Whether you’re diabetic or want to decrease your sugar intake for other reasons, the American Diabetes Association recommends alternatives to soda such as water, unsweetened tea, coffee, and drink mixes. Here are some ideas to get the perfect mix of flavor and fizz from your drinks.
Mix seltzer/soda water with juices
Jeltzer: A jeltzer is amazingly simple to make. You only need to mix in one part of your desired 100-percent juice for every three parts of water. To have it taste more like soda, use seltzer or soda water instead of plain water. Experiment with thick juices such as grape and cranberry.
Soda water infused with cucumber and citrus: Prepare a pitcher of soda water. Wash and slice one thick cucumber, and slice one large lemon or orange. Stir in the cucumber pieces and the citrus, and let the mixture settle overnight in the refrigerator. Experiment with other fruit combinations, and enjoy!
Cold herbal infusions: Fill a jar or pitcher with cold soda water or seltzer. Wrap 1 ounce of an herb such as lemon balm or marshmallow root in cheesecloth. Tie one end of the bundle. Dampen the herb just a bit, and put the bundle slightly below the water in the pitcher. Place the tied part of the bundle over the pitcher or jar top, and loosely turn the top or jar lid into place. Let the mixture infuse overnight.
Alternatively, put the herbs directly in a jar or pitcher, fill it with water, and tighten the cap. Let the mixture soak overnight.
Ginger ale: Add a spoonful of grated ginger to a glass of ice and seltzer water. Add a low-calorie sweetener, and you’re set.
Flavor concentrates and flavor enhancers
You can find flavor concentrates at any grocery store; popular brands include Crystal Light and MiO. Whatever flavoring product you’re considering, always remember to check the nutritional information for calories, carbs, sugar and sodium, in case you need to limit your intake of any of those ingredients. Prepare your glass of soda water or seltzer, squeeze in a few drops of flavoring, and enjoy!
Tips for making the switch from soda
Follow these tips as you make the switch from soda.
- Always keep soda alternatives on hand. You might even want to invest in a soda carbonator machine.
- Experiment: Try oranges, cucumbers, berries and other fruit, as well as vegetables, in your water, to see what tastes you prefer.
- Restructure routines: Where you might have previously enjoyed an afternoon soda at your desk, try a soda alternative, or go for a 10-minute walk.
- Don’t quit soda altogether. It may be easier for you to let yourself still enjoy soda a few times a week. Discuss this with your doctor to determine what is a safe amount.
To get a fizzy, soda-like experience without the negative side effects of actual soda, try a few of this healthy and tasty recipe. I invite you to tell me about your experiences with quitting soda in the comments.
CUCUMBER CITRUS INFUSED WATER
- 1 large cucumber washed and sliced thick
- 1 large orange or lemon sliced
- 1 pitcher of water
Fill a pitcher with water. Stir in sliced citrus and cucumbers. Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator to infuse. Enjoy and refill as often as you’d like.
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