The summer beverage is having a moment, all thanks to food bloggers posting their milky spin on the drink on their social media feeds. The idea is pretty simple: instead of using sugar or syrup to sweeten the zesty drink, creamy lemonade swaps in sweetened condensed milk, resulting in a frothy, creamy beverage akin to something you'd find at the resort swim-up bar. It's delicious, refreshing, and ridiculously easy to make—no surprise that this drink has exploded on TikTok.
@feelgoodfoodieThis is lemonade on another level! Just add sweetened condensed milk to your lemonade recipe and enjoy! 🍋 #creamylemonade #summervibes #lemonade♬ original sound - Feel Good Foodie
While scrumptious, the recipe is dairy-based, meaning it's not-so-vegan friendly and can leave tummies that are sensitive to milk or cream in a twist. It's also suuuper high in added sugar, thanks to the sugar content found in the sweetened condensed milk.
Good news is, it can be made using healthier, plant-based ingredients that are easy to sub-in. Yumna Jawad, chef and founder of the blog Feel Good Foodie, made her own plant-based version of the decadent drink using condensed coconut milk. Jawad says using sweetened condensed coconut milk will give you the same results as the original creamy lemonade, just without the dairy. (BTW, if finding this ingredient requires some hunting around your local health food store, you can find it online for just $3.)
"You can also try cream of coconut ($3), which is just the thick creamy part of canned coconut milk. It’s dairy-free, has a thick creamy texture, and adds a tropical flavor to the creamy lemonade," Jawad suggests. "I also tried canned coconut milk and had chunky results. But if you heat full fat coconut milk ($2) with a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar, it will more closely resemble the sweetened condensed milk consistency and taste."
As for a low sugar option, Jawad suggests simply cutting back on the optional cane sugar the recipe calls for. "The plant-based options can also reduce the sugar content naturally," Jawad says.
There you have it. Next time you're looking for something to sip poolside, skip the seltzer and see what all the fuss is about with your own plant-based creamy lemonade. Just follow Jawad's recipe below, sit back, and relish in the instant refreshment.
Creamy lemonade recipe
Juice of 4 lemons
¼ cup cane sugar, optional
¼ cup sweetened condensed coconut milk, coconut cream, or canned coconut milk
2 lemons, sliced
2 cups ice
2 cups water
1. Pour lemon juice into a half gallon pitcher.
2. Add cane sugar, if you’re using, and then add the sweetened condensed coconut milk or coconut cream. Use a whisk or large spoon to stir until the mixture is completely blended and the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add lemon slices, ice cubes, and water. Stir to combine.
4. Serve immediately.
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