Low Carb Cranberry Cooler

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Let me just say right up front, that in general I do not believe in diet-induced substitutes for the real thing. In other words, I use butter, not margarine, and sugar, not splenda. If I want to lose weight I eat less and avoid desserts.

That said, once in awhile it is nice to have a cool, sweet drink, without all the sugar and calories. Cranberry juice in particular needs a lot of sweetener to make it palatable.

Have you ever tasted pure, unsweetened cranberry juice? It is terrifically tart. That’s why supermarkets carry more cranberry “cocktail” than the unsweetened juice.

Yet pure cranberry juice is very good for you, especially if you are a woman. My doctor once explained to me that cranberries have a natural antiseptic that protect women from UTIs. She also explained that the juice with added sugar isn’t nearly as effective.

This cranberry cooler uses the herb stevia as its sweetener. Stevia is a South American herb that has been used for hundreds of years as a sweetener. Since the 70s, Japan has used stevia extensively for sweetening food products. It’s available in many forms – the dried herb, a liquid extract, and a powder.

You can find stevia at Whole Foods and most health food stores in the herbal supplements section. Stevia has zero carbs. This little recipe calls for 1 part pure cranberry juice to 3 parts soda water.

An 8-oz glass of the cooler would have a total of 4 grams of carbs (for those of you that count these things). The taste? Refreshing and satisfying, but honestly, not quite as good as sugar. Probably very similar to if you had used splenda in place of sugar.

That said, the carb count of 1 glass of the stevia sweetened cooler is 4 grams versus a typical glass of cranberry juice cocktail at 34 grams.

Low Carb Cranberry Cooler Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pure, unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 3/4 cup club soda or sparkling mineral water
  • 10-15 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) of liquid stevia extract (amount may depend on your specific brand of stevia)

Method

Stir the stevia into the cranberry juice. Add the club soda.

Makes one cup.

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Links:
Stevia.com
Stevia for sale at Amazon.com

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Showing 4 of 9 Comments

  • B

    My sister and I have been using powdered Stevia by NOW for a couple of years in our coffee. I also use it in Nature’s Plus Unsweetened Spiru-tein High Protein Energy Meal Simply Natural Chocolate mix with 2 % milk and ice chips to make a breakfast drink since my Nestle’s Sweet Success drink mix was discontinued. Many people must have used too much of the Stevia in their food or the different types may have a weird taste. The powdered NOW doesn’t give any taste but sweet if used in a very tiny quantity. I just barely put a little dusting on a cup of coffee. I only use 1-3 of the tiny spoons that are provided in the NOW containers for the 8 oz. protein drink. Start with just a smidgen and taste before adding more. 1 oz. (28 g) costs about $5-6 at the local health food store and lasts us several months. A lot less than sugar or the subtitutes on the market now. I have used it in a couple of recipes by doing just what someone else here said and used powdered Stevia for 1/4 of the sugar. One recipe I used the Stevia with was Boiled Cookies (No Bake Cookies). It called for 4 cups of granulated white sugar (doubled) and I used one tiny spoon for 1 cup of the sugar. (I think) One of my sister’s uses it for part of her sugar in Banana Nut Bread. There are recipe books out for Stevia at the health food stores. I tell everyone about it all the time.

  • Maurice

    I haven’t actually made this but I did want to comment on some of the ingredients (Stevia) for Emily’s post.

    I’m your typicall health nut and was trying to convince my stubborn Mother about the harm of the artificial sweeteners (Aspertame, splenda, etc.). Stevia is natural, can be bought organic (haven’t seen it at the store yet) and you can make it at home unlike splenda. It is an extract, like any herb, and is extracted from the plant family where the sunflower resides. It can be processed though. Large companies (Coca-Cola for example) plan on using this, but will be using powerful solvents to extract this. Your typical store-bought stevia has been extracted using alcohols and can even be flavored naturally.

    If you haven’t used stevia before don’t expect it to BE sugar, it’s not. It has a slight liqourish-like flavor to it, but very slight, and if too much is added you can taste the sweetness on your lips (though it’s more of a sensation rather than taste, so your’e not tasting liqourish on your lips).

    My stevia was bought at Sprouts, generic Sprouts brand of course, and I use 2 drops in my coffee in the morning, 1 drop in my oatmeal and a drop or so in any sweet blended drinks. For the purpose of the cranberry article…. My mother bought some unsweetened 100% cranberry juice at Sprouts, about 32 oz., and used about 6 drops of stevia. It’s expensive for a little dropper bottle about $15, but I have had 3 and each last about 4 months (I live with 7 people so your bottle will last longer).
    In case my coffee and oatmeal examples didn’t give an idea of proportions; 1 drop is equal to 1.5 to 3.5 tablespoons sugar in sweetness (depending of brand/strength, and even what is being sweetened).

    Sorry about the length by the way… Oh, and agave nectar is good too (tastes as sweet as sugar, but is 3/4 sugar, and the darker one is no sweeter than the light one), but that’s just catcus syrup so no huge article needed. Give stevia a try, its a great thing, but don’t take my word, do some of your own research and decide for yourself. I’m at the peak of my fitness so far at 17 and I dont have any of the “symptoms” that are pointed to stevia. I have been using it for a year so far and I’m not a vegetable yet…(that was a little humor by the way)

  • Allie

    for a kids version, instead of club soada use sprite (or 7up), and forget about the liquid stevia extract. I’ve had it with my family before-but you might want to make that a little larger, kids love it.

  • clare eats

    I love Cranberry drinks! and I think this looks like a winner. I appreciate that you say no to splenda and it’s ilk.

    But I don’t think we can even get unsweetened cranberry juice in oz. At christmas we can get the frozen berries though.

    My mum is a nurse and they use cranberry tablets to treat people who have spinal injuries to prevent UTI’s she said that the juice avalible in OZ don’t have enough of the necessary chemical from the cranberry’s to make them effective.

  • Monica

    I was deligted to see that there is a mystical substance out there that can satisfy my sweet tooth and is healtier choice than sugar.

    Has anyone substitute sugar with Stevia in their daily diet? And how long?

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