Just in case you don’t know, according to the CDC, about one third of Americans consume sugary sweet beverages (lemonade counts) daily and they are mostly younger adults, men, black people, and people from lower education levels. The 18-24 aged group drink at least one a day. Forty percent of blacks and 42 percent of people who did not finish high school drink at least one sugary soda daily. [Ref]
In 2010 the per capita consumption of soda pop was 45.5 gallons. It has dropped to 38.87 gallons in 2018. In 2016, energy drinks accounted for about 10% of the US soda market, and has been steadily growing.
The beverage industry spends over $3 billion in advertising, and preschoolers, in 2010, watched over 200 ads for sugary drinks. Since 2013, the industry began policing itself and reduced by half the number of ads children saw, and preschoolers saw 93% more ads for plain water (but now we’ve got a plastic problem). [Ref]
I won’t even go into drinks sweetened with aspartame because, once more we see how money influences science, and there are so many better sweeteners than this aspartame no matter how much the industry and FDA love that crap.
It’s made in Israel, which wasn’t a surprise for me. I lived in Israel for about five years in the early eighties. Everywhere I went people made their own soda pop. Only the wealthy brought home a six pack of sodas (I never saw a twelve pack). Soda pop was a treat that kids and some adults ordered only when they went out. (Kinda like those magical days in the fifties, before soda pop became a staple.)
I decided to make healthy soda pop because this is what I do . . . and because water is no substitute for a beer when you’re trying to drop a few pounds.
Thus, I’ve invented THREE very healthy soda pops, and I have ideas for more and more that I will pass on to you.
But first, some general rules on using your SodaStream.
And remember that the SodaStream bottles need to be recycled and new ones purchased every 4 years. They could explode. And do NOT wash in the dishwasher. Never wash them with hot water. The best thing for you to do is spritz (Jewish for carbonate the water), pour, refill, and put back in the fridge. Their advertising has you pour a bit of their syrup into a bottle of freshly carbonated water and slowly swish to mix it in.
Do not do that. It makes the bottles harder to keep clean (no hot water, no harsh soap) and if you’re making some of our recipes, you’ll be mopping up your kitchen regularly. Empty them, then refill them and put them back into the fridge. You’ll thank me.
I spent most of my first morning mopping.
I should tell you that I’ve tasted the syrups the SodaStream folks sell and I was not impressed. The amount you add doesn’t make the drink sweet. We tried four versions and they all tasted like sparkling water with a hint of something (is that orange? or peach?). I finally added enough of one syrup to actually taste the fruit. Oh, and there were not 16 liters worth left in the bottle (as advertised). I think maybe six drinks from one bottle the way I made the drinks.
You see, most people like a full flavored soda. That’s why we drink down so much sugar each year. We take in 57 pounds per year per person; well, I don’t, so that means someone else must be taking twice that, right? (Isn’t that how statistics works?) [My proofreader just informed me that the word statistics is singular. Who knew?]
How much of that is soda pop? Well if one soda (average) contains 39 grams of sugar and our average sugar consumption is 71.14 grams per day, thus one sugary soda is over half our average sugar load. The rest must come from those wonderful bear claws. (I haven’t had one in decades.)
Americans love their sweets. The nice thing about our recipes below is that you can make them and use them according to your tastes. If you just want to make a weak one and have three per day, fine. How much you add is up to you, and again, if you want it a bit sweeter, we discovered allulose just in time.
Another thing I learned is this: pomegranate syrup makes carbonated water EXPLODE!
Wouldn’t you know it? One of the best things to put in your body for cardiovascular health (not to mention immune system boosting) is pomegranate juice and since I have a whole bunch here in my office (remember? I ship for Simply the Best?) one of the perks of the job is I get to experiment with the stuff.
And the first thing I learned is that it really reacts with carbonated water. (I had two mops out by the end of my first day of experimenting.)
Put everything in a blender/Nutribullet and let er rip. You can also use a submersion blender, but you really have to blend well because the end product must be a liquid. There cannot be a hint of powder still in the syrup.
Put the syrup in the fridge and let it cool to the same temp as the water.
Add this syrup to the carbonated water one teaspoon at a time and wait! The pictures will show you how much the thing foams up. And get this: you still have to stir it up a bit to mix it into the soda thoroughly. The larger your glass, the quicker you’ll be done.
The reason the directions call for ⅓ cup of the syrup is to give you your daily amounts of hawthorn berry. If you want it sweeter, use less carbonated water or add some allulose (a zero calorie sweetener, doesn’t affect insulin levels). If you want it less sweet, use more carbonated water.
Pomegranates contain four types of sugar, but the two main ones are fructose and glucose. The other two are quite insignificant. If you are worried about the glucose raising your blood sugar, you can add the optional mangosteen pericarp powder, but even though it has no taste, it is gritty. It’s up to you.
Now keep in mind we used a very, very concentrated form of hawthorn berry syrup. I think a day’s dosage is just over a quarter teaspoon.
I did purchase another less concentrated version called Christopher’s (the famous naturopath and herbalist, Dr Christopher) Hawthorn Berry Heart Syrup. To add this to your concoction, a half an ounce (or a bit more) is all you need to add to get your daily requirement, but if you’ve got heart problems, double it. You can even make a great drink by adding just this syrup if you want. It says on the bottle that a serving is half a teaspoon. Personally, I’ve tried a full teaspoon. It’s a weak tasting solution, but still you get all the benefits of his wonderful syrup.
We wanted to post info on why we chose these things as our ingredients, but with this damn virus (named after a weak Mexican beer?) and ordering BACO and Del-Immune V® and trying to get the “real” facts on this damn thing . . . we just ran out of time and I promise to post the benefits to these ingredients in the near future. Go to our Home Page and sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know. (We do not employ pop-ups at this site.)
And one more thing. I’ve reached the age where my memory is but a memory, and I spend half my life looking for something that was just in my hand. For years I’ve known the heart healthy benefits to Hawthorn Berry, and I’ve even helped people get the best damn Hawthorn Berry Tonics on the planet. You would assume I’ve written about this berry a good number of times. I sure as hell did. But when I searched on “hawthorn” at this site, NOTHING came up. I guess, because I know so much about it, I just assumed I’d written about it.
Using cold water, make the strongest soda possible (our version of the SodaStream has three buttons, for weak, medium, and strong). Why? Because sparkling water reacts “violently” to the syrups we’ve invented. You’re going to get a lot of foam, so use the BIGGEST glass you can find. This way there’ll be some carbonation in the soda pop when you finish making it.
Experts will tell you when you add something to soda, if both substances are at the same temperature, you’ll get less foam/fizz.
And again: Never put a juice powder into the soda. It just starts to solidify and form one big glump.
Put everything into your Nutribullet/blender and let er rip. Again, about third of a tablespoon is enough for a daily preventive, but you’ll want to do this four times a day if you get hit with a bug.
And make sure it’s cool, and add it to the carbonated water slowly, just a tablespoon at a time.
You’ll notice that the syrup itself has a foamy top to it. You’ll want to stir it up well before mixing it with the carbonated water.
This one has the least amount of fizz when you add it to your carbonated water. And the original recipe here called for cooking the concoction. It was a waste of time. We made a quick & dirty non cooking version and it was just as good and a lot less work.
Also, this is the most refreshing of them all.
Additionally, instead of peeling and chopping ginger, we bought Christopher Ranch Organic Chopped Ginger. Also we’ve just discovered Bocha Sweet from a Japanese pumpkin (of sorts) and it’s 1:1 with sugar, tastes great, no after taste, zero calories, and doesn’t raise your blood glucose levels, so we went with that too.
Yes, every cook online is also a frustrated writer and you have to wade through paragraph after paragraph to get to the freaking recipe, but we have just discovered (5/1/21) a new sweetener that, so far, is a real breakthrough. It’s a form of stevia manufactured in Mexico called Svetia. It’s available at Amazon, and so far in our testing, it has no aftertaste.
Pour ingredients into a container that you can use to blend up with an immersion blender. The jars are shaped funny, and you’ll never get all of it out using a spoon, so pour into the little jar some of the water going into this concoction and shake it up. It will come out. Then blend and refrigerate. It’s that simple.
Please note that the 24 packets of Svetia is equal to 1 cup of sugar, according to the company that makes it. However, we always undercut the suggested amounts when using any form of stevia, and again, this is personal taste. But less is best, and most people find this out the hard way. In fact, 20 packets was a bit too sweet for us, so our next batch will use 18.
And this, by the way, is my new favorite immersion blender. My ex-housekeeper washed my old one by soaking it in the sink for a few hours and, well, that was that. So I found this one and it is fantastic. I love the accessories.
As with the above recipes, add this to your carbonated water just a spoon at a time, and it really does not fizz up like the others. And if you want your “soda ” a bit sweeter, you can always add some allulose liquid. We’ve found this is just an easy way to add sweetener.
Every recipe I found making ginger ale instructed you to strain the final product.
NO WAY! This stuff is so good for you, so drink up!
So drink up that thick stuff at the bottom of your soda, or you can try this: Add more carbonated water flavor it by tossing in some blended up (in your Nutribullet) raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, anything you find in the summertime.
And now you’ve got a second glass. Low in calories and refreshing.
Once again. Here is a link to Christopher Ranch Organic Chopped Ginger. Although, you can probably find this in a local supermarket. It’s just better tasting ginger without the hassle of peeling your own.
And one more time: ginger is an anti-inflammatory (reduces arthritis pains), fights off pathogens, great for colds and flu, relieves nausea and indigestion, will relieve a gas attack (flatulence) and diarrhea, has been used traditionally to treat respiratory disorders (such as asthma), prevents cancer, and boosts heart health. There are more, especially from the traditional uses, but this is such a great herb, putting a bit in your soda pop before adding either of the other two recipes above (cardiovascular or immune system) is a pretty smart idea.
I put a bag of strawberries into my Nutribullet, added some erythritol and stevia, let her rip, and made soda pop out of that.
I was not impressed. Added to lemonade, the strawberry syrup was perfect, but didn’t do anything in the carbonated water.
The raspberries I tried next made a much better drink.
But again, it’s all up to YOUR tastes. Have fun with it. Even just some lemon (or lime) and erythritol was great. Just don’t add stevia to something that has little to no carbs in it. You need to be aware that stevia will raise your insulin levels and if insulin doesn’t find carbs to work on, your body has to stress out your kidneys/adrenals to come up with some and that’s damaging to your body. Only add stevia to things that have some carbs in them already.
But once again, do not forget the Bocha Sweet. It’s our latest and greatest find. Yes, it’s the most expensive, but let’s face it, you’re worth it!
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