Cutting the grass in my yard has been a good reminder of how important it is to stay hydrated as temperatures rise in Texas.

While drinking water is definitely the best way, it can be a little boring for my tastebuds.

Since soda won’t do anything for hydration, and I’m not a big fan of the artificial taste of sports drinks, I keep the fridge stocked with iced tea and lemonade during warmer months.

After I drink a glass of water, I drink a glass of tea sweetened with stevia or sugar free lemonade.

Last summer, I went looking for variations on lemonade that were natural and sugar free. Below are two of my favorites.

Pour yourself a glass and enjoy this refreshing way to stay hydrated this summer.

And if you want a frozen treat instead, pour the lemonade in plastic or paper cups, add sticks or straws and freeze, removing the cup when you’re ready to serve.

Sugar free lemonade

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
  • 2 cups Splenda


  1. Heat 1 cup of the water and dissolve the Splenda in it.
  2. Pour the Splenda syrup into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and the rest of the water.
  3. Stir well and serve over ice.

Serves: 16

Sweet strawberry lemonade

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1½ cups strawberries, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about five lemons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Splenda


  1. Add the lemon zest, half of the Splenda and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring, until the Splenda dissolves. Let cool.
  2. In another small saucepan, combine strawberries, water, and the other half of the Splenda, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes or until berries are soft enough to mash.
  3. Place strawberries in a strainer and mash over a bowl to remove the pulp from strawberry sauce. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. In a pitcher, combine the lemon juice, lemon water, salt, 2 cups cold water, and the strawberry syrup and stir well.
  5. Fill glasses with ice, pour lemonade into glasses, and top with lemon slices and strawberries if desired.

Alternatives: Use raspberries or blueberries instead of strawberries or lime juice or grapefruit juice instead of lemon juice.

Serves: 6

Adapted from recipes at

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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