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Zesty Summer Drinks

Body+Soul, July/August 2007

When life hands you lemons this summer, make lemonade -- a version that has no refined sugar and is far more delicious than any syrupy store-bought variety. Heidi Swanson, author of the recently published "Super Natural Cooking" and creator of 101cookbooks.com, suggests this formula: Dilute 1/2 cup agave nectar (or 1/3 cup honey) in 1 cup very hot water and set aside to cool. In a pitcher or a large mason jar, combine 1 cup fresh lemon juice with 4 cups cold water, then stir in the agave or honey water to sweeten.

Want to boost nutrition and add zing to the flavor? Try one of these healthy add-ins:

Berry Best Stir or shake in 1 cup pureed strawberries for vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.
Go Herbal To stimulate digestion, mash or crush 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary and mix in, or steep 1/4 cup minced or grated fresh ginger in the agave water before adding it to the lemonade.
Green Tea Time Replace 3 cups of the cold water with 3 cups of this brewed, chilled antioxidant drink.