Healthy Sweet Woodruff Lemonade Recipe: Refreshing, flavorful and fragrant summer drink made with sweet woodruff, lemon, honey and water.
I’m happy to announce that summer has finally come to Hamburg! We have so many things planned: picknicks, BBQs, baby’s first trip to the sea (yey!), having lazy Sunday breakfasts at the balcony and hanging out in the park the whole day.
Since the weather is sunny and warm, it’s important to stay hydrated. One of my favorite summer refreshments is Turkish ayran. Try it out if you haven’t yet! It’s a perfect accompaniment to savory foods and all things spicy!
As for the sweet refreshing drinks, lemonade is my absolute favorite.
A cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day… So refreshing, delicious and full of flavor. When life hands you lemons, make a delicious homemade lemonade recipe. The best part: there are so many flavors out there besides plain lemons!
One of my recent discoveries is sweet woodruff, also known as Galium odoratum, the sweetscented bedstraw, waldmeister, master of the woods and wild baby’s breath. Sweet, rich, fresh, fragrant, almondy and vanilla scented, sweet woodruff has pretty-looking leaves and blossoms with little white flowers.
Sweet woodruff is a forest plant that likes shade and cool locations, so if you have a shady corner in your garden, go ahead and plant it! I keep it in a pot in my kitchen and it grows quite well there.
Sweet woodruff is very popular in Germany. It is used to flavor sour beer, sweeten teas and soft drinks, jelly, jams and cakes. It’s not unusual to find a sweet woodroof ice cream in a German supermarket as well!
Health Benefits of Sweet Woodruff Lemonade
First of all, the lemonade I share with you today is healthy. No kidding! It contains no sugar, high fructose corn syrup or refined ingredients. Only lemon juice, honey, sweet woodruff and pure water.
I try to avoid processed food whenever possible and replace them with homemade ingredients. I literally never had problems finding a healthy vegetarian replacement to fish or meat (you know it, if you are subscribed to my blog!), as well as to refined sugar and white flour. Everything is possible, eating healthy on a budget is no exception!
Drinking the right kind of lemonade can make your skin glow and hair shiny, as well as improve your digestion and immune system. Lemonade is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium. Moreover, lemonade helps you to stay hydrated on a hot summer day!
Lemon has anti-inflammatory and weight reducing properties and is beneficial for your digestive system. It acts as a blood purifier and a natural antiseptic medicine that cures skin problems and hair loss. It controls blood pressure and helps you get rid of the cold and flu. Lemon has truly amazing health benefits.
Whenever possible, add a bit of lemon juice to your food, be it a beverage, a salad or a soup! It goes well with almost everything, except maybe dairy products.
Honey goes a long way in being a natural remedy for a bunch of health issues, from flu to digestive disorders. It has anti-bacterial properties, strengthens the immune system, regulates blood sugar and prevents heart disease, among other things.
Whenever possible, use raw honey as opposed to processed honey, as it contains more beneficial nutrients.
Finally, sweet woodruff can be used for treating heart, digestive, kidney and liver problems, varicose veins, swelling, liver disorder, migraine and insomnia, as well as lung infections and gallbladder conditions. Sweet woodruff acts as a disinfectant, antiseptic and blood purifier.
The best way to consume it is to sweeten food and drinks with it, think soft drinks, lemonades, teas and punches, jam, wines, cocktails and beers, ice cream etc. It’s better to cut sweet woodruff branches in advance, 2-3 hours before you intend to use them, to intensify the aroma.
How to Make Sweet Woodruff Lemonade
The first thing to know before you start making any lemonade is that if you just combine water and honey, it won’t dissolve. Honey would just sink to the bottom. Luckily, there is a way to avoid it.
Make a syrup first by heating a bit of water and honey together in a small saucepan, until it’s completely dissolved. It will happen before the boiling point. Make sure you don’t let the water boil, especially if you are using the raw honey. Add lemon juice and more water to the lemonade, until it’s sweet enough to your taste.
Next step is to infuse the lemonade with sweet woodruff flavor. I found that the easiest way to do it is to use a tea filter bag. Just put the chopped sweet woodruff inside and brew it for 30 minutes, then remove the tea bag, squeezing the rest of the flavored water out.
Once the lemonade has cooled down to a room temperature, put it in the fridge until ready to serve. Add ice cubes to individual glasses and garnish with sweet woodruff branches. Check the full recipe below for directions on how to make healthy sweet woodruff lemonade. Enjoy!
Healthy Sweet Woodruff Lemonade
- 150 grams or 1/2 cup honey
- 235 ml or 1 cup lemon juice
- 235 ml or 1 cup water + 950-1150 ml (4-5 cups) cold water to dilute
- 3 tablespoons or 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped sweet woodruff
- Make a syrup by heating a cup of water and honey together in a small saucepan, until it's completely dissolved. It will happen before the boiling point. Make sure you don't let the water boil, especially if you are using the raw honey. Add lemon juice and more water to the lemonade, until it's sweet enough to your taste.
- Put the chopped sweet woodruff in a tea filter bag and brew it for 30 minutes, then remove the tea bag, squeezing the rest of the flavored water out. Once the lemonade has cooled down to a room temperature, put it in the fridge until ready to serve. Add ice cubes to individual glasses and garnish with sweet woodruff branches. Enjoy!
You can also substitute sweet woodruff with mint leaves: the flavor will be different but very delicious as well!
Lots of love,