Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :). I tend to pour some at night when I am tempted to nibble.

Looking for a refreshing summer drink that is easy on your wallet?

Well, do I have a versatile lemonade recipe for you!

If you’ve been around my website a bit, you know that I don’t like purchasing ready-made things when I can easily make them myself.

Here is another case in point and one of the easiest yet.

One of my readers recently asked if I had a healthy drink she could treat her kids to by offering them something besides water. I completely understand.

I don’t let my kids drink any sodas or bottled juice drinks. One reason is due to the problems that they pose for health and the other is the cost.

My kids aren’t always happy with me about this decision, but well, I wasn’t put here to be their best buddy or to get the “Most Fun Mom of the Year Award” (though I admit that wouldn’t be a bad thing).  My job is to help them to live a vibrant, healthy life, and part of that is encouraging them to have a healthy diet.

And sugar, artificial colors, and artificial flavors aren’t much of a help in that arena.

Concerns with Store Bought Drinks

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar

Have you seen the plethora of negative information coming out about high fructose corn syrup and sugar alone?  There has been mercury detected in high fructose corn syrup due to the means of processing, and sugar is now being linked to all sorts of health issues.

2. High Cost Items

Take a look at your grocery bill and see how much you are spending on drinks:  sodas, juices, etc.  And those “healthy waters”?

Don’t get me started. Anyhow, here is a way that you can treat your whole family to a wonderful summery drink without breaking the bank.  And you can sweeten it however you wish.

I must admit, that in recent days, there are more and more healthy alternatives on the market that I love.  We recently tested some delicious Bai drinks at Costco and we LOVE Zevia soda.  However, they really can put a dent in your budget, so they are just for very occasional purchases in our household.  We’ve really only bought the Bais once.

Actually, an update to this post will be following soon, hopefully.  We found a way to bring healthy, low carb soda into out home at a fraction of those cost.  Stay tuned for that!  It’s one of our favorite new additions to our kitchen!

3.  Calories and Weight Gain

There is more to weight gain than just calories, but sodas and juices are pretty much empty, sugar-laden calories that have been implicated as part of the cause of our obesity epidemic.

It’s probably a good idea to restrict this kind of beverage if you are hoping to control your weight.

And personally, I would rather splurge on a healthy dessert than drink a soda.  To quote my aunt, “I would rather drink my calories than eat them.”

I concur.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Tips for Homemade Sugar-free Lemonade

Before we get to the recipe, here are some tips related to the recipe and the ingredients in it.

1.  Limeade Variation:

Of course, you can use lime juice to make limeade!

2.  How much can you save?

If you purchase Costco’s lemon juice, one 64 ounce (close to a 2-liter) will set you back only 24 cents, plus the cost of your sweetener.  And if you use stevia, this is really a bargain drink!

Now that’s a sweet deal :-P!)

So skip the specialty stevia-sweetened drinks on the market — make your own and do something more purposeful with your money!

3.  How to Use Stevia

This post on Stevia has tips to help you use it if you aren’t familiar with it.

But for starters, these mini stainless measuring scoops are pretty much a must have if you are going to use stevia extract. I only really use one or 2 of the scoops, but they are pretty reasonable so I was willing to buy the set.

Norpro Mini Measuring Spoons

The 2nd smallest scoop is 1/32 of a teaspoon (the standard “stevia scoop” size) and it fits nicely in my small stevia container.  Some of the extracts are of differing strengths, so you might need to use the mid-sized scoop as well.

4.  Sweetener tips:

For sweeteners, if you are able to eat sugar (more on that later), I recommend honey or sucanat.  If need/wish to avoid sugar, I recommend stevia.  If you have trouble with stevia, there are other options:

Vegetable glycerine is a more natural one.  NOW glycerine is a great brand.

They are not technically regarded as “whole foods” in the whole foodie arena, but xylitol and erythritol are the better choices among the alternative options. I recommend several brands, including Now Foods and Emerald Forest.

Prices on Iherb are great too for alternative sweeteners, and you get $5 back on your first order!  Here’s a link to NuNaturals erythritol there.

Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe. Super Easy. Super Refreshing. This Homemade Lemonade is a great way to keep the heat and the munchies away :). I tend to pour some at night when I am tempted to nibble.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Sugar-Free Lemonade
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Sugar-Free
 
Ingredients
  • 64 oz (8 cups) water
  • ¼ cup (equivalent of two lemons) lemon juice (I recommend Dream Foods organic)*
  • 8 scoops (1/4 tsp) pure stevia extract (I recommend NuNaturals), to taste** (you may substitute approximately ½ cup of a granulated or liquid sweetener to taste.)
Instructions
  1. Pour water into pitcher.
  2. Add lemon juice and stevia.
  3. If using a granulated sweetener, mix ½ cup water and the sweetener in a pot and heat until the sweetener is dissolved. Then, once dissolved, add sweetener and water mix to remaining water.
  4. Stir and enjoy!
  5. This tastes great chilled with ice cubes. It really refreshed my husband and boys this past week when they were working on our raised beds in 90+ degree heat!
Notes
*Our family purchases the same brand of organic bottled lemon juice in convenient large bottles at our local Costco. Please don't buy the yucky plastic bottled lemon juice that is labeled as "made from concentrate."

Yuck taste and yuck ingredients (do you really want to be eating sodium benzoate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite if you don't have to? Me neither.

Besides, sodium benzoate has been implicated in issues related to it being combined with citric acid and creating benzene, so be very careful with this ingredient in both food and personal care products.

**Pure stevia is incredibly sweet. 1 scoop = 1/32 tsp and either one or two scoops will sweeten an 8 oz drink. It is really important which stevia you choose. Some are just plain icky. Our family's current favorite is NuNaturals as it is one of the only brands that uses only water to extract the stevia from the plant. But KAL is really nice as well. I am going to be trying another brand that was recommended to me soon. I'll keep you updated!

Check out my recipe page for other Make Your Own Tips that can save you a bundle, including:

What is your favorite drink?
Do you have something you would like me to figure out a “homemade” version of?

{Photo Credit}

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. you are a freaking nut let your kids be kids, and the “mercury” in high fructose is so minimal that it barely registers. for got to mention that point in your highlights didn’t ya. stevia??really??? I really detest people that do this to their children .steal their child=hood because they found something they can control

    • Hi Cyndi. There are a lot of other issues w/ HCFS besides the mercury. This post at Huffington Post tells more details. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers_b_861913.html Maybe you would like to address your accusations to that author as well. I think my concerns are well founded.

      What do you think is wrong with stevia, may I ask? I don’t feel that caring for my kids’ health is “stealing” my kids childhood. In fact, I think I may be securing it and giving them a much healthier future. Have you noticed the incredible increases in diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and more? Much of this is due to the toxins in our food and environment. Perhaps you haven’t been touched by it personally yet, but for those of us who have, we know the benefits of changing to a more whole food diet.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on my response. Thank you.

    • Sabrina says:

      I was raised on sweet tea, which gave me a sweet tooth to this day that is hard to control. Later I tried to switch to soda pop which had High Fructose Corn syrup sweeteners. Now I am severely insulin resistant & pre-diabetic but while keeping my A1C down between 5.8 and 6.2, I still have advancing symptoms of Diabetes, which I have been unable to stop and reverse. I am extremely ill, but still functioning. I have studied health to try to reverse it for 11 years and the only thing left to me are extremes – long fasts and liver flushes to try to help my health which I am about to try to do soon. I sure wish my parents would have made healthier choices for themselves and us kids – my parents died horrible deaths and my brother who still uses sugar is so sick that he will probably die soon, within the year, and his death will be horrible too, because he is going through really bad things now. Gastroparesis (paralyzing muscles in the stomach which doesn’t allow digestion and seems to go all the way down through to his bladder too – loss of bladder function) along with many other things. I don’t want to go through those horrible things! I am trying to figure it all out and I am unable to drink anything except juiced vegetables, water and water with lemon squeezed in it – any sweetener causes me trouble. And generally, I am often dehydrated because of it. Please don’t bad-mouth a mom who is trying to help keep her child healthy! It may save their life when they are older.

      • Ugh. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Can you use pure stevia extract?

        • Sabrina says:

          Stevia is the only thing I could use but my taste buds don’t like it very much, I’ve tried several brands, and it really makes me hungry from the sweet taste. I use it from time to time but it is better for me to stay away from any sweetener, so I go without a sweetener except when I just have to have something. My taste buds are doing a lot better because of it.

      • Elaine Markley says:

        Sabrina, you should do some research on the Ketogenic Diet. It could really help you.

    • Shannon says:

      Wow Cyndi!

      I wish I’d had healthier options as a child. Not blaming my parents, we just didn’t know. HFCs is horrible for us, there is a reason other countries don’t allow it. I am now having to go to functional specialist to get my body back in sync. Gmo, HFCs should be banned in our foods.

  2. Hi, i know this is most likely a stupid question, but i have a 4oz. bottle of NuNaturals NuStevia white stevia powder i bought at a health food store. Im a newbee….So no where on the bottle does it say extract, so have i messed up and bought the wrong thing ? And after doing all this reading i looked on the back and the first thing i saw was Maltodextrin~~~~oops here next to the Maltodextrin it says, stevia extract but as i read on it says the Maltodextrin is to help with the measuring … I am a bit slow and sort of have a little more of a hard time understanding things, would you please try and help me with this before i go buy more ? I am so trying to undo a lot of damage done to me by my mom filling me with junk foods day in and day out as a child causing me to be extreme obese when i was small…. (and still battle every day of my life) So could you post a picture or something showing just exactly what you buy ? I just cant Thank You enough . I am so glad i have found you, God Bless and keep up the awesome work you do <3

    ….

  3. Thank you for this delicious lemon aide recipe the family loves it. I can’t wait try some your other recipes. .

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