21 Mar2011

25 Calories

by Marketman

It’s nearly impossible to find a “diet drink” other than Coke Zero or Coke Light in the departure lounges of the domestic airports in Manila or Cebu. In recent weeks, I have taken to bringing Sprite Light in my handcarried bag for those times that I just want something other than water. Thankfully, PAL lounges seem to carry Diet 7Up, but I don’t always go to the lounges. So the other day as I was sitting in an airport waiting for a flight, I tried to figure out what drink would satisfy my craving for something refreshing and well within current dietary restrictions…

So here’s what I made when I got back home. Into a blender goes 12 ounces of Sprite Light or Diet 7Up, 10 teeny tiny fresh strawberries or larger berries halved. Roughly 1/2 cup worth of berries. Add several ice cubes and blitz or blend this for several seconds. Total calorie count is just 20-25 calories, and it only uses up say half of your single serving fruit allowance. It’s cold, refreshing, sweet tasting, yet balanced out by the acidity of the berries. Strawberries have such a distinct and aromatic flavor that they really jazz up the simple drink. You probably also get another 4-6 ounces of water as the ice melts. Not rocket science, but a great treat, considering the calorie count. I bet you could freeze these and have two good sized popsicles as another “sweet” treat. This would probably work with ripe mangoes as well, though half a cup of fruit would be roughly 50 calories, or double that of strawberries. Will try that the next time we have mangoes.



  1. bearhug0127 says:

    I usually blend strawberries with milk as my kids love it, or add strawberries to ice cream and blend them but have never tried it with soda. Will try it your way, MM. Not that i need to go on a diet. What I need is to gain more weight.

    Mar 21, 2011 | 3:50 pm


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  3. Garlicky says:

    Hmmmm, this would probably be a good treat for my family! Thanks MM!

    Mar 21, 2011 | 5:15 pm

  4. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Is the pavlova also 25 calories?

    Mar 21, 2011 | 5:41 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Sorry, the pavlova photo that mysteriously appeared is for a post two days from now. :( I am away from my desk and haven’t been checking in as often… :)

    Mar 21, 2011 | 5:49 pm

  6. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    I’m hoping the pavlova is also 25 calories ;-)
    When you get back in town, lets talk about the project.

    Mar 21, 2011 | 6:01 pm

  7. lee says:

    that is a calorific bunch of henri cartier-bresson books at the back.

    Aside from being an avid Marketmanila commenter, I’m also an aspiring street photographer and I usually post my shots on and off in my blog. I’m using a Holga 120 film camera now and it is quite a challenge to shoot with film.

    Mar 21, 2011 | 7:57 pm

  8. tonceq says:

    Project? that got me curious! is that the “25 calorie pavlova” project of an MM and Artisan Chocolatier collaboration? :)

    Mar 21, 2011 | 9:19 pm

  9. Lava Bien says:

    Just add some lemon juice or any souring agent, it would have been been a Virgin Strawberry Margarita hehehehe. Nice!

    Mar 21, 2011 | 11:01 pm

  10. KUMAGCOW says:

    Sprite light? Have you tried Sprite Zero MM?

    Mar 21, 2011 | 11:35 pm

  11. cindy says:

    MM pardon my ignorance but is there a difference between Diet Sprite and Coke Light/Zero calorie-wise?

    Mar 22, 2011 | 12:30 am

  12. satomi says:

    Henri Cartier Bresson Backdrop of a refreshing drink!! Love it. He’s a great artist. I’ve seen some of Henri Cartier Bresson’s collection at the MOMA last year. Heehee

    Mar 22, 2011 | 12:51 am

  13. Kate says:

    That Pavlova photo is so funny. Thought you placed that there to say that you only got the strawberries to make the shake :D

    Mar 22, 2011 | 12:55 am

  14. lorraine says:

    Hi, MM.

    But what is the difference between drinking 7up light/Sprite light and diet Coke (besides coke having caffeine). Is caffeine not allowed in your diet?

    Mar 22, 2011 | 3:51 am

  15. britelite says:

    fit and right with no sugar added is 20 calories only–just add ice ..

    Mar 22, 2011 | 8:21 am

  16. joe-ker says:

    try freezing the strawberries and eliminate the ice:-)

    Mar 22, 2011 | 10:06 am

  17. tipat says:

    I thought these were made of watermelons! :) but strawberries sound good as well

    Mar 22, 2011 | 10:08 am

  18. Susie says:

    MM, Emi non-fat yogurt (the only one I can find here that is less than 4g fat), papaya and ice for a yogurt breakfast shake :-) Only problem is that Cebu seems to be a plain yogurt free zone these days..may have to arrange for a Berlin-style air drop from Manila! Getting terribly desperate.

    Mar 22, 2011 | 10:29 am

  19. Gli says:

    i want those books in the background :)

    Mar 22, 2011 | 12:06 pm

  20. Peach says:

    MM, try mixing fresh lemon juice in plain soda water. Add a zero-calorie sweetener and lots of crushed ice. Very refreshing and I suppose very minimal calories too :)

    Mar 22, 2011 | 3:26 pm

  21. kaye says:

    can you tell if mixing soda water would increase the calories? been seeing these on the cold section of groceries..

    Mar 23, 2011 | 9:44 am

  22. Marketman says:

    I don’t think plain soda water has any calories Kaye… Peach, yes, sounds good too, but I want to cut back on anything artificial, like sweeteners. Gli, fan of photography, are we? :) Susie, event he Bulla non-fat plain yogurt in Manila is very hard to find and when it is in stock, it lasts a couple of days at most… If I see some, I’ll bring your some… joeker, yes, frozen strawberries would work nicely. lorraine, honestly I don’t know other than the caffeine and caramel flavor/color in Diet Coke is not liked by the proponents of my current diet. But I can drink tea… so I am guessing it isn’t just the caffeine. Ginger, for some reason, is also off limits, so I guess they have their reasons… satomi, we once met the U.S. main or exclusive dealer of Cartier-Bresson while he was still alive. She was very close to the artist, and at the time, urged us to purchase his work but even then, we really couldn’t afford it… now it has skyrocketed I am sure… so we rely on books to enjoy the images at a more economical cost. :) Cindy both diet drinks are zero calories, but I guess the cola has some other ingredients in it like caffeine that differ. KUMAGCOW, you are right, it’s SPRITE ZERO not LIGHT. :) Not only a challenge using film, more expensive I would imagine… The teen is into her photography, and has been taking some wonderful photos lately…

    Mar 23, 2011 | 5:09 pm

  23. joyce says:

    ironically the Henri Cartier Bresson show in moma last year had a sign that read:NO PHOTOS ALLOWED. hehe. his pictures of china during the ’70s are surreal.

    this post makes me crave for jollibee sprite and watermelon drink with vanilla ice cream. definitely not a diet drink.

    Mar 23, 2011 | 6:05 pm

  24. Rob says:

    You can bring liquids through security to have while waiting for a flight? I believe that’s considered terrorism here.

    Mar 27, 2011 | 3:35 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    Rob, you are right, even in Domestic airports a canned liquid is not allowed through the xrays. I consume Diet Sprites in handcarry before crossing the xrays. However, in the departure lounges, you can buy all sorts of softdrinks (usually except diet sprite or 7up, and in PAL lounges you can take a couple of cans of soda with you. And there are NO further xrays before you board the plane. So folks do often bring water and softdrinks on board, but now that you mention it, it does seem a bit bizarre…

    Mar 27, 2011 | 6:22 pm


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