Bring on the Summer Heat!

Finally! The days are staying sunny and hot and every day looks like a day for the beach! Local berries and herbs are popping up everywhere and asking us to get creative. The call of Summer is here!

Right now, I’ve been finding a lot of field mint, lavender, cherries, wild strawberries, salmonberries, black caps, blackberries, raspberries and huckleberries. What more could a girl ask for! They’ve been the backbone of some of my more creative flavoured waters and lemonades to keep me hydrated while I’m doing yard work or at the beach.

As you progress in your pregnancy, you will realize that you need to be taking in a lot more liquids to keep your body going as your blood volume begins to grow by 50%. Keeping yourself hydrated on some of the warmer days may feel like an easy task, but it might become harder than you think. Sometimes 8 glasses of water alone won’t do the trick. There’s salt, sugars, vitamins and minerals that we all need to accumulate throughout the day and one of those ways is through liquids. I’ve decided to share some recipes for delicious lemonades and flavoured waters that you can pack up and bring with you wherever you go. I also wanted to share some ideas to keep you in tune with nature and the ability to gather and feed our families, neighbours and ourselves:

#1) Have a fruit swap with your neighbours or friends. If you are all growing something different, trade and gift parts of your yearly harvest to your neighbour so everyone has a bit of variety. Buying berries at the local grocery store can become quite expensive so if you have a group of harvesters in your area, then you are in luck for some variation at a very low cost. But it doesn’t have to stop at just fruits! Trade some of your herbs or vegetables to friends who have something different growing. You might run into someone who knows a few wonderful salve recipes that could come in handy down the road!

#2) A Harvest Day. This could be a great day trip if you have other children or have friends with children—just remember that some bushes have thorns for the younger ones. In the earlier part of the day before the sun is too high, set out to find some local berries. Working with nature for plump, juicy berries carries a calming rhythm and the work can really pay off! It is such a gift to have all these plants around us to help us nurture and grow. I usually tend to pick my berries in the Langford or Sooke area. It is also good to remember that you don’t want to be picking berries directly off the side of the road as all the fumes and toxins will go right into the plants and we want them to stay detoxifying! Take a nature walk and find a good spot, even stop by the ocean for a quick dip if you find yourself near! If you come across a big batch of berries and need a container that will allow you to keep picking, I recommend finding a 4 litre milk jug. All you do is cut the top off of the jug and loop a belt through its handle to hang the bucket from your waist. Both hands become free and you can simply dump the berries into a larger bucket (I buy the large empty ice cream bucks from stores) and keep on going.  

3) Community Gardens. If you live in an area with community gardens (Victoria has a lot of them) then I suggest paying them a visit. Everything from raspberries, blueberries, mulberries and figs can be found in these neighbourhood driven fruit lands and the best part is there is a portion waiting for you! These gardens are also a good way to meet some of the people in your city while expanding your knowledge on different types of plants and edibles!

So let it be time to grab some delicious, thirst-quenching ingredients and renew your mind on the beautiful upcoming summer days! If you find that you need to add more sweetener to your drink, simple blend it into a few teaspoons of hot water to dissolve. All these recipes can be altered and swapped with whatever you have available near you, they are just examples to get your creativity started.

Blueberry Lavender Lemonade:

2 lemons
2 sprigs lavender
1 tsp honey or sweetener (optional)
2 tsp chia seeds
handful of fresh or frozen blueberries

In a jar or container, dissolve the honey in a few teaspoons of hot water. Juice the lemons and add into the container and then add 3 cups or so of water until you get the desired taste of lemonade. Add in chia seeds and torn lavender sprigs. Top with blueberries and let sit for 10 minutes until chia seeds make  gel.

Grapefruit Cherry Refresher:

2 grapefruits
1 teaspoon honey or sweetener (optional)
1 bottle bubbly water (can be still as well)
2 sprigs of field mint (or whatever mint you may find)
handful of pitted fresh or frozen cherries

In a jar or container, dissolve the honey in a few teaspoons of hot water. Add in the field mint and bruise against the bottom of the jar. Juice 2 grapefruits and add into the honey and mint mix. Top with a bottle of bubbly water and cherries.


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