Save Money by Making Healthier ORGANIC Sodas with the Soda Stream!

I can not tell you how honestly thrilled my son was to open up a Soda Stream soda maker for Christmas. Maybe it wasn't a traditional gift for an 11 year old boy BUT for my son, it was a step towards incorporating sodas into his everyday life - and he was IN!

(IF YOU HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT ONE...Click HERE and get $10 off all Home Soda Makers with Promo Code: BESTFRIEND!)

As any of the regular follower of this blog know, my family has went on a healthier eating journey and we have been living a mostly organic lifestyle for about 2 years. It wasn't easy at first but is just our everyday life. Nothing complicated - just life. 1 of the things that was hardest to kick was SODA- not just for the kids...but for me too.

We started easily with a juice only rule...That got EXPENSIVE! 5 kids and organic only juice was a drain on the budget. I quickly realized, however, that we could save some money by splitting the juice into halves and adding water. This made each jar of juice last twice as long ---and the kids never noticed! We then made a transition to juice only at meals and WATER in between. Any parent can tell you...that it wasn't an easy task but we made it happen (see 5 ways to get your kids to drink more water HERE) and now...that is simply what they do! I hear their cups being filled all day long from the tap - and I LOVE IT!  They still get soda when we go out to dinner and treat them on family movie nights with an organic soda from the grocery but DARN is that organic soda pricey at almost $1 per can!

I had been seeing a lot about the soda stream and had wondered if they sold organic flavors...I didn't seem any. They do have a "natural" line though...The  soda stream natural mixes are made with real sugar, no artificial sweeteners and NO high fructose corn syrup BUT I WANTED BETTER! I searched high and low for recipes and I saw some but they were very labor intensive or were more like sparkling waters. It was time for trial and error.

I started with juices by simply adding in a few ounces to the sparkling water made by the Soda Stream...they were good but were lacking the sweetness of a soda.  Next step was to add juice and organic agave syrup....closer but still not there. It was time for a trip to the health food store to see what may be available....SUCCESS! I found organic coffee syrups and all natural fruit juice concentrates! So far, I have found the following to work well: vanilla, black cherry, grape, and even caramel. The amounts are going to vary based upon the bottle size and the sweetness that your family likes but know that you can experiment in any way you want. You can even make your own concentrates at home with frozen fruit! Now... I also said we SAVE MONEY with this thing and we do! The 4 pack of organic soda that my hubby used to buy the kids was over $1 per bottle and once it was was gone. The fruit juice concentrates cost around $10 per bottle BUT so far have made TONS of soda!
Some of our finds that worked!

Here is how we do it:
1. Start with the soda stream. Fill with water to the water line and do a solid 4 pumps of carbonation (the instructions say 3..since when do I listen to instructions)

2. Add 7-8 tablespoons of your favorite fruit juice concentrate.

3. Add maybe 4 tablespoons of Organic Agave Syrup. You can use whatever sweetener your family chooses. We like Agave and it is liquid so it is perfect. If you choose to use traditional sugar - melt it in the microwave first with a small amount of water. Liquid sweetener is best!

4. Roll it! DO NOT SHAKE IT but lightly roll the bottle to incorporate the flavor.


I hope you love this simple and easy way to have fun with your kids while making cool and funky sodas!

Have you found great ways to make your kids some healthy sodas with the soda stream If so..share your favorite recipe!

Red Palm Oil- To try it or not to try it....that is the question! husband came home from one of our favorite places the other day with something new in his bag...Red Palm Oil. He had been hearing that he should try it, knew NOTHING else about it, but saw that there were tons of people around the shelves AND the sign said that it was Organic - so he was in.

When cooking around the house, we typically use coconut oil - which I LOVE but since we are hearing such great things about the red palm oil....I thought we would give it a try. The fat content was very similar as were the textures (I guess that is what I would call it) so I was in to. (If you have been looking for ways to add coconut oil into your diet - here are 5 easy ways!)

I do want to note that I had no CLUE that the famous Dr. Oz mentioned that red palm oil could fight and target belly fat...nor do I believe it is smart enough to specifically fight belly fat! If I haven't been able to figure it out...I don't think that this jar of oil is going to! In all seriousness though, he did say some great things about it!

Here is WHY  I said OKAY!

Red Palm oil by far contains more vitamins and nutrients than ANY other dietary oil! It  can help you increase your intake of vitamins and minerals and is a great source of vitamins A, E and K and it is even used in some instances to help treat malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Studies show that just 1 teaspoon a day will give your child their entire Daily recommended Vitamin A and this can easily be slipped to your child in baked goods. Breakfast cookies anyone?

The color is a deep orange because it has such a high content of carotenes like beta-carotene and lycopene - actually, it contains more than in carrots and tomatoes!

I did see that Red Palm oil is high in Saturated Fats BUT while we would all think that this is a bad thing...turns out that, in many studies, it was actually shown to help FIGHT heart disease and to assist in removing plaque from arteries, contribute to lower blood pressures, and is even called an "anticancer" food.

I am definitely not a doctor and there is a lot of medical "mumbo-jumbo" in the articles that I was reading  so here is a GREAT link FULL of information about red palm oil that explains a great deal of benefits!

What to look for -

Look specifically for UNFILTERED and Organic. The filtering of the oil actually removes tons of the benefits! Also look for the rich - deep orange color. That is the proof of the carotenes!


Red Palm oil is very similar to coconut oil in the fact that it great at high heats. This oil can be used for just about anything -including frying! When it gets to high heats, it may loose some of its color BUT it will still pack the goodness into fried foods.

It is especially great for baking because the natural saturated fats will help KEEP YOUR BAKED GOODS FRESHER LONGER! Add it to cookies, cakes, breads, etc.  NOW....does this mean replace all of the oil in your dish with red palm oil...I wouldn't. The flavor - to me, is a very savory floral flavor....comes from a plant-tasted like a plant. (That is just in my opinion)! So adding it to your famous toll house cookies could give you an unexpected surprise. Just sub in a teaspoon or so.

Now, the savory flavor does lend itself very well to sautéing veggies - it actually gives them a totally new flavor. Try carrots, mushrooms, onions, eggplants, etc.

DO NOT ADD this into white foods like mashed potatoes - they will turn a funny orange color! Stick to darker foods or just tell your kids they are eating alien foods - they may like it! vote is YES, try it! Just be smart about it! I was told to smear it on toast and go...not sure that was the best way to dive in! The savory flavor scared me off at first but the nutritional verdict was in and I have found ways to use it that don't leave me running for a glass of water!

Will it replace my coconut oil for good...NAH! I love coconut oil and even use it in my beauty routine - see here but this is going to be a staple in my cupboard and taken out daily.

Do you use Red Palm Oil? Share some of your best ways to use it and let me know what your first thoughts were!