Making Healthy Flavored Carbonated Water
The Carbonated Water Craze!
Sparkling water or soda water has been gaining popularity over recent years and is a trendy beverage in fancy restaurants. It is very common to see a bottle of Perrier or San Pellegrino being shared amongst a dinner party. As consumers make a conscious decision to shift away from traditional soda pops due to the carbohydrates and additives they contain, drinking sparkling water at home is on the rise. This has made home soda machines more popular than ever.
I am addicted to drinking carbonated beverages. I love the flavor and the fizz that comes with them, and I honestly just don't like drinking regular water. I know that the caffeine, the sugars, the additives, and the preservatives that soft drinks contain are not good for me. I recently purchased a SodaStream Penguin home water carbonator, and finally have a good alternative to store bought sodas.
My home soda machine allows me to take regular tap water, and with the press of a button I can turn it into carbonated, sparkling water. By adding some natural flavorings, I now have the ability to create my own carbonated drinks that are both healthy and tasty. Consider the following options for making naturally flavoring your soda water.
A slice of lime, lemon , or orange can add a mild citrus flavor to your drink. For a stronger flavor, you can squeeze the juice directly from these fruits into your sparkling water. This is my favorite way to flavor my carbonated water at home. This adds no preservatives, and is 100% natural.
When using fruits or fruit juices for flavoring, you have a number of choices. I recommend that you experiment with them all, but here are some of my favorites:
- Lemon Slice or Lemon Juice
- Lime Slice or Lime Juice
- Cranberry Juice
- Grape Juice
- Orange Slice or Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
- Mango Juice
- Strawberries, Raspberries, or Blackberries
- Pineapple Juice
- Juice from Peaches
When using pieces of fruit in your drink, they also make a great snack when your beverage is gone!
Other Options for Flavoring Carbonated Water
The SodaStream company offers over 30 different soda mixes that you can use to create your own soft drinks. You can choose from popular flavors like cola, ginger ale, lemon-lime, root beer, grape, and many more. Many of these taste very good, but don't expect them to taste like store bought soft drinks. Each of the SodaStream flavor mix bottles will allow you to flavor approximately 50 eight ounce drinks.
There are a number of diet flavors available as well, but the taste of these is not nearly as pleasant as the real thing. If you are looking to flavor your drink without adding carbohydrates, then I would recommend using the natural fruits for flavoring as described above.
If you are into energy drinks, like the popular RedBull or RockStar brands, then you could try the SodaStream Energy Drink mixes. These contain Vitamins B6 and B12, Niacin, Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Caffeine and Biotin. You can make your own energy drinks for a fraction of the cost in the stores. At approximately 25 cents per serving, you can save a lot of money over the energy drinks in the stores, which often cost over $2.00 a piece.
Another prepackaged offering is the MyWater Unsweetened flavors. They are all-natural flavor mixes for creating lightly flavored sparkling water. You have the option of adjusting the intensity of the flavor by adding more or less flavoring to your drink. A 40 ml bottle will make approximately 20 liters of flavored seltzer water.
One other option that I have recently tried is the new Mio liquid water enhancers. These are available in most grocery stores, and a concentrated flavors that you can quickly and easily squirt into your sparkling water. They are available in berry pomegranate, fruit punch, mango peach, peach tea, sweet tea, and strawberry watermelon. The strawberry watermelon is my favorite and gets my vote.