Monday, February 12, 2007

Don't Try This At Home

In my recent post in praise of Hint I talked about our struggles with the Juice/Soda/Sports Drink Monster, and about how having naturally flavored, unsweetened waters on hand has helped us tremendously. Many of you wrote in to share your own struggles with sweet drinks and to offer additional healthy beverage suggestions.

I was especially taken with these Stevia Spring Water Flavors. I liked the idea of keeping a bottle in my purse to pull out at restaurants. I imagined dropping a few drops of fruit flavor into his water glass as a special treat, thereby cleverly avoiding the soda pop whine. "Ha HA!" I thought. "Take that, Soda Monster!"

Well, we were sadly disappointed. First of all, the little bottles don't come with dropper tops, so you have to buy and pack a dropper or "disposable pipette" or make a big mess trying to pour out a few small drops. Without a dropper the liquid ran down the side and made a sticky mess. Shmoo reported that the flavors were okay in the water but left a strong, unpleasant taste in his mouth after drinking.

So we're sticking with our beloved Hint, but I'm still looking forward to trying other healthy drink ideas, especially True Lemon (Update: Someone just pointed out that True Lemon and True Lime both contain lactose from milk -- this means they are not vegan, so we won't be trying them after all!) and Suzanne's Aromática de frutas. And yes, I have also tried serving fruit-flavored herbal teas quite a bit, although shmoo sees them as an excuse to hit the sugar bowl.

In the meantime, does anyone want these little flavor bottles? ("This tastes terrible, try some.") We have grape, passion fruit, and mango; the last two are unopened. Email me with your address and they are yours. Update: they're gone!

16 comments:

Beth Miriam said...

I was going to try those Stevia Spring Water Flavors. Thanks for the heads up, I'll be staying away from them. I've been pretty good with DS only getting water, rice milk or watered down lemonade but my DH is the one I need to find an alternative for!

Monkey Eat Food said...

The SweetLeaf stevia flavorings are a wonderful addition to tea for flavor and sweetness. I've only tried the orange flavor, but I do sometimes add it to plain water as well. http://www.sweetleaf.com/category.php?subcat=products

Veg-a-Nut said...

I am so glad you posted this information. These were on my wish list. I can now take them off. Bummer they were not better tasting. I guess I will continue to be a "waterbaby". lol

SweetGeorge said...

the true lime/lemon isn't amazing and in no way does it taste like actual fresh lemon or lime

Mia said...

I was wanting to try the Stevia water flavors but I hadn't yet. I am probably like Schmoo and will find that they taste funny. The True Lime & Lemon are fine in hot drinks. At least the lemon is fine since it is what I use in my tea. I just tried something new from Luna called Luna Elixir but it does have sugar. I didn't like the flavor when it was mixed with 16 ounces of water but it tasted better with lesser amounts of water.

VLyandra said...

True Lemon is okay, though it does feel...artificial. I can't stand True Lime in water. I'd much rather drink it plain than add that stuff. It has a really acidic taste and leaves a strange feeling in my throat.

Really, I find it easier and tastier to just chuck some slices of fruit into a water pitcher than deal with lemon flavoring. (It's especially strange because looking at the True Lemon ingredients, I could mix some up in lab!)

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks for the reviews -- now I know I don't have to bother ordering True Lime, either.

Linnea said...

I used to really love Fruitwater by Glaceau - it had just a little bit of flavor & some citric acid, no sweetness, just a little tang. Now they've added sweetener, although not a lot, but it's not like it used to be. Anyone try Fruitwater back in the non-sweet glory days, and if so, do you know of anything else that tastes like it? Is this what that Hint stuff tastes like?

riva said...

Jennifer,
You might try SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia. They come in a variety of flavors. Chocolate, Lemon, Peppermint to name just a few and are available in bottles with droppers, as well as a small tin that may be promotional, with small plastic dropper type bottles.
I carry them everywhere! And there doesn't seem to be an odd aftertaste.
Best,
Riva

SallyT said...

I've been making my son tea with a little bit of agave nectar. He seems to like it quite a bit and it's supposed to be better than most of the other sweeteners

Carole said...

I admit to be lazy in fighting the soda monster. So I settle for mixing plain seltzer water or club soda with unsweetened fruit juice in a 3 parts water to 1 part juice ratio.

But I'll have to try to find Hint and give it a try.

Lindsey said...

My kids think that Emergen C is like kool aid. You can keep packets of those in your purse and just mix it in with water where ever you are.

Speedwell said...

Some people like stevia and some don't. it's an individual thing and may be partly genetic. My mom liked it and didn't find it to have an aftertaste, but for me the bitter flavor completely overwhelms the sweet, and I can detect even small amounts of it in mixtures. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

What does work for me is a sweetener called erythritol. It is only about 60 percent as sweet as sugar, but it is not artificial (it occurs naturally in grapes, for example) and does not have any calories--maybe one, eh. It is safe to bake with (unlike aspartame) and does not affect the body like sugar (so it is perfectly safe for diabetics). It is a "sugar alcohol" like sorbitol and mannitol, but is free of the digestive upset sometimes caused by those two. ("Sugar alcohols" are not the kind that make you drunk, in case someone needed to know that.)

My guy's mom and I have been playing around with erythritol. It does not dissolve as well as sugar in cold drinks. It has a slight cool flavor that sets it apart a bit from sugar, but makes it excellent for candy. Yes, candy. I made some hard candy spearmint drops with it and they were indistinguishable from sugar candies. I powdered some in my Vita-mix and found it to be very good as powdered sugar.

The biggest drawback to erythritol is the price. Try some anyway for times when you really miss sugar and only the good old white granular stuff will do. The cheapest bulk price on erythritol is at the Honeyville Grain website, which has a low flat shipping rate, also.

Speedwell said...

Just reminded myself to order more. Use discount code AATW for 10% off. It stands for "Atkins All The Way" but we vegans can use it too. LOL.

Deva said...

stevia, unfortunately, gives me hives... not fun at all

Robyn the Slug said...

I recently discovered some wonderful tea made by Good Earth, a fairly well-known company, that is totally sweet without adding any sugar. I strongly suspect Stevia, but I'm not sure!
It's better than any fruity teas I've tried by far...

https://www.goodearthteas.com/productinfo.asp?prod=2&typek=1