We're made out of 60-70% water, but we've noticed that many women don't like to drink water: they find it boring, and drink soda and bottled beverages instead. Our herbal tea and juice drink recipes, including natural lemonade, ginger lemonade, hibiscus tea or even our passion tea are healthier than soda or bottled drinks, but still delicious and refreshing. They are sugar-free and aren't artificially sweetened, and they are quick and easy to prepare. They're perfect summer refreshment and since many women like cold drinks year-round you can enjoy them anytime.
Did you know that one fancy name for an herbal tea is "tisane"? Whatever you call these, they're a tasty alternative to more expensive beverages. There is an endless variety of ways you can combine your favorite herbal tea, some fruit juice, lemon or lime juice, ginger or other flavorings to find the tisanes that suit your taste buds.
Peach Passion Tea—Recipe #1
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes active prep time, 1-2 hours (including steeping and refrigeration)
Ingredients: 4 cups water 2 bags Bigelow Perfect Peach® Herb Tea 2 bags Tazo® Passion Herbal Tea Juice of 1 lemon or 1/4 cup reconstituted lemon juice 4 packets stevia powder or an erythritol-based natural sweetener like TruVia®
Directions: Boil 4 cups water, then pour over herbal tea bags in a large pitcher. Let steep for 15 minutes to make a strong tisane, remove tea bags, then stir in stevia powder packets or other sweetener. Squeeze lemon into pitcher, or add lemon juice. Refrigerate until cold, then serve.
Notes: Remember, anything you cook in water will take on the taste of the water, particularly this refresher, which is mostly water. For that reason, filtered water works best. If your water smells or tastes of chlorine and you don't have a filter, you can let it stand in a pitcher for an hour and most of the chlorine will evaporate. It will do so a little faster if you occasionally swirl the water in the pitcher. If you have hard water, unfortunately only a filter can remove those minerals—though there may be health benefits to the minerals in hard water.
Variations: You can make the tea, but then instead of refrigerating it, make ice cubes out of it. Then use those ice cubes in apple juice or lemonade for a surprising treat. You'll love the color contrast.
We like Tazo® Passion though any hibiscus-based herbal tea will work. We've also used other peach teas. Find the ones that are easily available to you and that you most enjoy.
You may also try sun tea instead of boiling the water to make tea.
For a spicier taste, substitute a bag of ginger tea for peach, or steep some thinly sliced ginger along with the tea bags, or just add a pinch of powdered ginger to the pitcher before you refrigerate it.
We prefer the non-nutritive sweeteners because most people eat too much sugar anyway. Even natural sweeteners like honey, agave syrup, and maple syrup contain plenty of sugar: that's what makes them sweet.
Apple Ginger Lemonade—Recipe #2
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice 1 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup lemon juice or juice of two lemons 1 T minced, grated, or crushed ginger
Directions: Mix all the ingredients together.
Note: Be careful to avoid getting seeds into liquid if you are squeezing fresh lemons: they are harmless but an annoyance.
Variations: Adjust the amount of lemon to suit your taste. This can be made to have just a hint of lemon, or to be apple lemonade.
We think a 50:50 mix of water and juice is the perfect sweetness. If you like it sweeter, add a packet of natural non-caloric sweetener like stevia, and of course the sour of the lemon can both drown out and bring out the sweetness. You can substitute lime for lemon.
If you use the passion peach ice cube variation from Recipe #1, the mix of all flavors is vaguely reminiscent of fruit punch. We think apple juice is the best base juice for this mixture, but you can certainly try others.
Benefits: Juice is an excellent source of potassium, which makes this a great natural sports electrolyte replacement drink. The amount of ginger in this is too small to have very much medicinal value. Mint Lemonade—Recipe #3
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes active prep, 1-2 hours (including steeping and refrigeration)
Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 3 cups water 3 bags peppermint tea or 3 oz fresh garden peppermint, washed and crushed or chopped 4 packets stevia powder or erythritol based non-caloric sweetener like TruVia®
Directions: Heat water not quite to boiling (180° F), pour over tea bags, or over garden mint. After steeping for 5 minutes to make a strong mint tea, remove tea bags or strain out mint. Mix in lemon juice and stir in sweetener, then refrigerate for an hour or two.
Note: Steeping the mint tea for too long can bring out bitter notes, especially with garden mint.
Variations: Adjust the amount of lemon juice and sweetener to suit your taste, and substitute lime for lemon to make mint limeade.
You can make this with sun tea rather than boiling the water.
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