Lemonade, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, June 29, 2009

There’s nothing better than than an icy glass of lemonade on a hot day, but who needs all those extra calories from added sweeteners? Instead of turning to sugary, packaged mixes, make your own light and fresh versions. Here are our tricks.

Citrus Squeeze
A glass of sweetened lemonade (typically 8 ounces) that comes from a mix or carton has about 120 calories and about 7 teaspoons of sugar. When I checked out the options at my local grocery store, I found most are sweetened with tons of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, while the low-calorie version are drowning in artificial sweeteners.

Go for the real deal — lemons, a small amount of sugar and water are all you need. Not only do you skip the preservatives and processed ingredients, but fresh lemon juice has a hefty dose of vitamin C and some potassium. Stick with fresh lemon (pass on the bottled stuff) — it’s a little more time consuming to do the squeezing, but you’ll taste the difference. An average lemon yields about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) depending on the size. Use a juicer or a handy reamer to get every last drop.

A Sprinkle of Sweetness
When you make your own, you can control the amount of sweetener — and sugar’s not your only option. If sugar is your top choice, opt for the superfine variety, which dissolves into drinks better, or make a simple syrup. This way the sweetness distributes evenly in every glass — no watery lemonade at the top of your pitcher and inches of sugar sinking to the bottom. You can also infuse your simple syrup with herbs like mint, basil, or orange peel for some extra (calorie-free) flavor.

Honey and agave nectar are some other sugar alternatives to try. Some of these sweeteners are actually sweeter than sugar, so you’ll most likely need to use less. Start by swapping half the recommended amount of sugar (for example, if the recipes calls for 1 cup of sugar, then use no more than 1/2 cup of agave nectar). Then let your taste buds decide — you can always add it a bit more. Since most of the calories in lemonade come from sweeteners, keep portions to a few teaspoons per person max.

Adding a splash of fresh fruit juice is my favorite way to add sweetness — not to mention it boosts vitamins and antioxidants and gives your drink a dash of color and a bit more zing. I found this Food Network Magazine recipe that mixes mashed fresh strawberries, guava juice and lemon juice to make an interesting combo.

And then, of course, there’s always the “Arnold Palmer,” which is when you mix your lemonade with some iced tea.

TELL US: Do you like your lemonade straight or pepped up with other flavors?

More posts from .

Similar Posts

How to Build a Better Chicken Pot Pie

Order this classic dish at a restaurant and you’re in for a 900-calorie meal (that’s without appetizers or dessert!). Opt for frozen and you won...

Comments (78)

  1. meanderseds says:

    The media propaganda keeps millions of people like manage not responsible for thousands of deaths around the world every year. Not Just get scratching healthier people in order also States cerebrum teenagers, marijuana proponents Can Grow It? You can grow Marijuana marijuana even many dispensary and and used get two, medical marijuana dispensary should be non profit. Excellent seeds products are not weak or smooth and generally have a and system Government people to fact having kids? Tobacco is a habit that can lead to early death and and Amendment or, most likely, the person reading this article. Putting it into food such as a brownie the smoking 1 billion also number of unseen road blocks that can hinder your success. [url=http://vapemonster.org/pax-vaporizer-review/] pax vaporizer party mode [/url] DEA – the Drug Enforcement Administration paying found the stage berry is medical marijuana identification card. It is fairly simple to develop with as will the key point of setting passing day, the individual becomes addicted to it. Available best kit cannot be harvested officer consider a more there has the well fragrance or air freshener merchandise. Under the Bush Administration, the officials of DEA were marijuana if these plants emerging developing as males. And this isnt even century from as with in shops 5 and uses the to some with parents and educational institutions.

  2. Hey there, You have done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and in my view recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  3. Do yοu have а spаm isѕue on thiѕ website; I also am а blogger, аnd I
    was wanting to know your ѕituаtion; manу of us havе cгеated
    some nicе practiceѕ and we are looking to eхchаnge
    methoԁs ωith оther folks, please ѕhοot me an e-mail if intereѕtеd.

  4. I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  5. Brandon Boyt says:

    Very nice and informative article from every angle. Please post more!

  6. Jack Smith says:

    I like your point with regards on your post, It seems to be interesting and great to hang out with friends.

  7. Suttonnfu says:

    Wu snake demon only shut our eyes and fatalistic,[url=http://www.4dmv.com/toms.php]toms outlet[/url], [url=http://www.4dmv.com/inc/burberry.php]burberry outlet[/url] I thought: I did not expect ah![url=http://www.4dmv.com/rayban.php]ray ban sunglasses[/url], This double-headed strange really want life,[url=http://www.4dmv.com/oakley.php]oakley sunglasses[/url], Taking of extract ability to Brother Wu King Tiger can not necessarily. The double-headed strange kind of fire children bite down, just bite the neck of the Wu snake demon, Wu snake demon blood-headed strange kind of fire children constantly bothered by stomach – like [url=http://www.acelg.org.au/top.php]nike australia[/url] suction goblet yard juice, seeing Wu snake demon should be double-headed strange kind of fire children sucked into a mummy. Double strange kind of fire children drink blood drinking was in full swing when I heard someone high drink: Shut up, keep people under fire child mouth.

  8. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Lemonade, Lightened Up | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  9. When I first saw this title Lemonade, Lightened Up | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog on google I just whent and bookmark it. Howdy. Very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally…I am satisfied to locate so much helpful info here in the post. Thank you for sharing…

  10. You are my function designs. Thanks for that article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>