Healthier Homemade Soda
Preview: This healthier homemade soda is a refreshing treat for the holidays or summer vacation. This homemade soda syrup added to seltzer is a great alternative to traditional store-bought soda for kids and adults alike.
When holidays or summer vacation rolls around, too often our best intentions of eating well fall to the wayside with all the yummy food available.
And if you are hosting parties, it can be even harder. You want good food, but wouldn’t it be nice to provide a healthier alternative? Add in some special occasions and eating healthy becomes almost impossible.
The Soda Dilemma
My kids love soda. There. I said it. I wish they didn’t, but it’s the truth. And who am I kidding? Some afternoons, I want a fizzy drink too. But I can’t afford all the calories in a regular soda and diet sodas are not an option.
I have struggled to find a way to give my kids a fizzy treat without all the junk. I researched on the internet for all kinds of soda syrups and they were either too complicated, came in flavors my kids don’t like, (cucumber melon anyone?), or still contained too much sugar.
So I decided to come up with my own sugar-free drink recipe. While not calorie-free, it is a much better alternative to the high fructose corn syrup sodas or artificially sweetened sodas you buy at the store.
This is a sugar-free drink recipe without artificial sweeteners that is perfect to replace those sugary drinks on hot summer days.
This process to make homemade soda is quite simple. You only need 5 simple ingredients. (And one of them is water!)
I’ll show you how to make a soda syrup concentrate that you can add to store-bought seltzer or any type of carbonated water. This is a great alternative to the soda syrups you can buy for your Soda Stream.
This sugar-free soda recipe can also help wean you off the overly sweetened beverages you can purchase. By using as much or as little soda syrup as you would like you can adjust the sweetness of your soda.
Start off with using more soda concentrate and then gradually add a little less.
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Ways to Flavor Healthier Homemade Soda
This homemade soda with no added sugar can be flavored in many ways. You are only limited by the types of juice concentrate you can find at the store.
I have been using a cranberry blend from Old Orchard that I found at my local Food Lion store. The pretty red color is perfect for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
I used to make my homemade soda with a white grape peach blend but I have been unable to locate it recently. However, this works with any variety of juice concentrate you can find.
I have used grape juice concentrate and apple juice concentrate which are both relatively easy to locate.
The added lemon juice (or lime juice) adds a bit of depth of flavor to the soda syrup. You can use bottled lemon juice (or lime juice) or squeeze your own fresh lemon juice (or fresh lime juice).
Sweetener for Homemade Soda
I prefer to use stevia in my homemade soda syrup. Since it is calorie-free, you are not adding additional calories to the beverage. You can also use any other sugar-free sweetener you prefer.
However, you can use white sugar or honey if you prefer but this will no longer be a low-sugar recipe. Using sugar or honey will still make a healthier soda, though it will contain more calories than using a calorie-free sweetener.
While we are on the subject of sweeteners, let’s talk about stevia. You can purchase the bags of stevia that measure cup for cup like sugar at most grocery stores. Aldi even carries some and I have used it with good results.
However, I feel that a stevia/erythritol blend gives a cleaner taste to the soda syrup. (I used the Walmart brand of Truvia here.)
For the fizzy part of the soda, you can purchase seltzer, carbonated water, or use a SodaStream to make your own fizzy water. You can even purchase a wide variety of flavored seltzer to give your sugar-free soda even more flavor.
I used a cranberry lime seltzer (that I found at Food Lion) with the cranberry juice concentrate and it was lovely. But you can also make some amazing flavors of homemade soda by combining your choice of juice concentrate, lemon or lime juice, and flavored seltzer or soda water.
How to Make Homemade Soda from Scratch
You can get a printable copy of this recipe at the bottom of the post.
- 1 can (12 oz.) fruit juice concentrate, any flavor you prefer
- 1 can of water (12 oz. or 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 Tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice also works well)
- 4 Tablespoons Truvia, or the equivalent of 1 cup of sugar if you use another brand of stevia or sugar substitute
- seltzer, club soda, or carbonated water
Mix juice concentrate, water, lemon juice, and Truvia together. This is your soda concentrate or soda syrup. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When you want to make a sugar-free soda, mix seltzer and soda concentrate together in a glass. Use as much or as little syrup as you would like. Serve in a glass over ice cubes. Enjoy.
This low sugar recipe is a great option to serve in addition to classic cocktails for those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks.
To Garnish Your Sugar-Free Drinks
One thing I like to do to dress up drinks for a party is add a few garnishes. Some fresh fruit that goes with the soda flavor is a great idea to decorate beverages for a party.
A few fresh strawberries, mint leaves, or fresh lemons that you’ve sliced are a great way to make a drink special. Kids always seem to love the addition of some cherries or a paper umbrella to their drink.
This healthier homemade soda is much better for you than the sugary-laden beverages you purchase at the store.
- 1 can (12 oz.) juice concentrate, any flavor
- 1 can water (from the juice concentrate can, 12 oz.)
- 6 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 Tablespoons Truvia, or to taste
- seltzer (flavored or unflavored) or carbonated water
Mix juice concentrate, water, lemon juice, and Truvia together. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When you would like a soda, mix seltzer (or carbonated water) and soda concentrate together in a glass. Use as much or as little soda concentrate as desired.
If you prefer to use sugar, replace the 4 Tablespoons of Truvia with 1 cup of sugar. You may need to heat the water briefly to get the sugar to fully dissolve.
This simple sugar-free recipe is great to serve at parties or just to have on hand when you need a fizzy, fruity drink. It is also a great sugar-free beverage to help you reach your weight loss goals. Have you ever tried making a homemade soda syrup?
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