Sunday, January 16, 2005

Creative beverages

I'm trying an experiment. I have been trying to wean my family off pop. It's not easy! Yesterday I had a coupon for one of the local grocery stores, six 12-packs of store-brand pop for $10... a pretty good price. I noticed that one of their "flavors" was "sparkling water" and they also had lemon lime flavored sparkling water. Zero calories but no artificial sweetener. Now, I like sparkling water but my family doesn't, but I had an idea. I went ahead and got 6 cartons of sparkling water, and then I went over to the coffee department and bought some flavored syrup. I got vanilla syrup and raspberry syrup. When I got home I put ice in a glass, poured 2 tablespoons of syrup over the ice, filled the glass with sparkling water, and then stirred it with a straw. It was less than half the calories of regular pop. A can of pop has about 170 calories. The syrup was 40 calories per tablespoon. The kids loved the vanilla flavor... tasted just like cream soda. They weren't so crazy about the raspberry flavor. DH said it was "okay" but he's not convinced it's as good as "regular" pop. Maybe I'll put 3 tablespoons in his next time and then gradually cut back on it? Think he'd go for it? Probably not! Oh, well... if I can convince the kids this is just as good at least I know they aren't ingesting as much sugar... and not the nasty chemicals that artificial sweeteners are made of either!

I thought I could also try mixing concentrated fruit juice with the seltzer water. That should be good. And I even thought of trying to make my own flavored syrup with Kool-Aid powder and corn syrup. Don't know if the two would blend very well or not. When I was a kid you could even buy Coke syrup at the drug store... and root beer extract at the grocery store. Haven't seen either of those for years. But then I haven't asked about them either. I don't know if they would still be available or not. The only advantage I see there, though, would be that you could gradually cut back on the amount you use to cut back on the sugar without having a flat pop. However, the flavor may be too weak to be enjoyable in that case. I think that's why DH wasn't too impressed with the raspberry soda.

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