Monday, July 29, 2013

Meatless Monday: DIY Fizzy Drinks

Being green doesn’t get much more fun than this — making your own seltzer using water from your tap!

We have owned a SodaStream Source since late December. We love it!

With our Source we can make seltzer any time we want. Without electricity. With just the push of a finger. The best part is that there are no more full bottles to carry from the supermarket and no more empty ones to return.
The white cloud is the fizz.
Granted, there is an initial cost. The SodaStream Source lists for just under $100 at Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B). The carbonator must be replaced when it runs out of fizz. Our first lasted nearly 5 months with daily use by 2 adults. When it runs empty, you can exchange it for a charged one at a number of retailers for just under $15. However, we have yet to pay full price, since it is possible to apply BB&B coupons to the purchase of any SodaStream products.

This page has information on how SodaStream products work. 

Here are a few tips:
  • Always use cold water. Keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge for this purpose.
  • There are three fizz settings. Start at the lowest setting to determine the level of fizz you prefer. At a lower setting, your carbonator will last longer.

The Source is packaged as a Starter Package. Included are various syrups for flavoring your drinks. Go ahead and try them out, but don’t feel you have to buy in to this part of the package to make a good drink.

You can save money and have lots of fun making your own flavors.

Here are some ideas we’ve tried.
  • The water is delicious on its own, but try adding a splash of freshly squeezed lemon or lime.
  • Lingonberry Drink Concentrate from IKEA (with no high fructose corn syrup) makes a deliciously fruity beverage. Start out with 4 tsp. and add more to taste. IKEA also sells Elderflower and Blueberry syrups. 
  • Make your own syrup for ginger ale with a good old-fashioned kick.
  • Make a 50/50 blend of fizzy water and your favorite juice.

You get the idea.

The SodaStream site claims the SodaStream carbon footprint is up to 80% lower than other carbonated soft drinks. This page is devoted to information on the cost of America’s addiction to bottled water and how freeing yourself from this habit is good for both your wallet and the planet.

While most of the press about SodaStream has a positive spin, I feel compelled to share something about the company about which I was not aware when we bought our Source. Although its box is labeled: “Made In Israel,” our SodaStream Source was actually manufactured in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in Ma’ale Adumim, the largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Germany may soon restrict “Made in Israel” labels to exclude products made outside Israel’s 1967 borders. Some human rights activists are calling for a boycott of these products. You can read more here

Let your conscience be your guide.

Whatever you decide, have a great week. Stay cool. Eat (and drink) well. 

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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