‘Lemons as big your head’ sugar-free lemonade

Years ago, before I had a family, I had the good fortune to visit Sorrento, Italy, home of the most magnificent lemon orchards on earth. I stayed in a rustic farmhouse where they made lemon marmalade, lemon tarts and limoncello liquer. Walking slowly through the neat rows of lemon trees and inhaling the fresh scent of lemons remains with me as one of my favorite olfactory experiences! I was delighted to find that some of the lemons were the size of my head!  

Fast forward over a decade, and I’m hurriedly walking through the aisles of Costco, doing the weekly supermarket sweep, when I stumble upon ‘Italian Volcano’, a pair of gigantic glass bottles of 100% organic lemon juice from Italy.  I was surprised to find such a huge quantity of organic lemon juice, and was even happier that it was packaged in glass bottles. Once I saw it was from Italy, memories of those orchards came rushing back, and I added it to my cart.  I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it that day, but since then it has become a staple in our house.

Our family’s favorite use for this tart, vitamin-C packed elixir is to make no-sugar-added lemonade.  My kids love the taste, and I feel great about the fact that they’re getting all of that Vitamin C with no sugar!

Here’s our super-easy recipe, which can be adjusted to your taste depending on the desired level of sweet vs tart. I do recommend drinking this through a straw to protect tooth enamel from the acidity.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 oz. Italian Volcano Lemon Juice (or any other 100% unsweetened lemon juice, preferably organic)
  2. Liquid Stevia Glycerite – start with just 2-3 drops since strength varies by brand
  3. Filtered water- 16 oz
  4. Ice (optional)
  5. Reusable straw (stainless steel, silicone, bamboo) recommended

Instructions:

  1. Mix lemon juice, liquid stevia and water together in a glass until mixed thoroughly. 
  2. Add ice if desired. 
  3. Grab a straw and enjoy!

Tip: it’s best to start slowly with stevia, you can always add more, but once it’s too sweet, you can’t go back.

Stevia is an herb that has an incredibly sweet taste without providing any sugar.  The sweet taste comes from the naturally occurring glycosides. Stevia comes in different forms (powder, liquid etc).  Personally I find the powder to be bitter, but the liquid is quite smooth. The biggest mistake people make when first using it is adding too much, as it’s 200-400 times as sweet as table sugar.

The narrow driveway leading to Il Giardino di Vigliano in Sorrento, Italy

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