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Making Low-calorie, Refreshing Citrus Coolers

Updated on June 22, 2017

A tasty, fresh citrus drink tastes delightful, quenches the thirst, and helps keep a healthy electrolyte balance. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines, tangelos, and pummelos are citrus fruits, but oranges and lemons are used in making the Summer Citrus Cooler recipe.

Citrus Cooler
Citrus Cooler | Source

Summer Citrus Cooler: A Quick Beverage Recipe

Cooling, refreshing, and low-calorie, this drink provides quick energy upon arising in the morning or for mid-afternoon blood-sugar drops and is a perfect cooler for those hot summer days. Fresh, hand-squeezed oranges, lemons, and a fruit-based herbal tea are the ingredients,or you can use an electric juicer. This recipe makes about four, 8-ounce servings.

5 stars for citrus cooler


  • 4 Navel oranges, large, seeded and juiced
  • 1 lemon, medium, seeded and juiced
  • 3 3/4 cups water, pure or filtered, room temperature
  • 2 T stevia, powdered form
  • 2 bags fruit-flavored herbal tea


  1. Using a hand or electric juicer, juice the Navel oranges and lemon. Seeds may be removed either prior to or after juicing. A paring knife works well prior to juicing; otherwise, a small spoon works well if a medium-holed strainer is unavailable after juicing. Manually taking out seeds with the spoon also allows more pulp to remain in the juice.
  2. Steep the tea in the water at least 8 minutes.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a small pitcher.
  4. Drink at room temperature or refrigerate, as desired.

A Demonstration With One Type of Manual Juicer

The Nutrients of Oranges and Lemons

Nutrient (per 100 g)
Vit. A
225 IU
22 IU
Vit. C
53 mg
53 mg
9.4 g
2.9 g
40 mg
26 mg
181 mg
138 mg
30 mcg
11 mcg

Orange Varieties

Oranges around the world come in over 600 varieties. The California Navel, which also grows in Florida, and Valencia are the most common in American grocery markets. The Hamilton Orange, native to Florida, may be dark yellow to light orange in color, is seedless and good for juicing. Valencias originated in Valencia, Spain, with possibly an earlier origination in China. Lesser known varieties include the Blood Orange from Italy and the Cleopatra Mandarin of India.

Lemon Varieties lists 22 most widely used varieties of lemons: Armstrong, Avon, Bearss, Berna, Eureka, Femminello Ovale, Genoa, Harvey, Interdonato, Lisbon, Meyer, Montecello, Nepali Oblong, Perrine, Ponderosa, Rosenberger, Rough Lemon, Santa Teresa, Sweet Lemon, and Villafranca. Some lemon varieties appear striped with green and yellow or white sections running from top to bottom (end to end).

Herbal Tea Varieties

Several companies provide fruit-flavored, herbal teas that work well for this recipe. Teavana makes Berry Kiwi Colada and Pomegranate Cranberry Crush. Celestial Seasonings has Cranberry Apple Zinger and Raspberry Zinger. Herbal Sage carries Family Health Tea with Elderberry and Ginger Hibiscus Organic Tea. Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herbal Tea by Stash compliments the citrus juices. Any tart-flavored berry combined with a mild, sweet spice like ginger or cinnamon as part of the herbal tea blend suits this Summer Cooler recipe.

The Stevia Plant
The Stevia Plant | Source
The Chemical Structure of Steviol
The Chemical Structure of Steviol | Source

Stevia, a Non-caloric Herbal Sweetener

Stevia is a plant most commonly found in South America. The plant's leaves contain 30-45 times the sweetness of ordinary table sugar.The compounds in the stevia leaf that account for the plant's sweetness resist heat, are pH stable, and do not ferment.

Stevia has been researched since the 1970s when the scare of carcinogens were associated with cyclamate and saccharin. In Japan, stevia makes up about 40% of the sweeteners consumed. Today China is the greatest exporter of one of stevia's sweetening compounds, stevioside (a combination of glucose and steviol). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves stevia as a dietary supplement but not as a "food additive," due to questionable effects on kidneys, heart, and reproduction in spite of the fact the Japanese have continued to use it without any known side effects. One minor "side effect" is that heavy consumption can leave a bitter taste in the mouth from the aglycones, nonsweetening ingredients that are found with glucose. The FDA does approve the less refined version of sterioside, rebiana.

A Word About Water

Next to air, water is the most important aspect in body maintenance. The physical body typically contains about 75 percent H2O. Seven days without water replenishment can result in severe dehydration and death. About one-half ounce of water for every pound of body weight is necessary to prevent dehydration.

Water primarily serves as a coolant, with the powers of dissolving food molecules and keeping the transport of waste efficient in the metabollic process. Chlorinated and fluoridated water contribute nothing to these important functions. The best type of water for the greatest benefit is pure, distilled water. Rain water was used by many native people, but today air pollution makes rain water less desirable. Natural spring water or filtered water rank secondary to distilled in performance. For the best flavor when steeping tea, distilled water is recommended.

Now It's Your Turn

The Summer Citrus Cooler is just one recipe for making a refreshing citrus cooler. Try different blends of sweet and tangy citrus fruits mixed with your favorite sweetener and a berry herbal tea blend. You can use the proportions from this recipe. Be creative and enjoy!


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    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 8 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Since writing this hub article, I have discovered Monk's Fruit, another non-caloric sweetener that can be found in specialty markets and some major groceries. It is often mixed with dextrose for ease in pouring. The stevia could be substituted by the Monk's Fruit in this citrus drink recipe.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 11 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Monk fruit can be substituted for stevia. Monk fruit is equally sweet, has no calories and no known unhealthy effects.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      With summer returning in the northern hemisphere, these citrus coolers will be especially useful! ***

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Will be trying the Summer/Citrus cooler a.s.a.p-it looks delicious! Thanks for a well written and useful hub.

    • jericho911 profile image

      Kenneth Claude 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Cool ideas ! My favorite fruits are oranges and lemons so this is right up my area of interest !

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      You're very welcome! And, for those concerned with acid affecting dental enamel erosion, remember the tea dilutes the citric acid--also you can rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after indulging in citrus drinks.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wonderful beverage recipe. I love fresh fuit juice, very nutritious, low in sugar and high in vitamin C and etc. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I drink a lot of herbal tea. Sometimes oranges aren't being eaten in a timely manner, and not everyone can handle citrus acid. So, I combined the juice from the oranges and lemon with a little extra water and herbal tea. The oranges should be sweet, and, while Raspberry Zinger by Celestial Seasonings is my choice for use in this recipe, any fruit-flavored herbal tea will work nicely--especially the berry varieties. Enjoy!