Tea is a something I don’t drink enough of! It’s full of flavor, antioxidants, and offers the body a mellow but effective boost of energy that won’t leave your head on the desk a few hours later like coffee often times does. I have decided that this summer I’m determined to always have a batch of iced tea in the fridge to use as a base of my smoothies or to enjoy instead of coffee. While I can’t always find 100% organic tea, I do look for brands that use minimal pesticides, “natural”/artificial flavorings, and have integrity in the way their tea is grown and packaged. Here are some brands of tea that Practical Nutrition likes:
- Yogi (love the inspirational quotes on the tea bags!)
- Traditional Medicinals
- Any organic, fair traded brand of tea you can find
When it gets warmer out I love having different flavors of ice cubes to throw in my smoothies or glasses of water to keep me hydrated without the boredom of plain water all the time. Also, I find when I use a green tea ice cube in my smoothies, I get an extra burst of energy from the antioxidants and caffeine in the tea. Making these nutrient dense, tasty ice cubes is super easy and can incorporate a new panel of flavors into your every day beverages!
Here’s what you do to make the iced tea ice cubes:
1. Brew a strong batch of iced tea (I use 1 bag per 4 ounces, and then when it cools I add 4 more ounces of cold water per tea bag). While still hot, add your sweetener of choice (optional). I use 1 tsp. of honey per bag of tea. Other options for sweetness include stevia, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
To ensure the best flavor of your tea, here’s a guide for how long to steep different kinds of tea:
- Plain Green Tea : 1 minute
- Flavored Green Tea: 2 minutes
- White Tea: 4-5 minutes
- Oolong Tea: 4-7 minutes
- Herbal Tea: 5-6 minutes
- Black Tea: 2-3 minutes
2. Pour the iced tea into ice cube trays and enjoy in a variety of ways:
- Use in smoothies to give you extra energy in the morning or before a workout
- Put in seltzer water with some stevia for added sweetness
- Put in a glass of water or sparkling water with some fresh berries to make a refreshing beverage
- Enjoy them by themselves as a treat an alternative to ice cream
Enjoy the blessings of summer, take care of you, and have fun…
As always, stay well, eat well, and have a beautiful week!
The PN Team