When you think of aloe vera you probably think about applying it to burns or cuts. The thought of drinking it probably never crossed your mind. Or am I the only one that never thought to chug that thick gooey sap?
For as long as I can remember, John’s uncle has advocated the benefits of aloe. He is into a lot of natural ways for maintaining health. And considering how healthy he looks, and how active he is well into retirement, they must be working.
I was really excited to come across a keto electrolyte drink by Vivica at The Nourished Caveman. However, I could not get past the taste of the aloe, which is potent in Vivica’s recipe (at least to me).
To most people, aloe tastes extremely bitter, and near gag worthy straight from the source. Not everyone has this reaction though, and some people do eat/drink the gel straight from the plant itself and like it. I am definitely not one of them. I’m assuming it’s similar to how some people can suck a lemon or lime just fine, whereas most of us would pucker so hard our face would threaten to cave in on itself.
Just for the fun of it, I googled “taste of aloe” and found these gems via Quora:
“Unsweetened and undiluted It tastes like watery, bitter acid reflux with a slight sweet tinge on the finish. If you didn’t know it was aloe you might believe you’d just drank shower cleaner or drain opener. I have a friend that hates it and says it tastes like baby vomit smells.” – Mary Mei
“What a surprise it was for me, I had only ever had the pre-bottled aloe drinks. The fresh plant gel tastes like what I imagine a car tyre would but the benefits do outweigh this strange bitter taste.” – Caroline Chung
“Awful tasting. Like petro-chemicals smell or an old plastic container left out in the baking sun. Oddly, once swallowed it leaves no after taste at all. I mix it with tea. Too bitter by itself.” – Mark Mattlage
“It tastes like orange juice just after brushing your teeth… but way worse.” – Lisa Herman
That was fun. Now don’t you just want to go suck on the plant itself? Yum!
So as I said, I couldn’t get past the taste of the aloe in this particular electrolyte drink. But what should I do with all the aloe I had left over? I was forced to buy a huge 50 gallon drum! I’m kidding, it was only 1 gallon; but since I think it’s nasty it feels like so much more. There was nothing smaller at either of my local Walmarts. Really, aloe manufacturers? You didn’t think your product was something you might want to bottle into smaller amounts for people to try first?
Though I didn’t like the flavor of The Healthiest Keto Electrolyte Drink, I loved the idea of it and wasn’t ready to give up.
Benefits of aloe.
Aloe is very good for you, and yes, you can eat and drink it. Though you can eat the outer leaves, the gel inside the leaves is where you’ll find most of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antibacterial properties.1
Aloe vera benefits claimed by the interwebs:
-Aloe vera is packed with vitamins A, C, E, B12, folic acid, calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, and potassium. Sounds perfect for a low carb diet! Bring on the electrolytes!
-Assists with digestive issues – aloe can have a laxative effect and can help with constipation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and many people claim it has helped with stomachaches, ulcers, IBS, and heartburn.
-Increases energy – aloe helps boost the immune system and increase your metabolism, this can lead to increased energy levels and a “feel good” mentality.
-And weirdly, it can reduce plaque and heal mouth sores. You can use it in place of your regular rinse aid! *shudder*
With all these benefits I had to figure out a way to include it in my diet! Working with Vivica’s recipe as a base, I started adding different flavorings and sugar free sweeteners.
I finally worked out a few concoctions that I really liked and that hid the flavor of the aloe. Well… for the most part.
Despite being another tart flavor, lemon is a great counterpoint to aloe. Like Sprite’s lemon and lime flavor combination. In fact, Sprite Zero was really tasty in one my trials.
In addition to adding a great flavor note, lemon itself also has many beneficial properties. It’s high in vitamin C, is known to promote weight loss, increases urine pH (which aids in preventing kidney stones), improves your body’s absorption of iron, and contains soluble fiber which promotes digestive health.
I used 1/8 tsp of Lite Salt instead of 1/3 tsp Celtic sea salt. I like the added potassium Lite Salt provides. I did try upping the amount to 1/4 tsp, but it was just way too salty. I can hear you asking, “But Jess… why even add salt?!” If you’re on a low carb diet, here’s why, and here’s why. But if you’re not doing low carb, but still want the benefits of aloe and lemon, then you can certainly remove the salt.
I added a couple good squirts of mio to add a little sweetness without going overboard with sugar free sweeteners. I really liked this drink with Mio’s sweet tea flavor. You can use any flavor you like, but I love lemon tea, and this gives the same refreshing taste!
Refreshing Aloe Lemon Electrolyte Tea
-1/8 tsp Lite Salt
-1/2 squeezed lemon
-2 oz aloe (I used Fruit of The Earth Aloe Vera Juice because it was the only one available at Walmart)
-8 – 12 oz water (or Sprite Zero)
-Two good squirts of sweet tea Mio
-Place all ingredients in a tall glass and mix well.
This drink is so refreshing on a hot day and is a great electrolyte replacement. Try it out and let me know what you think! Or if you have other ways of getting aloe to be more palatable, please please share!
Please don’t mind the mess.
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- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729540/ ↩