Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What We Like to Drink

As promised I am now ready to write about what we like to drink around here. This is probably long overdue anyway. Let me start by saying that I hate to drink my calories! I am not an avid calorie counter per say, but I am vaguely aware of it during the day because losing and maintaining weight is really a numbers game after all, and if I am going to have the calories they aren't going to come from a drink. Those kinds of calories just aren't very satisfying.

So let's begin with the most obvious zero calorie thing we like to drink.......

And that would be water of course! You have already heard me talk about getting yourself one of these cups with a straw. Remember there have been studies done proving that people drink more when they are sipping it through a straw. I also love to put a few lemon slices in my cup some days.

Water can get really boring though and sometimes we need a little flavor. I LOVE all these SOBE lifewaters and I love that they are sweetened with Pure Via rather than aspartame, which we really try to avoid. The fuji apple pear is the first one I ever tried and it is still my very favorite but I really haven't met a flavor I haven't liked and there are tons of them. Not all SOBE is created equal however so be careful not to accidentally grab the ones with calories. They also now have some coconut waters that are delicious. They are less calories but not zero.

Sometimes when water is boring, and you just aren't in the mood for SOBE these come in handy because they have carbonation!!!!! They are sweetened with sucralose which is basically Splenda so still calorie free but not all natural. I love all the flavors these come in as well, which is about 7 currently, but the new coconut pineapple is the clear winner for me. I am totally planning to shave some ice with my ancient Pampered Chef Ice Shaver that has been stuck in a box forever and pour that coconut yum over it. I will let you know how that turns out.

But then you know sometimes you just NEED some regular old pop. Like when eating pizza. Pizza and pop must go together always. Blue Sky is our favorite zero calorie pop and everyone in this house loves them. We have also tried Hansen's Diet Pops but we much prefer the taste of Blue Sky. The calorie free ones come in Cola, Root Beer, Jamaican Ginger ale, and the best Cherry Vanilla Cream that I would also like to turn into some kind of dessert. For the record we do still enjoy other pops occasionally that have aspartame. Call me crazy but I guess I would still rather drink the aspartame then the calories when I am at a restaurant or splurging and in that case I prefer Pepsi Max. I don't know what is wrong with me. Also, it is POP!
It is not soda and it is not coke and that is the law.

Sometimes I have a little more time on my hands and I like to make something refreshing like homemade lemonade. I am not an iced tea drinker so this is what I like to make instead. I have several versions that I have played around with. This one is lemon-lime with a hint of mint. The lemonade is not completely calorie free however.

It is pretty simple to make. I used 5 lemons and 5 limes but my lemons were rather large this time so if yours are small you might need a few more.

Stevia was my sweetener of choice. I used 1/2 cup.

Just a hint--Dissolve that 1/2 cup Stevia in very hot water in your pitcher first.

Then I also used about 1/2 cup agave nectar thus making it a drink with calories. Bummer. But still less than store bought lemonades with lots of nasty extra ingredients. The juice of the lemons and limes does add a few calories as well but not much.

Then add the juice you squeezed to your pitcher and enough cold water to make 2 quarts. Give it a taste and add more water if it is too tart for you or you can add a bit more Stevia or agave if you need it a bit sweeter.

I also like to add a few mint leaves to mine. It gives just a little something extra! I put several in the big pot and let them sit there for a while and then I also like to add a few fresh ones to my cup when I am ready to enjoy a glass.

But.......Blueberry lemonade is the bomb! Skip the limes and use all lemons and then puree 1 cup frozen blueberries in a blender with some water for a few minutes. You won't get all the pieces to break up completely but that is okay. Pour that into your pitcher of dissolved Stevia and fresh squeezed juice along with enough water to make 2 quarts. I promise you will totally fall in love!

The kids. You know we have a couple around here. I let them drink all the same things we drink, but I also keep these small water bottles in the door of my fridge. They grab these things all day long. It gets a bit annoying because I find them all over and some are have drunk, but at least they are drinking them. We wash the bottles and refill them and keep them handy. I SWEAR there is something to the little bottle. It is less daunting to finish these little bottles then to drink the big 8 ounce ones. Besides how many times have you picked up half drunk water bottles that adults have left?

I also like to keep these Capri Sun flavored waters for my kids. I have never been a juice parent. My kids never walked around with a sippy cup of juice. I guess I just heard about the risk of rotting teeth with apple juice and it freaked me out so I never did it. I also never buy the regular Capri Suns because there is too much sugar in them. But these are perfect and my kids have never complained that they have tasted the real thing and it is better. We have a small dorm room kind of fridge in the garage that we keep these in so they are cold and handy for the kids.

So there you have it! That is basically what we drink on a regular basis except of course for the coffee we both enjoy every morning. Me, usually one cup. Miles usually the rest of the pot. He has problems. I've gave up a long time ago trying to get him to drink less. And just in case you were wondering about tea I am working on enjoying it more because it has health benefits, but I am not in love with tea. I am from Washington state.
I must remain loyal to Starbucks.

Homemade Lemonade

10 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup Stevia, dissolved in hot water
1/2 cup agave or honey
mint leaves optional

Juice all lemons. Dissolve Stevia in about 1/2 cup very hot water. Add the fresh lemon juice to the Stevia in a pitcher. Add agave nectar. Add enough cold water to make 2 quarts of lemonade. Stir and enjoy over ice.

Add a few mint leaves for a different and fun flavor
To make lemon/limeade use 5 lemons and 5 limes.
To make blueberry (or other berry flavored lemonade) puree 1 cup frozen berries with about 1/2 cup water in a blender and add to the lemonade.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I am an ice tea fan, coffee fan, sobe fan (mango orange my favorite). Will use those tips for the grandkids. Hello from Boise, Idaho. Loving the dry air: much better for my arthritis. Linda

Jenny said...

I like this post a lot. Where did you get that kind of agave? I really want to start making fresh lemonade, and I love the idea of adding blueberries. Please contact Ryan and tell him to stop consuming aspartame. He won't listen to me; maybe he'll listen to you. :)

Jenn said...

I am not a tea drinker either but I found a great recipe that tastes pretty good. Make sun tea using 5 organic green tea bags. While still warm add a tsp or so of agave then put in fridge. When ready for a drink fill cup with combo of ice and fruit (my favorites are oranges or blueberries) then pour green sun tea over top. The longer it sits the yummier it gets. I use same fruit for 2-3 refills! Good luck!!!!

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