Lemonade is one of those things that just seems to scream for sugar. Most “diet” lemonades I’ve tried just aren’t very good. I think I’ve finally hit on a low-calorie version of lemonade that I’d actually drink on a regular basis.
I’ve tried stevia in the past and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it comes from a plant and is, in a sense, a “natural” sweetener. On the other hand, you can’t really extract its sweetness without processing it, so is it truly natural?
Stevia can have a somewhat bitter taste too. I learned recently that brands of stevia vary wildly and, if you can find a brand high in steviosides (the sweetness component), you will greatly reduce the bitterness. How you figure this out isn’t quite clear. I guess the brand I tried this time had more steviosides than ones I’ve tried in the past because I liked it this time.
I found that a little more than 1/3 cup powdered stevia was the right amount for me in this particular recipe. Your stevia may be more or less sweet than mine, so you may need to make adjustments. If you use liquid stevia extract, start with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon and tailor it from there.
I used lemon thyme because that’s what is currently growing in my herb garden. I’m sure other varieties of thyme (or rosemary) would work equally well. If I can ever find myself a stevia plant, I’m going to try steeping the stevia leaves along with the thyme and see how that works.
This would be a refreshing drink to serve at a July 4th picnic. If you don’t have diabetes yourself, some of your guests may appreciate it! Have you tried stevia? What did you think?