When we were kids and we got the flu, if our Dad stayed home with us, it meant he would be making us drink a pitcher of orange juice, every hour (well, at least that’s what it seemed like). We knew two things for sure – 1) our bellies wouldn’t feel so great (we know you had the best intentions, Dad!) and 2)- we’d be completely better and our fever would be gone the next day.
Now as registered dietitians, we still remember the healing power of all of that fluid and the mighty orange (plus, who doesn’t love the flavor of orange juice?) and when you requested recipes for healthy, artificial sweetener- free soda to help you kick the soda habit (or just because you wanted some fizzy fun!), one of the first recipes we dreamed up included oranges! We took it to the next level and made our DIY natural soda actually have health benefits—why not get healthier while getting less soda or avoiding it all together? So we made a delicious DIY alternative and even inserted a bit of the benefits from some of our “detox” drinks in the process (yahoo! ). Yep, one-upped the power of the orange with cranberries and ginger!
Psst… for those of you who requested more “detox” drinks like those that are some of our most popular pins on pinterest and that we included as an important part in our 21-Day Body Reboot™(our life-altering program that helps you to lose your last 10 pounds or more—while going wild on the weekend), here are a few to try…
Here’s why this natural soda can help to make you healthier, less bloated, and feel better (amen to that twin sista! ):
It flushes bloat
It’s easy to get dehydrated, especially if you’re indulging in too many boozy drinks and salty snacks! Your body likes salt to be at a very particular concentration in the body. Eat too much salt and your body holds on to water to dilute the salt. And when you hold on to excess water, guess what? You feel BLOATED & puffy! ICK! Drinking plenty of water and seltzer helps keep you hydrated so your body can flush excess sodium and waste, making you feel light and energized and since water and seltzer also flush waste (i.e., help prevent constipation, keeping you regular and flushing out any gut bulges that come with the waste!)- hello flat-tummy!
Ginger: (Lyssie’s lov-ah! that shows up in everything she makes!) is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, while it also helps soothe your stomach and ease digestion, calming your insides so you can have a flatter tummy, helping you to reset after a day of heavy foods.
It crushes sweet cravings
Sipping on this natural soda is our key to crushing sweet cravings! As you know, we both have a sweet tooth, and it rears its’ head in the evening after dinner, when admittedly, we’re not truly hungry, just “snacky”. This yumster works it’s magic for us—it’s the ultimate sugar-tooth buster! The natural sweet, tangy flavor of oranges and cranberries gives your taste buds the sweetness they crave without a ton of calories or sugar—and even with the teaspoon of added syrup, it only adds a small amount of sugar and 15 calories! It’s so much easier to say no to another piece of chocolate or a cookie when your belly is already full of good-for-you food and natural, lower sugar drinks (like this lil’ number!).
It reduces inflammation
Cranberries and oranges are both packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and rid your body of toxins, keeping inflammation at bay.
Ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, chasing free radicals and other toxins out of your body.
When you get an injury, your body’s immune system responds with inflammation in a healthy way – but not all inflammation is healthy. When your body is taxed with constant inflammation from things like alcohol, refined sugars, and chemicals in processed foods, your body ramps up its inflammatory response and works in overdrive to keep you healthy. Keeping up with that constant inflammation takes a lot of work from your body and can wear down your immune system, leading to everything from the common cold to chronic health issues.
Eating and drinking foods with anti-inflammatory ingredients helps fight that constant inflammation so your body can work in tip-top shape! Since this detox drink is jam packed with anti-inflammatory goodness (but still tastes like a festive holiday mocktail!), it’s the perfect concoction to keep you healthy throughout the year!
Cranberries contain unique, health-promoting flavonoids called PACs. PACs help reduce inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging (and as an added bonus, they also reduce the incidence of certain infections, maintain a healthy urinary tract and improve heart health).
(Fun fact! A recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 8-ounces of cranberry juice a day reduced the number of symptomatic UTIs by nearly 40 percent in women with recurrent UTIs.)
Our PACman & Cranberry linked- -Confession: We loved PACman as kids. (OK, and maybe a little bit as adults too! But that’s just because of the good memories we have from our past! ) We had blue pac-man shoes that we thought were THE BOMB and when you pressed your finger on the bottom, the imprint left a pacman shape impression on your hand, soooo cool! We now realize the atrociousness of the shoes, but love them anyway. Point? We’ve become bigger cranberry fans since learning they’ve got PACs—remind us of pacman–they gobble the bad stuff in your body to keep you healthy…
Our favorite part about this drink? It’s tasty enough to serve at a party or to keep in your fridge and sip all week long! Don’t keep all the health benefits to yourself – the holiday season (and all seasons! ) are for sharing ;). Make a big batch of this natural soda to share with everyone at your next holiday party to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Cranberry Orange Ginger Soda – DIY- Make-Your-Own Natural Soda
What we’ve done here is we take all the goodies from our Cranberry Orange & Ginger Detox drink and made a concentrate for making the soda so you can get all of the healing properties in a 20-calorie natural soda!
Makes 1 cup concentrate, 4 cups of soda.
To make 1 cup soda: combine ¼ cup concentrate, ¾ cup seltzer water, and 1 tsp simple syrup
Cranberry Orange Ginger Concentrate
½ cup frozen cranberries
½ orange, sliced
1-inch chunk ginger, sliced
1 cup water
1. Place the cranberries in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to pop them open.
2. Add the sliced orange, ginger, and water, and stir.
3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
4. To make soda: combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)
Simple Syrup Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.
Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved. Let cool.
Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed. Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).
Nutrition info per 8-oz serving of soda with 1 teaspoon simple syrup: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein
- ½ cup frozen cranberries
- ½ orange, sliced
- 1-inch chunk ginger, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1. Place the cranberries in a pitcher or large jar and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon to pop them open.
- 2. Add the sliced orange, ginger, and water, and stir.
- 3. Let infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain.
- 4. To make soda: combine ¼ cup concentrate with ¾ cup seltzer water and 1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)
- Simple Syrup Ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar (organic, preferably); you can use honey if you prefer.
- Simmer the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved. Let cool.
- Note: Start by adding a teaspoon of syrup to your natural soda and slowly add more, if needed. Each teaspoon simple syrup has approximately 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs (sugar).
- Nutrition info per 8-oz serving: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0.2 g protein