Lemonade is so refreshing to enjoy on a hot summer day but most varieties are high in sugar and additives, so try making a low calorie lemonade that’s just as delicious instead. Whatever your fancy or flavor, lemonade can be made in a healthy way and can even be beneficial to your body. Lemons are high in bioflavonoids, which are nutrients that increase longevity, keep your skin beautiful, and protect your brain and heart. Lemons are also a top source of vitamin C and they’re low in sugar. Most commercial lemonade products don’t deliver an ounce of real lemons, and use a chalky powder or bottled mix. So enjoy some low calorie lemonade that will quench your thirst and may also improve your health. No one will ever guess it’s actually good for you so feel free to serve it to your family and friends too!
1. Use Real Lemons
Obviously, one of the best ways to make a low calorie lemonade the healthy way is to use real lemons. Since they virtually have only one gram of sugar per fruit, you needn’t worry about them affecting your blood sugar. Juice 12-15 lemons and add the juice to 4 cups of water. You can either run the lemons through a juicer or get your hands nice and messy and squeeze them. Another option is to blend cut lemon halves with water, strain the pulp, and then toss it, just preserving the juice.
2. Use Stevia to Sweeten
I always suggest using stevia in place of sugar in any recipe, with lemonade being no exception. Stevia is calorie-free and all natural, contains no sugar, and doesn't affect your glycemic index. For lemonade, I prefer using the liqiud drops but you can use a powder too. Use 20 full drops of plain liquid stevia per 4 cup of recipe or use 2 tablespoons of pure stevia extract.
3. Steep with Fruit
To make your lemonade a bit more flavorful, try steeping it with some frozen fruit like whole strawberries or raspberries. This will add plentiful amounts of flavor without adding any calories. You can also try blueberries, limes, grapefruit, orange, or just steep with extra lemons to add even more lemon flavor.
4. Serve It over Ice
Always serve your lemonade over ice. It won’t reduce the calorie count will make it taste much better. After all, who likes hot lemonade, low calorie or not, right?
5. Keep It Natural
I used to love pink lemonade and you can make your own by using a natural food color to dye your lemonade pink. How so, you ask? Easy! Juice some strawberries and add just enough of the juice to turn your lemonade pink. Sure it will have a berry flavor but it will be delicious, lovely, and still overall very low in calories.
6. Try Coconut Water
If you’d like to add a little flair, omit half the water from your recipe and use coconut water instead. This will add electrolytes, not too much sugar, and plenty of hydrating nutrients to keep you cool all day long. Coconut water’s potassium can also help battle bloating - just choose the plain variety, not one with added sugar.
7. Add a Little Zing
If you really want to take your lemonade up a notch and make it super-slimming, add a tiny splash of raw, apple cider vinegar to your glass just before drinking it. Along with the stevia and lemon, it really gives your lemonade this sensational sweet, tart flavor. As a bonus, it will help flush out toxins, cleanse your digestive system, and may even reduce your sugar cravings.
As you can see, lemonade doesn’t have to come out of a packet or be laden with sugar. It’s simple enough to make at home and I promise it tastes just as great the low calorie way. Do you drink lemonade? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it in the summer?