I always encourage homemade meals with whole-food ingredients which puts you 100% in control of your ingredients. Beverages are no different. Homemade is healthier!
Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda and juice (even 100% freshly-picked-from-your-backyard and squeezed-with-your-bare-hands juice), are loaded with sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors, and have been linked to both obesity and diabetes. This also applies to diet soda. Yes, I said that right. Diet soda is just as bad as regular soda.
Think of it this way – one packet of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon which is about 4 grams of sugar. One 12 ounce can of soda OR juice contains about 10 packets or 10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s over the amount of added sugars you should have in an entire day.
When you make your own flavor-infused sparkling water, you have complete control over the ingredients and added sugars. This helps to keep your blood sugar in check. Plus, it’s easy. You can get your own soda water maker like this one or you can buy unsweetened seltzer-based soda water at any grocery store.
Simple syrup is optional, but it adds a touch of natural sweetness. Just keep portions small and never add more than 1 teaspoon (4 grams of carbs) of simple syrup per cup. Try these recipes without the syrup and you may be surprised that you don’t need it.
Simple Syrup Recipe
Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar (or local organic honey) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until completely dissolved. Keep an eye on it to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Let cool. Store the syrup in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- First, simply add the fruit and/or vegetable in the glass first (try using a wine glass if you’re feeling particularly fancy that day or just need a smile), take a muddler to slightly mash and breakdown the fruits and/or vegetables.
- Next, simply take the herb/spice of choice and gently bruise the leaf (i.e. gently mashing), this helps release the natural extracts and oils from the herb/spice.
- Lastly, add either sparkling water or flat filtered water. Optional to add 1 teaspoon simple syrup. Enjoy immediately!
*// indicates OR to give you several options
- grapefruit + sage//rosemary//mint//basil
- lemon + mint//cilantro//basil
- lemon + lime
- lemon + ginger
- honeydew + sage//mint
- watermelon + mint//rosemary//basil
- blood orange + lemon
- blackberries//strawberries + mint
- cranberry + orange + ginger
- cherries + lime + mint
- lemon + orange + ginger
- blood orange + ginger + basil
- pineapple + lemon + ginger
- cucumber + watermelon + basil
- raspberry + ginger + mint
- strawberries + grapefruit + sage
It can be so fun coming up with your own favorite flavors. It will change the way you think about water 😉
Let me know what your favorite flavor is!