

What To Buy
1 organic lime (juice)
1 teaspoon acacia honey or agave syrup
a small piece of an Aloe Vera leaf (about 3 cm)
250 ml still or sparkling water
Ice cubes

How To Make It
Press the lime juice and stir in the honey or agave syrup. Pour into a glass with ice cubes. Wash the Aloe leaf and peel it carefully. Dice the jelly like pulp finely and add to the lime juice. Top with water and stir well.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Aloe juice helps to improve digestion. It is good for cleansing and detoxifying the body due to antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Here is two versions of my drink, that is now a regular on my personal summer treats. Which one you like better?

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Fresh and Fruity Physalis Lemonade

Recently I happened to get Physalis, also called Inca berries or Country goose berries.
I love their taste. Their ladylike appearance. And their health benefits. They are amazing little wonders, each one dressed in a little leafy frock that makes them fun to eat with your hands.
Have a look, I am sure you will fall for them like I did:
Physalis are one oft the best natural sources of antioxidants. They have plenty of Vitamins A and C, preventing the damage and ageing of cells through free radicals. There is also Vitamin P, an important support for the body to absorb Vitamin C. Their high pectine content helps to bind toxins and lower cholesterol.

As promised, I share here another of my favorite lemonades for hot summer days, this time it is the mild and fruity counterpart of the stronger herbal version with mint:

Physalis Raspberry Lemonade

Remove 8 Physalis from their husk, cut the fruits into quarters and place in a carafe. Mash 6 raspberries with 1 tablespoon of agave syrup or acacia honey (or more if you wish to have your lemonade sweeter). Add to the fruits in the carafe and top with the juice of 1/2 organic orange and 350 ml still water. Stir well and leave the mix in the fridge for around 1 hour for maceration. Serve on the rocks.

Stay healthy and enjoy the summer!

Cool and Green Lemonade for Hot Summer Days

My favorite drinks in summer are green herbal or sweet fruity lemonades – home made of course.
If you happen to have a similar blessing of mint like me, cut it to encourage even better growth and make this refreshing green lemonade:

Place 10 freshly cut mint stalks with the leaves in the blender, add 500 ml still water, 1 cup of crushed ice, the juice of 1 organic lemon and approximately 2 tablespoons of agave syrup or acacia honey (take more if you love the lemonade sweeter).
Blend the ingredients well for around 30 seconds, then strain through a fine sieve. 
Enjoy the green drink immediately after preparation to avoid discoloring and loss of freshness.
This drink has a convincing strong green and minty flavor, is full of chlorophyll, menthol and Vitamin C and is my secret weapon against the summer heat and thirst. The fresh breeze you feel on your taste buds when you take the first sip is something you won’t want to miss anymore once you have tried it.

Stay healthy and enjoy the summer!
Another fruity and mild lemonade recipe will be featured soon on this blog.

Ruby Red and Pink- my new favorite colors


Recently I cut my roses in the garden. They have suffered in the heat and dried out a little bit, despite the fact I gave them enough water. So I thought I have to pamper them with an extra dose of ground coffee (leftover when coffee is made – recycle!) after the cut. It was good to see how fast they recovered, they became very green. Now they rewarded me with even more beautifully smelling blossoms. I took one off, trying to get more excitement to my daily intake of 2 litres of water (pure water is sometimes boring, isn’t it?), and mixed the rose blossom with diced strawberries, vanilla pod, organic lemon and plenty of still spring water. After a couple of hours in the fridge this drink was so refreshing and delicious! Look also here for another flavored water.

Eldermania

The Elder bush is highly appreciated in the region of Germany where I come from. There is a saying you have “to bow down in respect” in front of an elder bush. This plant has indeed great therapeutic benefits. When an Elder bush grows near to a house, people feel  lucky through its pure presence. And of course because they can easily access its health benefits when needed. It is a cleansing and cooling herb, boosts immune system, reduces fever, soothes the respiratory tract, is anti inflammatory and purifying the blood.
The tiny white flowers open in late spring, they are used in lemonades, teas and desserts. The black berries are ripe in autumn, and are used for jams, compotes or juices. Both flowers and berries have a very specific, intense, incomparable flavor. Grown up with this taste, comes spring I can’t wait to drink fresh elder flower lemonade. Home made of course (not the bottled syrup from the grocer). If I can get hold of fresh elder flowers here in Dubai (not an easy task) I am not much willing to share my lovely home made elder flower lemonade with anyone. It is too precious! This year only ONE very very good friend got to taste it (comment: “DELICIOUS!”)
But I am sharing my recipe with you – in case you get fresh elder flowers:

ELDERFLOWER LEMONADE

What To Buy
2 l still water
10 fresh elder flowers
1/2 organic lemon
30 ml agave syrup

How To Make It
Pour the water in a large carafe. Wash the lemon and slice it with the skin.Bundle the elderflowers and dip the flowers into the water. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
Remove the elderflowers. Blend some of the elder flavored water with 1 slice of the macerated lemon and the agave syrup, strain and pour the liquid back into the carafe. Serve it cold.
Chef Gabi’s Tip:
This lemonade works only with fresh elderflowers. Not dry ones. (They are good for tea). When making this lemonade, never dip the ends of the elderflower stalks into the water. Elder flower lemonade keeps for just 2 days in the fridge. Anyway: Once you taste it, you can’t stop drinking and it will be gone in no time.
In case elder flower is too difficult to source, another lovely home made lemonade recipe is coming soon – strawberries and rose, another favorite of mine. 

Stay healthy and hydrated!
(You might also like Aromatic Water)