The Best Lemonade

My title is a rather lofty claim, and perhaps I should save such adjectives like “best” for the drink recipe that contains no less than 15 ingredients (at least more than three). But, then again, one of my eating/cooking philosophies is that simple food can be very good. And the gallons of lemonade that I have drunk attest to the fact that I love this recipe.

Shannon is hosting a carnival of recipes that contain five ingredients or less. While, thankfully, most drink recipes to not contain more than 5 ingredients anyways, I still thought that this lemonade would be a perfect thing to share. First of all, it is my favorite lemonade. Secondly, it is a cinch to make. Thirdly, it is extremely healthy. Fourthly, is is very low calorie, for those watching their weight. Fifthly, is is sugar free, but doesn’t contain any of those nasty sugar substitutes, but only a little herb called stevia.This is one of the only things I have really, really liked stevia in. It really just tastes….. sweet in lemonade, instead of herby like it can in other things. It definitely has appeal to the masses. And last but not least, if you don’t count the water, you only need two ingredients to make it!

But before we get to this very easy recipe, I wanted to invite any readers here from the Works for me Wednesday to a carnival that Stephanie and I are hosting together. With rising food costs, we thought we could pool our resources by sharing recipes that are both frugal and nourishing. To often, it feels like you are choosing between healthy food, and frugal food. It doesn’t have to be the case. But it does take the right recipes and habits. If you are interested in sharing yours, we would love to have them be part of the carnival. Go here for more details.

And now, to the featured part of the program.

This recipe is as simple as juicing one lemon, putting it in a glass of water, and adding about 1/8 teaspoon of stevia. I make a glass like this all the time. But sometimes I like to make a large amount. You can play around with the ratios of water to juice to stevia, but this is the rough outline of what I do.

The Best Lemonade heathy, easy and sweetened with stevia

Make sure you do not use the spoonable type of stevia, but the concentrated type.
You can also use limes for a “limade” which is also very good.

1 cup of freshly juiced lemon juice (usually 4-6 lemons)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of stevia (or more, to taste)
6 cups of water

Combine, adjust sweetness with stevia (start low and build up) chill and serve over ice, if desired. It’s as simple and easy as that!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Stretch Mark Mama says

    That’s the very same recipe I use…only I have yet to try it with stevia. I use the drops, though…so I’ll have to figure out the correct ratio. But it’s good to know that stevia works well in lemonade! I am a big fan of stevia.

  2. Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit says

    Oh I really want to try this! Where can you purchase stevia at…a regular grocery store or a health food store?

  3. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says

    Sounds good! I wish lemons weren’t so expensive right now (at least where I am).

  4. Trying Traditional says

    Oh, I wish I had seen this post a few days ago! I went ahead and used some organic sugar to make my Lavender Lemonade. Lavender is so easy to add to Lemonade and it tastes absolutely wonderful. Just brew it as a tea in some of your water before mixing it all together.

    Going to have to go make some now with Stevia…why I didn’t think of using it before I’ll never know.

  5. Whitney says

    First, I’m really enjoying your blog.

    Second, which stevia is “the concentrated type?” I have the dark liquid since it’s less processed, but it has a definite herby taste…is that the one you used?

    Thanks!! This looks very refreshing.

  6. Kimi Harris says

    You can get it at more and more places. Some regular stores do carry certain brands, but any health food store should carry at least one brand if not several. The most common is sweetleaf, around here.

    Trying Traditional,

    What a great idea! I will have to try that!

    I am so glad that you are enjoying my blog. 🙂

    Thanks for asking about the stevia,
    I realized that I wasn’t very clear. The recipe is supposed to have the dry, powder straight stevia. Mine is just called “stevia extract”and is a white powder. I used that for this recipe because I know it the most commonly available form of stevia.

    But I do use a dark liquid type that is less processed from the brand NOW. I have gotten really good results with that as well and it is actually becoming my preferred way to make lemonade. While it does have a more herby taste (though completely hidden in lemonade) is doesn’t have any funny after taste. I like that it isn’t processed much at all. I usually use a dropper full or two per glass of lemonade. Hope that helps!

  7. jen says

    Just reading this makes me thirsty for some! I can’t wait to try it.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’m off to buy some Stevia first thing tomorrow…

  8. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says

    Looks super refreshing! Thanks for talking about Stevia! It is great to spread the news about this healthy sugar substitute that is not harmful!
    Beautiful lemonade!

  9. amandalouden says

    Hi there, I am not a big fan of stevia…I dont like the taste. Have you ever tried to make lemonade with Rapadura or Sucanat or agave? Wondering the ratio. I typically stay away from lemonade because of the sugar. I might play around with it this summer…my kids love lemonade.

  10. Kimi Harris says

    I don’t like the taste of stevia either, but you would be surprised with it in lemonade. I really don’t taste it at all, unlike other things I have tried. So, if you had some on hand, you might still want to try it out.

    BUT, I did used to make it with rapadura. It makes it a really weird color, and does taste a little differently than sweetened with white sugar, but we liked it. It still was a very refreshing and yummy.

    I truthfully think that stevia sweetened lemonade is more kid friendly, since you don’t really taste the stevia, but rapadura sweetened is good too. I can’t have any cane sugar products anymore, so I haven’t made it for quite a while, so I can’t help much with the ratios. But I am sure it would be pretty simple to figure out. 🙂

    Happy experimenting!

  11. Kathy says

    I wish I had knows the herby taste of stevia is hidden in lemonade. I have gotten rid of all of mine because I didn’t like it. However, I do have the plant growing outside and some limes. I will have to experiment!
    I usually use maple syrup to sweeten my limeade and that is really good, too!
    Have you ever tried adding some ginger to your lemonade? It is quite yummy in my opinion! I add straight juice, but I’m sure you could also brew some of the root in water and add the water to your lemonade once it has cooled.

  12. Bobby says

    I made stevia lemonade tonight! Since I gave up eating sugar, I missed lemonade, but now stevia has made it a possibility again. We got a whole bunch of lemons from my neighbor’s lemon tree.

    I bought/used organic stevia powder from Trader Joe’s and the organic version has WAY less of that bitter after-taste, and more sweetness. I threw out the one that was not organic.

    Before all of you stevia haters ( as a former one myself) give up on it altogether, try the organic version.

  13. Andy Sullivan says

    I just tried it and with 2.5 teaspoons it is still sour. I even tried adding two drops of the liquid and it’s still pretty bad. I’ll try the organic from Trader Joe’s.

    • KimiHarris says


      I would keep adding 1/4 teaspoon in until you get to the right amount! And just make sure that you stir it in thoroughly. Hope that helps!

    • Bea says

      Andy, when I use regular sugar, I HAVE to sweeten the water before adding the lemon juice. I’ve never used stevia but I’m wondering if that’s perhaps the problem you’re having?

  14. Andy Sullivan says

    I don’t think what I am using is concetrated enough. It says one packet = 1 teaspoon of sugar. I went to Trader Joe’s and Sprouts and they have nothing with the word organic in it, They even looked on their computer. I find Stevia to be slightly bitter with a bad after taste. Everybody that I know feels the same way. It makes coffee and tea taste terrible.

    • Danny says

      I always get the organic Stevia from Trader Joe’s. It’s powdered and a much smaller container than the non organic, but much better value because it’s much more concentrated (look at the servings per container)..

  15. wisd0m says

    I tried making lemonade with stevia this week. A guy a work told me about it. It was ok, a little gross.

    I then tried using it in tea, also gross.

    I then found the issue. Some brands of liquid stevia contain GSE which makes them very bitter tasting. If you are having issues, check to see if your stevia contains GSE.

    I am going to purchase some pure stevia and try this again. The sample I had from the guy at work was great.

    • KimiHarris says

      The type of stevia you use does make a huge difference! If it tastes bitter, you know it’s not high quality! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Heather says

    Not quite as nutritionally beautiful as fresh lemons, but this works great with bottled lemon juice, too. If anything, stevia makes better-tasting lemonade than sugar!

  17. Courtney says

    Kathy, I am going to try the lavender lemonade. I’ll see how it goes and come back to let you know.

  18. AJ says

    Thank you for the recipe. I never respond to sites I’m a watcher. Anyway, this was great. The kids loved it. I used 5 packs (.035 oz/1g) to the ratio indicated above with NuNaturals NuStevia. Got it from the health food store~ it’s not supposed to be bitter and in the lemonade….It wasn’t ~Yahoo! Brands do make a difference. I’ve used Sooo Sweet that says it’s non-bitter but was. Thanks for the great tips.

  19. EF says

    I have been given a whole bag of Meyer’s lemons. Will use it all for my Thanksgiving crowd of 20. Can’t wait to get to the store and find the dk liquid form of Stevia. Thanks so much!

  20. PF says

    I’ve been trying to use both stevia and lemons because of the beneficial affect they have on the body’s pH level. For medical reasons I am trying to move to a more alkaline pH level. Sugar is very acidic, but stevia is alkaline. Lemons, although acidic themselves, have an alkaline affect on the body. So, this recipe is great for me.

    My question is, does anyone know if bottled lemon juice has the same alkaline affect as real lemons do? Usually when they add preservatives the product becomes much more acidic. I would really like to have the option of using bottled when real lemons are not available.

    • John says

      Research on Stevia is known to help reduce blood sugar levels. If you are a type 2 diabetic then stevia is for you

  21. Rebekah says

    When we were on vacation this year, I boiled some honey in purified water and made my own “syrup.” I refrigerated the syrup until cool, added fresh lemon juice, water and ice to taste, and wha-la…it was great!!!

    I didn’t write down the exact measurements, and I know this destroys the goodness of raw honey, but for those of you who don’t really like stevia-sweetened lemonade, try it!

    • steve says

      I was wonderin if anybody could pipe in on what I do for lemonade…. I have been doing my own lemonade for quite a while, and everyone loves it, I gotta make an extra for whoevers around when I make ’em! I get up every morning and squeeze a fresh org. lemon, put the juice in a qt ball jar, add ’bout a 1/2 tsp of high quality sea salt, a LITL dash of cayenne, and a glug of grade b m syrup. I fill the jar 1/2 way w/ice, then fill it with spring water (Luv my Mountain Valley h20 outta the glass carboy!) I THINK this is really good for me to do…seems like a daily detoxifying/mineral from heaven!… What do you think about the extra additions?
      I got here searchin for a rec stevia (I always google recipes or products w/ the word “nourishing” behind it, I always come up w/all these types of great sites.

  22. Beatriz Williams says

    When I use regular sugar, I HAVE to sweeten the water before adding the lemon juice. Do you have to do the same thing with Stevia? Is that perhaps the problem Andy (02/10) is having?

  23. says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. My family likes lemonade, but I cringe when I have to add big scoops of sugar to the pitcher. I’ll try it your way next time.

  24. Rebecca says

    As hot as it gets in Houston, I am always needing something to drink, besides plain water, to keep me cool. I was craving lemonade one day, and this is the first recipe that popped up in a search for stevia sweetened lemonade, and it is the only one I’ve used since (I’m diabetic, and always looking for recipes with stevia instead of sugar or splenda). I’ve made it at least 6 times in the last two months, and have never gone wrong. I’ve used the powdered stevia so far (taste as you go, kinda thing), but have been looking for the concentrated liquid form (if that is the one which is referred to in the recipe). So far, I’ve made it as is, as well as with 6 oz. of raspberries slurried in a food processor with about 3/4 cup of lemonade after the lemonade is done. And be sure to strain them for seeds; I forgot to the first time… talk about spittin’ seeds!! LOL And just tonight, I made it with frozen no-sugar-added cranberries… DELICIOUS!! The only way it gets a bit better is with maybe a shot or two of vodka, but only on special occasions! 🙂 Thank you SOOO much for this recipe, because it IS a keeper!

  25. Tirzah says

    I can’t thank you enough for this recipe: just began a yeast-free diet this week and have been craving any kind of sugar – this is a great substitute and tastes A-mazing! Thank you!!!

  26. Linda says

    I just squeezed a whole bag of Meyer lemons yesterday and didn’t know what the ratio of powered Stevia would be. So glad I found your recipe! The 1/2 tsp was perfect and I’m sipping on the BEST lemonade ever!


  27. Donnie says

    First of all, I would like to thank you for this awesome sounding recipe. Now I would like to comment on Stevia. I was so excited to find out about Stevia and the benefits of using it. I have tried a lot of “natural” sweeteners, and the problem I have is the horrible aftertaste. I absolutely cannot tolerate that awful, almost chemical aftertaste of the Stevia products. I have yet to purchase the concentrated organic version, but am curious due to so many comments on its taste. I am a little leery though, are you guys positive that this tastes better?


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