Things to do with Basil: Make Calorie Free Basil and Stevia Lemonade

One of the best things about growing your own herbs is all the fun healthy beverages you can make QUICKLY.   Today, I came home from my workout craving something sweet but I wanted something calorie free.  After all, I just killed myself for 45 minutes in Spin Class.  What’s the point of undoing all of that as soon as I get home?

I absolutely adore Basil Lemonade but I get annoyed with all the sugar restaurants and online recipes add.  You don’t need a cup of sugar in anything you’re drinking.  That’s why I love Stevia.  It’s the perfect companion to these herbal concoctions.

Here’s what I made today: Things to do with Basil: Make Calorie Free Basil and Stevia Lemonade

I’ve got four Basil plants growing this year.  Here’s a picture of my daughter I posted on Instagram of her harvesting to make Bruschetta (follow me on Instagram at ThymeTimes)IMG_2123

These three plants are about to flower.

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I’m not ready for them to go to seed so I keep picking those off to prolong their leaf production.

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I harvested 2 bunches of Basil and a little bit of Stevia.  Here’s my Stevia plant in my front planter.

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Stevia is a wonderful plant native to South America whose leaves are very sweet.  You can buy this as a calorie free extract.  Click Here for a great article about Stevia.

Here’s what you can buy.

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I made two versions.

Version 1 is infused with fresh Stevia Leaves. You’ll need 1 lemon,  one Bunch of Basil and about 4-5 Stevia Leaves.

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Bruise the leaves to release the oils. You can use the back of a spoon to do this.

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Place Basil, Juice of half a lemon, and Stevia in a 4 cup Mason Jar.  Fill with water and let infuse for about 30 minutes.

Version #2 (also known as Ashley’s Lazy Version) is very quick.

Take about 3  Basil Leaves (don’t forget to bruise first), one slice of lemon and 2 drops of Stevia extract into a cup of chilled filtered water.   The Basil flavor isn’t quite as strong but hey, you didn’t have to wait 30 minutes to enjoy.

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The point of having an herb garden is to use it!  This beverage took me less than five minutes.  It’s delicious, calorie free, used my herbs, and satisfied my sweet tooth.

Goal accomplished…my sweet tooth is satisfied and didn’t cost me any calories.  Now I can go make my Basil Cake and not feel guilty…

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