Sunday, December 30, 2012

(Herbal) Iced Tea Recipe

This is SO simple and a healthy alternative to soft drinks. When I first started serving this, I really did it for myself. I don't drink the sugary lemonade that I make (from concentrate) that the rest of my family likes. I would warn guests that it was only lightly sweetened with stevia and was more like a flavored water. But people do drink it and I serve it regularly now. It does not go in the same quantities as the sugary stuff, but that's OK by me since I enjoy it. :-)

  • In a clean glass jar (old honey jar) I put 6-8 tea bags with the tags on the outside. 
  • Add filtered water to the top. 
  • Set it in the sun (this will also work without sun, by the way but better in the sun) for an hour or so--this does not have to be exact.
  • Squeeze out the tea bags to get every drop of flavor and toss them
  • Use half the tea concentrate to 2 liters of water and one packet of stevia
  • Serve in a pretty pitcher or carafe
If it makes you happy, you can of course garnish with real fruit pieces or cinnamon sticks. 

I make two kinds of tea blends: in the summer months I make a combo of the fruity teas: cherry, plum, strawberry, hibiscus, etc., what ever you love. You get a bright color for the concentrate which becomes very pale when diluted, but it's still pretty. Alternatively in the winter months during colder weather, I use the spicy teas that are mostly cinnamon flavored. You can use any flavor you love and you don't have to use only herbal teas.

Stevia is a natural plant extract that is used as a sweetener. It has an unusual taste and I have found that if you just use a small amount it tastes best. It can be an acquired taste, and not everybody likes it. It's worth repeating: if you don't like the taste, you might be using too much.

I also add a few drops of the liquid stevia to my lemon water and it helps me drink more during the day.