Satisfying Sips With Far Less Sugar Than Soda

by Meredith Grace
I confess that grew up sipping on sweet and sugary soda drinks that are in virtually every grocery store, cafeteria, and restaurant in America these days.
Is there anything more nostalgic and Americana than the vintage Coca Cola ads? Soda drinks has been around for decades as the quintessential thirst-quenching refreshing beverage of choice in America. 
Despite various studies proving soda is linked with a bevvy of health concerns - including increased risk of stroke and certain cancers, obesity, and alarming tooth decay - people continue to regularly drink soda multiple times per day.

Even the sugar-free “diet” variations of soda are linked to frequent headaches, depression, and osteoporosis and have high acidic properties that eat away at your teeth’s enamel. Enough is enough!
As we saw on Recipe Rehab, hosted by Evette Rios, it’s easier (and tastier!) than you might think to make the switch from soda to something you’ll want to smile about. Watch the clip below!
Chef Richard started us off on a fresh note by adding freshly squeezed orange juice, hand torn mint leaves, orange slices, cranberry juice and topped off this tasty beverage with a splash of seltzer to give it the familiar carbonation of soda.

If you’re following Chef Richard’s lead, be sure to look for a bottle filled with 100% juice and no sugar added to keep the extra sugar and additives out.
Chef Vikki went for a simpler refreshment by using apple juice, freshly sliced meyer lemons, and topped the drink off with seltzer. The result: a bubbly beverage that doesn’t contain any of the added sugar or high fructose corn syrup so often found in soda and bottled carbonated drinks.

For an autumn version of Chef Vikki’s recipe, use freshly pressed apple cider and add a pinch of cinnamon.
If you’re like me and eager to take on some new variations of satisfying drinks to swap out for soda, try one of the combinations below:
  • Steep green tea bags with ginger and mint leaves for about 15 minutes. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of honey for desired sweetness, chill and serve with sliced lemon.
  • Juice one plump pink grapefruit and ½ of a lime into a pitcher filled with ice. Drizzle in a small amount of agave nectar and top with seltzer. Serve immediately and float away on the rosy pink bubbles.
  • Combine the juice of half of a watermelon and a cucumber with a handful of crushed mint leaves. Squeeze the juice of a lime into the pitcher, stir and enjoy!
  • Add a handful of freshly cut strawberries and kiwi slices to a pitcher and fill almost all the way with seltzer water. Add a splash of cranberry juice and stir before serving.
  • Combine 2 parts pomegranate juice (no sugar added) and seltzer water, each, with 1 part chilled green tea and the juice of two limes. Serve over ice, garnished with a lime wheel.
recipe rehabWATCH on Z Living: Recipe Rehab, where each week two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist.

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