nimbu paani (limeade) with stevea and mint ...
With the picture of Stevea i had promised to bring a recipe using the sweetening leaves. We eat our sugars in moderation and never use any artificial sweeteners as a rule . Natural sweeteners having some nutritive value along with calories is my way of having my sweet treats . So dates , raisins and fruits rule as natural sweeteners in many of my desserts . Stevea is an occasional addition to my green tea or lemonade or limeade with other flavorings like ginger or mint or whatever is the mood.
I have never cooked with fresh Stevea leaves so i do not know how it behaves when cooked or baked . I like it being used fresh and feel like enjoying my garden more at such times . To make you some more jealous let me tell you , all the ingredients in this nimboo paani have come from the garden , freshly plucked ...
Mint, Stevea and lime (nimboo) . 2-3 leaves of Stevea are enough to lightly sweeten a glass of limeade . Mint can be as much as you like. I add some salt to my limeade too as i like the way it really quenches the body after excessive sweating ..... I am living on such limeades and thin buttermilk these days.
So the lime is zested and leaves are crushed using a pestle . I had planned to take a picture of the crushed up leaves and lemon zest but i was in a hurry to drink the nimboo paani after working in the garden for an hour . Taking pictures can spoil the fun sometimes.
All the crushed leaves and lime zest is added to a pitcher , chilled water filled up and salt is added according to taste . Very light hint of salt is required the way i make it. You can see the crushed leaves floating on top of the limeade .
Pour in glasses through a sieve . A few small bits of crushed leaves can be enjoyable , so add some if you like .
Isn't it a lovely color . The refreshing taste is something i am loving these days . It's a seasonal delight for me , as long as the summers are sweltering and as long as i get fresh mint in the garden .
I took my drawing board outside in the garden and used it as a table to click a few quick pictures . Luckily the mild sunlight appeared for a few minutes and made my day . It has been a rainy day otherwise. Pleasant greens look all refreshed . The limeade refreshed my soul too...without any sugars going into my bloodstream.
I make the aam panna using Stevea leaves too . It is a better way to have the refreshing drinks of summer as we are in real danger of ingesting large amounts of sugars if all the ice creams , granitas , and sherbets are consumed indiscriminately .
Using healthier options for sweet treats makes more sense . Are you growing your own Stevea?
Try doing so as now you have seen the beautiful flowers it bears too...