Lemonade That's Perfectly Sweet Without All the Sugar

lemonadeThere is simply nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a glass of lemonade. The sweet, tart flavor poured over some cool ice is perfection in a glass. If it comes from the stand of little kids selling it on your neighborhood street corner, even better.

For all its simple, thirst-quenching virtues, however, much of the lemony goodness is chock full of a hidden danger -- sugar, and lots of it. Something has to counter all those tart lemons, and typically scads of sugar is tasked with the job. Some recipes call for two cups of sugar to make just one pitcher of lemonade. That's like a glass of cavities in your hand.

Fortunately, there are ways to scale back on the sugar, and still get the sweet taste. While you can use an artificial sweetener or something like Stevia, I love the following recipe I copied years ago from Self Magazine as it uses some surprising ingredients to make a delicious low-sugar version of lemonade.

  • 5 lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 quart sparkling water
  • 1 handful mint sprigs

Juice four of the lemons; slice the other lemon and set aside.

Blend juice with applesauce and maple syrup.

Stir in sparkling water.

Pour mixture into large pitcher over ice.

Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs and serve.

Note: I like to add some raspberries too for a pop of color.

Do you enjoy lemonade in the summer? What's your favorite recipe for it?

Image via boo_licious/Flickr

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