Lavender Chia Lemonade from 'YumUniverse' + Cookbook Giveaway!
Chances are, you've been to Heather's beautifully designed website YumUniverse. If you haven't- drop EVERYTHING and GO NOW! Everything she does is gorgeous. Her plant-powerful, gluten-free, whole food recipes are always thoughtfully presented and beautifully photographed- definitely drool-worthy. Her website is a treasure trove of over 500 recipes, meal plans, do-it-yourself projects, and brilliant e-books. Heather is NAILING it! Her new cookbook, YumUniverse, is a testament to her skills as a chef and her creativity in creating delicious, exciting new recipes- like Skillet Crusted Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Quinoa 'Cinnamon Toast' Cereal with Toasted Pecans, and Mexican Unfried Ice Cream! This book is teeming with amazing looking and sounding recipes that keep a focus on whole foods and flavor, and aren't just for plant-based people. Heather began her journey into healthy cooking and eating as a way to help heal her body of health issues that started in her early 20's. As someone with a lot of unexplained sickness, I totally understand- that's why I went plant-based, too! Heather keeps it real and is super relatable in her writing and her simple approach to creating meals that appeal to everyone. These are meals I feel like I could confidently cook for my meat-eating family with no complaints. I said it before and I'll say it again- Heather is NAILING it!
Her cookbook is one of the most well-designed I've ever seen. Nearly the entire first-half of the book is dedicated to food prep, tips, proper technique, and just some simple things that we should all know but rarely remember or practice in everyday cooking. Even as a pretty confident cook, its always nice to get back to basics sometimes. Not only does Heather start at the beginning with cooking tips, she does back to basics on what eating plant-based really means, how to do it healthfully, and how to be successful at it. She tells you how to stock your kitchen with the right tools and foods and explains proper food prep. Its more than a cookbook- its a plant-based BIBLE. The last half of the book is filled with bright, fresh recipes to make your mouth water and keep you full + satisfied.
The recipe we chose to share from Heather's cookbook is her refreshing, hydrating Lavender Chia Lemonade. We love the health benefits of chia seeds and it's been getting VERY warm in Southern California lately, so this was the perfect treat to keep me cool all week. Just a little sweet, and a beautiful shade of pinky purple- YUM! Scroll down to get the recipe and enter to win your very own copy of YumUniverse!
Before we get to the recipe though, a note from the Heather herself on this sweet, refreshing drink:
I enjoy this drink for its nostalgic taste without all the dyes and processed sugars in the store-bought stuff. It’s hydrating (chia) and boosts energy (honey), which makes it a powerful endurance drink for sustained fitness. The main reason I love this recipe though is because it reminds me of my friend Paul, who once said to me when he saw it on my desk at work, “Whatcha got there, Crosby, some seahorse eggs?” I can’t deny it. Lavender-Chia Lemonade is a showstopper with a lovely taste to match.
LAVENDER CHIA LEMONADE
8 cups water
¼ cup lemon zest
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons culinary lavender buds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ cup raw honey (to keep it vegan, we used Bee Free Honee- made from apples! You can sub whatever sweetener you like.)
1. In a pot filled with 8 cups of water, add zest, juice, and lavender buds. Bring to a boil.
2. Turn off heat and allow to steep, like tea, until cool. Refrigerate for about 4 hours (or overnight).
3. Strain into a pitcher. Stir in chia seeds after you strain out the lavender and lemon.
4. Sweeten with honey if you like. Serve chilled or room temperature.
psst! Feel free to enjoy this lemonade without the chia. You’ll need about 5 – 6 large lemons to make this recipe. 2 + servings.
You made it! If you're sipping on a cool glass of Lavender Chia Lemonade, you're extra lucky. If you aren't, treat yourself by entering to WIN your own copy of Heather's book in our giveaway! Don't wanna wait? We can't blame you! You can buy a copy here on her blog. Thanks again to Heather for sharing this perfect summer recipe with us AND letting us give away a FREE copy of her cookbook to one of YOU! She rocks. Entries open to US & Canada only please. Sorry, mates. Contest ends 4/22/15. Good luck!