One of the best ways to keep healthy and help your body is running efficiently is to make sure you are drinking enough water during the day. Many people say they struggle with drinking plain ol’ water each day so they wind up not meeting their daily water requirements.
One tasty way to increase the amount of water you’re drinking is to make healthy iced tea recipes — this allows you some more flavour, but also keeps you hydrated. You can also choose if you want the added caffeine, or not.
Is Iced Tea Good For You?
One big question a lot of people have is whether or not iced tea is good for you. Well, it depends.
- Are you adding a ton of sugar into your iced tea?
- Did you already have 6 iced teas and want another one in the same day?
- Did you use clean, simple, and fresh ingredients?
- Is it helping you reach your daily water intake minimums?
SEE ALSO: Homemade Energy Bites!
Here’s the deal. Overall, if you’re limiting the amount of caffeine in a day, you’re not adding a ton of sugar or highly processed ingredients, and you’re just enjoying a refreshing iced tea recipe to change up your pace of drinking plain water to keep you hydrated, iced tea is a perfectly healthy choice.
Having Iced Tea Without Sugar
If you’re used to drinking iced tea with artificial or real sugar, having iced tea without sugar can come as a bit of a shock to your taste buds. The fresh fruits and herbs definitely help naturally sweeten the iced teas, which is awesome.
However, if you want to add a little sweetener to your iced tea, try using raw honey (or pure maple syrup for a vegan option) right before you place it in the fridge to chill. Try to keep the sweetness level just under what tastes perfectly sweet to you so that, next time, you can add a little less honey and then even less the next time. Over time, you’ll train your taste buds to like the natural flavors and sweetness of the iced tea, rather than the honey.
Chamomile-Strawberry-Orange Cold-Brewed Tea
8 chamomile tea bags
12 cups water, at room temperature
2 small oranges (thin-skinned), peeled, cut into slices, and seeded
24 large strawberries, halved
4 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons hot water
Place 1 tea bag and 1 1/2 cups water in each of 8 500ml mason jars with lids. Place 2 orange slices and 6 strawberry halves in each jar. Cover with lids; refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
Remove the tea bags from the mason jars. Combine honey and 4 teaspoons hot water. Divide honey mixture evenly among jars (about 1 teaspoon in each jar).
Watermelon and Basil Iced Tea
8 cups boiling water
8 tea bags
1/8 medium-sized watermelon, cut into small triangles
1 small bunch fresh basil sprigs
Sugar, to taste (if desired)
Pour the water into a heat-resistant pitcher. Add the tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Add the watermelon, basil, and sugar (if using), and pour over ice.
Blackberry Iced Tea
3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Pinch of baking soda
4 cups boiling water
2 family-size tea bags
2 1/2 cups cold water
Garnishes: fresh blackberries, fresh mint sprigs
Combine the blackberries and sugar in large container. Crush the blackberries with a wooden spoon. Add mint and baking soda. Set aside.
Pour 4 cups of boiling water over the tea bags; cover and let it stand for 3 minutes. Discard tea bags.
SEE ALSO: Homemade Butterscotch Pudding
Pour the tea over the blackberry mixture; let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Pour the tea through a wire-mesh strainer and into a large pitcher, discarding any solids. Add 2 1/2 cups of cold water, stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Minty Iced Green Tea
1 cup fresh mint leaves, washed
3-4 green tea bags
Honey or fresh lavender leaves (optional)
Place the mint leaves in a large glass or plastic pitcher. Crush gently. Add the tea bags, and pour hot water the over top, leaving a few centimetres of room. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Remove the tea bags; serve over ice. Add honey to sweeten and a few fresh lavender leaves, if you have them on hand.