Is it ever really summer without lemonade? Or cherries for that matter? Truth be told, I hardly ever have lemonade anymore because I am too busy trying to get in my gallon of water a day or drinking a morning smoothie. I really try to watch my sugar intake because it makes me feel so awful (aside from fruit sugars) so if I’m going to have sugar, it will be in the form of a doughnut, not in a drink.
But a lemonade without refined sugar, made from fresh whole foods and infused with my favorite fruit of all time? Well, there will be no holding me back and no need to! This cherry lemonade is sweetened naturally with a date puree. If my rough, okay arbitrary, calculations are correct, I feel the amount of date puree I used is close to the equivalent of ½ cup of refined sugar. So substitute the white stuff at your own risk or enjoy this version guilt free, your body will appreciate it! I’m not sure I’d use the date puree with regular lemonade unless you don’t mind it not quite so yellow. The cherries are so vibrant, it easily masks the color change.
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 10)
- ½ cup hot water, plus a little more as needed
- 4 dozen cherries, pitted
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about the juice from 9 lemons)
- 3 cups filtered water, or 4 if desired after taste testing.
- 1. First make the date puree by blending the pitted dates and hot water in a high power blender until smooth and creamy. Add a little extra hot water by the tablespoon, if needed, to get it blending.
- 2. Add the pitted cherries to date puree and blend again until smooth.
- 3. Add the lemon juice and water to blender with cherry-date puree and blend.
- 4. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth, if desired, into your serving pitcher and chill (or be impatient and drink room temp like me.)