I've been trying to stay away from artificial sweeteners. I gave them up when I was pregnant with my kids, which was really hard, because I gave up coffee too so that meant I had few options. But about six months after my second daughter was born, I decided to give up artificial sweeteners for good. Nothing good could really come from them I figured and they tasted awful, so really what was the point? Now and again, I'll drink something that is artificially sweetened and it tastes so terrible I wonder why I ever used it in the first place. I went through these sweetener stages:
- Sugar. I experimented with using plain sugar in some things, but that just left me feeling inflamed and achy.
- Liquid Stevia. My first introduction happened to be with liquid stevia (365 brand from Whole Foods) and it was disgusting. Nasty. Bitter. Horrible. I hated it with a passion. Gross, I thought, this is no better than aspartame. Then I decided to try the liquid Sweetleaf brand (I actually won it in a blog giveaway!) and it was no better, if not worse.
- Powdered Stevia. Still semi-desperate and not quite ready to give up, I tried the powder, NuNaturals White Stevia. Total winner. I loved it. I really couldn't tell the difference between this and sugar in most items. Smoothies tasted great, the flavors in hot cereal like oatmeal and cream of buckwheat were enhanced. When combined with other sweeteners like honey, coconut palm sugar and xylitol, baked goods tasted fantastic.
It was only natural that I try to sweeten lemonade with stevia. I was skeptical at first, but as with most things involving stevia, I as so pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted -- exactly like lemonade made with sugar!
I'm really the only one in the house who will drink *real* iced tea or lemonade, so making a big batch and storing it in the refrigerator doesn't make sense. It just taunts me every time I open the refrigerator, silently reminding me that if I don't drink it quickly enough I'll have to throw it out and for some reason that really bothers me. I hate throwing out food.
My mom made my lunch every day in school and I made sure I ate every single thing she gave me. If I was forced to throw something out (which was rare), I really felt so guilty. You would think I hail from the Depression era or something. But quite honestly, back in school, the guilt stemmed more from not wanting to take for granted the time she took to make my lunch. I felt I would hurt her feelings somehow if I didn't eat everything in my lunch. She certainly never indicated anything like this and in fact, she always said we should only eat until we felt full. We weren't a finish-your-plate kind of family. I don't even know if she knows I did this. Now, though, I hate throwing out food because I feel like I'm throwing money in the garbage.
Human beings are so complex.
So that's where the single-serve lemonade started. It's easy and so sweet and delicious on HOT days!
Sugar-Free Single-Serve Lemonade
Nunaturals White Stevia
I have a juicer that holds the juiced liquid in its base. I think I purchased this from Walmart for close to $1. Basically, I just juice as many lemons as I feel like, whether it's one or 20.
I store the juice in the refrigerator and when I'm ready for some lemonade, I put some ice cubes in a glass and about 1 or 2 ounces of lemon juice in a glass.
I fill the glass with water and add a little bit of stevia (about 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon) and mix. That's it. So easy. So delicious.
Nutrition Information For Recipe (Estimate): Calories 8; Total Fat 0g; Total Carb 4g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 1g; Protein 0g
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