Let’s make soda
It’s Foodie Friday once again here at FFFs. Today, I thought I would tackle two issues at once: 1) how to make a yummy drink and 2) address fat sterotypes regarding fat, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and perservatives in pop.
The arguments against pop are numerous and of particular public ire. It gets blamed for rising obesity rates in much of the western world. It’s so bad that they want to impose a health tax on it, like cigarettes and alcohol.
“A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is really a double-win,” said Dr. David Ludwig, a co-author of the paper and director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children’s Hospital, Boston. “We can raise much-needed dollars while likely reducing obesity prevalence, which is a major driver of health care costs, the paper states. “Ultimately the government needs to raise more money to cover the deficit, and in terms of ways of raising that revenue, a tax on sugar sweetened beverages is really a no-brainer.”
Mostly, though, soda is a straw man. It won’t suddenly make a skinny person fat, and, trust me, if you take away my soda and all I drink is water, you won’t get a skinnier me. You will just get a sleepy and angry me, out to get you because I can’t find my morning caffeine. I won’t find you, though, because my zombie-like steps will never catch you. Soda consumption isn’t causing diabetes, like many healthists claim.
Even the American Diabetes Association says on their website that consuming sugar or sugary drinks won’t give you diabetes. Only your DNA can. ONLY IF YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR DNA CAN DIABETES BE TRIGGERED. Now if you have a family history of diabetes, then you may be concerned, but the vast majority of us fatties (around 80%) WON’T get diabetes.
I do have issues with certain sodas, though. Much of what is available today is simply full of chemicals. Hell, they have to add acids and such to the pop JUST TO HOLD IN THE BUBBLES. Seriously, have you read what’s in a can of Coke? Can you even pronounce it? Hippy that I am, with a sickly child, I try to watch out for chemicals and such in my food. But I haven’t been able to find a way around the I-need-soda-but-want-it-healthier issue. This lead me to try Soda Stream for the first time. I came for the health of it, but I stayed for the price, flexibility and taste.
Soda Steam simply rocks. You get a CO2 charger, bottles and syrups. You just fill the bottles (you have to use theirs; others will blow up under the pressure of carbonation), screw the bottle into the charging unit, and press the button until it makes a buzzing sound. Once it buzzes, then you choose how bubbly you like, anywhere from 1-5 buzzes will do (3 being “normal” soda fizziness). It’s super-easy to use too. Literally, my 8-year-old can do this solo. After your water is nice and carbonated (with no chemicals to hold it in) you get to add the flavors!
They have literally millions of flavor combos to try. There are clear fruit essences you can add to the water or to add a touch of fruitiness to a soda. These are unsweetened, so if you are looking for something like Mendota Springs, or sparkling water with lemon, this is for you. They have a complete line of both diet and regular teas. I freaking LOVE thier diet peach tea, as well as their mixed berry green tea. There are fruit mixes and decent analogs of the big popular brands. Their regualr root beer reminds me of Barqs, and their cola is closest to RC. Their regular and diet mountain mists are actually quite close to Mountain Dew. The energy drinks have a spot on Red Bull flavor, with nearly as much kick.
One selling point for me was their Sparkling Naturals line. Made from all-natural ingredients, Soda Stream Sparkling Naturals make great-tasting “better for you” sodas. Sparkling Naturals contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no artificial sweeteners, and do not contain any preservatives, making them a perfect, sparkling, natural soda alternative for the entire family. We LOVE the orange pineapple and the apple mango.
I love how you can control the concentration of the syrups in the pop. For me, regular Coke leaves a syrupy film in my mouth, but with Soda Stream I can dial it back a notch and have just the right ratio of syrup to carbonated water. Are you making cocktails? Then make the soda about 20% stronger… that way you will still have full-strength flavor when you add the rum or vodka. I also love how you can make up your own flavors. Diet energy apple mango? Diet mountain mist pineapple? Black currant pear orange pop? Ginger ale with raspberry essence? The flavor combos are literally boundless, limited only by your tastebud’s willingness and your creativity.
With the prices on EVERYTHING going up, it’s good for keeping costs down too. After figuring in the cost of carbonation (carbonators are $15 for about 60 liters) and syrup ($4.99 to $8.99, depending on the style of syrup), the price is about 63 cents per liter. Plus, you aren’t wasting bottles or cans. The carbonation tanks are exchanged, just like you would with propane.
Overall I LOVE Soda Stream. Fair warning though, DO NOT under any circumstances carbonate anything but water in your unit, unless you want to be cleaning root beer off of every single surface in your kitchen. While it didn’t ruin the carbonation unit at all, I did have a messy hour wiping everything down. Also, the soda syrup bottles can get really sticky. They come with little measuring cup lids and if you don’t rinse out the cup after, the syrup just drips down the side of the bottle. Other than that, though, this get the 100% erylin Seal of Approval!