Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Ruby Red Grapefruit Crystal Light Drink Mix

"Better for me than Diet Coke" is my theory about this favorite summer drink.

Are you a water drinker?  I'm impressed by people who always say "I'll just have water" when a server asks for drink orders.  More often than not I'll ask for Diet Coke, and although I drink far more water now than I did a few years ago (thanks to a mini-fridge in my office filled with bottles of water) I'm afraid I'm never going to be one of those people who easily chooses water over other drinks.   That's why I'm glad I love, love, love the Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor of Crystal Light, because when it's hot outside this is something I'll often choose over Diet Coke.  Of course I know plenty of you aren't going to consider "better for you than Diet Coke" much of a recommendation, so if you feel that way, then just click on to the next blog.  (Please don't leave comments lecturing me about artificial sweeteners; I believe everyone is entitled to make their own food choices.)  However, if you're someone who'd like to cut down on the soda pop habit, give this product a try!

I included the jar I keep in the fridge in the photo above, because I didn't love this product nearly as much until I started to mix it twice as strong in the one-quart container above that I got at Williams-Sonoma years ago.  (That container was one of those splurges that turned out to be a great investment, but that's another story!)  Then when I drink it, I fill a tall glass completely full with ice cubes.  That makes it icy cold and dilutes it to exactly the strength I like.  If you've never had this before you might want to experiment to see what strength tastes right to you, but if you like the flavor of grapefruit, I bet you'll love this for a summertime drink!  And for a few years now I've had the idea of turning this into popsicles in the summer, so maybe this is the year I'll finally try that.


More Cooling Summer Ideas:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

South Beach Diet Friendly Mango Lassi from Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Sugar Mango Sorbet from Kalyn's Kitchen

Rosemary Citrus Spritzer from The Kitchn

Grapefruit Sorbet from One Perfect Bite

Mango-Coconut Smoothie from Sailu's Kitchen

White Grapefruit and Epazote Sorbet from Spicy Salty Sweet

Lemon-Barley Drink from Noob Cook

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet and Strawberry Sorbet from Israeli Kitchen

Mango Juice from My Colombian Recipes

White Peach Sorbet from Use Real Butter


Blogger Disclosure:
I purchased the Crystal Light myself and this company has no idea that I'm writing about their product. All items featured as Kalyn's Kitchen Picks are things I will happily buy over and over, and because I want readers to know that my opinions are completely unbiased, I no longer accept sample products of any kind. You can see the complete list of products I've chosen under the tab Kalyn's Picks below the blog header.)
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40 comments:

Amy said...

I really wanted to love this stuff but I drank two glasses and my fingers got so stiff I couldn't move them - bad reaction. I envy those who don't have reactions to it, though!

emilee said...

I LOVE crystal light. I bought a bunch of these containers when they were on sale at the grocery store. I have been mostly drinking the ice tea and pink lemonade flavors, but I may need to try this one out!

Pam said...

I'm pretty much a water or tea drinker, though grapefruit does sound pretty good.

life and kitchen said...

I love Crystal Light! I especially like the cranberry apple one. Yummm.

Kalyn said...

Amy, yes it sounds like you are allergic, but thanks for not condemning the product for everyone.

Emilee, the Peach Tea is my second favorite flavor.

Pam, you're one of those people I'm impressed by!

Life and Kitchen, I don't think I've seen that flavor. Will watch for it.

Unknown said...

I've been a Ruby Red fan for years... I used to drink 6-12 Diet Cokes/Pepsi's per day, now I go through a 12-pack in about 2-weeks!
I use a 1-gallon container, add about a dozen ice cubes, then fill to the 5-pint level. This gives me about 25% MORE per portion. I then fill 1-liter plastic bottles about 1/4 of the way with the mix, and keep them in the freezer 'til I'm ready to drink. I'll top them off with the rest of the mixture, and I don't have to worry about dilution from ice cubes, plus it seems to stay colder longer.

Marianne said...

I have a problem drinking water straight so I pretty much always add something to the water. Crystal light is a good thing to add and I like most of the flavors. I have seen an ad where they have for a limited time drink mix flavors like mojito (sp?)and margarita, there were three flavors, but I can't find them. I am sure they are for the summer so I will keep looking for a
little while longer.

Susie Bee on Maui said...

I do drink a fair bit of water (have to here) but always looking for something additional for a change. I do like grapefruit flavored stuff so I'll see if we can get this here. Thanks Kalyn!

Flo said...

I love the new "mocktail" flavors. The other is Appletini. I have a pitcher exactly like that one. I need to try those mixes double strength. Thanks for the idea, Kayln.

Kalyn said...

Fun hearing from another fan of this who has their own special way to mix it!

Marianne and Flo, I don't think I've seen those "Mocktail" flavors. Maybe they don't market them in Utah, lol! I'll look for them though.

Susie, bet you will like it if you're a grapefruit fan!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I'm the opposite of you and find artificial sweeteners way too sweet. So I use twice as much water for each packet, or half a packet.

Sometimes when I want a peach iced tea, I'll brew a 16 oz pot of green tea and only sprinkle a little bit of the peach drink mix. It gives a nice fruitiness without too much sweetness.

Kalyn said...

Just proof that everyone has their own taste! Like the idea of sprinkling a little peach tea mix into green iced tea; that sounds good.

Beth said...

I love the grapefruit, too, but for some reason I can no longer find it in Minneapolis.

Amy Sherman said...

My husband doesn't like drinking plain water so I try to keep iced tea on hand. I also make "spa water" which is just water with lemon, cucumber and sprigs of mint. Amazingly refreshing!

Maris(In Good Taste) said...

I love the Crystal Light lemonade. I will have to look for this grapefruit

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've also never been a water drinker. Fresca is my poison. Lately, I've been cutting it half-and-half with water or Crystal Light lemonade, in order to get more water (and less soda, albeit sugar-free soda) into my body.

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone. So many good ideas to help us get more water!

Minjenah said...

Have you ever tried mojito flavor crystal light? I saw it at the store and was intrigued.

Kalyn said...

Minjenah, I am intrigued too but I haven't seen it in my stores yet.

Katie said...

My college roommate and I drank tons of Crystal Light (and she and her husband still do), but I got tired of the few flavors that they had at that time. It sounds like there's a lot more selection now, so I'll have to check it out again. I've been trying to drink less Diet Coke and more water because I feel so much better when I'm fully hydrated, so this might help me out with that endeavor.

Kalyn said...

Katie, ditto on the "trying" to drink more water and less Diet Coke!

Little Ol' Liz said...

I'm a fan of Wal-mart's house brand, since you get more for less. I found "Lime Margarita" and it's more limeade than margarita, but perhaps that's just because it's missing the tequila.

We drink a lot of sugar-free drink mixes. Dollar Tree and Walmart carry several varieties of the single serve sleeves so you can suit your tastes without the commitment of a large portion.

Lizabeth said...

Hi, Kalyn --

I'm a lurker. My name's Liz and I have my own blog at www.sparkbark.com. I am a huge Crystal Light fan but I've recently started incorporating more stevia based drinks ordered from amazon (Stevita lime powder is good). But I've found something even better than that, quite by accident. Just before moving from Houston a friend of mine from Mexico had us for dinner and served Jamaica flower "tea" but it tasted just like punch or kool-aid. It was beautiful, red, tart - almost like cranberry juice. I found out they are actually hibiscus flowers and can be ordered from Amazon so I got some yesterday and made my first batch just by putting a handful of leaves in hot water and letting them stand. Strain in a couple of hours and add sweetener of choice - you won't believe this herbal tea! No caffeine! AND, it's supposed to help with blood pressure. Can't go wrong there. If you want the link to the amazon ones I purchased, let me know. Hope you actually try it and like it! Sincerely, Lizabeth 10cowife www.sparkbark.com

Kalyn said...

Liz, I don't shop at Wal-Mart but I don't like the "house" brands I've tried from my stores nearly as much as the Crystal Light. But that's just me.

Lizabeth, haven't heard of tea made from Hibiscus flowers, but it sounds interesting. Also like the idea of Stevia sweetened drinks.

jjmllr said...

LOL!! I too am a diet coke drinker, have been since college when I "upgraded" from Tab! I'm a 52 year old woman and my Mom still emails me those annoying articles about artificial sweetener's and what soda pop does to the lining of our stomachs! UGH.
I love Crystal light too - my favorite is the Strawberry/Kiwi which I can only find now at Super Targets.

CJ said...

I will usually order an iced tea in a restaurant just for courtesies sake but I'm one of those water drinkers you talk about.

I like water better than soda or sweetened beverages. I know. I get weird looks when I say that.

Kalyn said...

Jill, I was a Tab person who switched to Diet Coke too. Haven't had Strawberry Kiwi Crystal Light; will look for it!

CJ, I would never give you a weird look, I think you're lucky to love water!

Erin said...

I am a medical student and i sat down in a session with a nutritionist and a child with weight issues. She said she was working on losing weight and had stopped drinking soda-yay! but had replaced soda with fruit juice. She drank about 2 large glasses a day which added up to 400 calories! he told her by simply switching to water or crystal light flavors she could cut at least 400 calories from her diet a day! thats almost enough calories to lose a pound a week! its nice to know there are healthier alternatives to our guilty pleasures.
that being said, i LOVE water (and hate soda). I dont think of ordering anything else, but this grapefruit mix does sound delish!

Kalyn said...

Erin, lucky you to be one of those people who naturally loves water. When I started low-glycemic eating years ago I completely stopped drinking juice, so I think that's another reason this type of product tastes so great to me! Nice to hear that a nutritionist recommended Crystal Light.

yawningreyhound said...

I JUST discovered Crystal Light at Costco (they have a container of individuals packets for travel I guess); for $7 i decided to see if I liked what I assumed was going to be a too sweet (you know that artificial too sweet thing all the companies struggle with?) additive.

SurPRISE surPRISE! I love each one so much I don't even look at the flavors. I do the same as you, K, fill it up with ice. I use about 1/2 to 3/4 of each packet in a pint-sized beer glass which is about the only thing I can choke down water from other than a neoprene narrow mouthed jug.

I didn't know I hated water so much until I started on HCG for 40 days wherein you need to drink a gallon a day,

But with CL, I can down a half dozen glasses of the required water in a short time (now, what that much CL does to you, I don't want to know until I'm done with HCG).

Thank goodness for K's blog, the next 3 weeks of HCG are basically just Phase I South Beach! It seems a horn of plenty after the 500-calorie/day HCG regimen!

But hey, I'm 16lbs down in 30 days. And the first round was 30lbs in 30 days. And it's lifechanging as far as eating habits go.

And this blog has provided so many more life-appropriate recipes that my extensive cookbook collection is just about to be ebay'd.

Thanks K!

marcia in colorado

Kalyn said...

Marcia, I don't know much about HCG, but it sounds like it's working well for you. Enjoy the three weeks on phase one; there are lots of good things you can eat. And I like how Crystal Light has helped you get the water you need. It works for me in just that way too.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that neat glass pitcher? Have to get one. Thnx

Kalyn said...

I talked about that in the post. The glass pitcher is from Williams Sonoma, but I've had it for over 10 years.

Andrea Meyers said...

I'm more of an ice tea drinker, but Michael used to drink lots of Diet Coke until he tried the Crystal Light Ruby Red Grapefruit. We make a 2 quart pitcher then he fills a glass halfway with ice and water and tops it off with the CL. He still drinks DC every day, just a lot less since we started buying CL.

Kalyn said...

Andrea, how fun hearing that my preferred flavor is also Michael's favorite. Obviously he has good taste in drinks as well as women!

Martha said...

I'm one of those annoying people who loves water and hates the taste of most artificial sweeteners but I recently tried the crystal light pur made with truvia in the lemonade flavor and thought it was a nice change.

Love the pitcher.

Anonymous said...

Ruby red grapefruit is my husbands favorite drink. I do have trouble finding it in our local stores in PA. When in Florida,the store carried it all the time. I now go on line to order thru Ebay. Some blood pressure medicines suggest not drinking grafruit juice, since this is an artifical flavor does anyone know if it would still affect the medication?

Kalyn said...

I don't know for sure, but I doubt if this has enough grapefruit to affect medications.

Scott Pennington said...

One tip on the powdered drink mixes - make them with hot, hot water. Add about a pint or so of very hot water to the powder in the pitcher, swirl to make it like a concentrate, then add ice and cold water. You won't *believe* the difference - much better flavor.

BTW - *love* your site and we refer to it many times a week for recipes. Thanks for sharing!

Kalyn said...

Scott, great tip! So glad you're enjoying the blog.

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