By Nuala McBride, registered nutritionist for the meal planning and
nutrition tracking app, HitMeal
Ice tea is a lovely refreshing drink. In the heat it’s great to keep you hydrated. Sometimes when it’s hot we forget to drink water, but these tasty recipes will keep you coming back for more to drink. Did you know that in the USA 85% of tea is drunk iced? It just shows how popular this drink is.
This drink is typically made from tea that is cooled down and then has flavours mixed through. One of the reasons why iced tea is so tasty is because it often has lots of sugar stirred through. We all know that sugar in large quantities isn’t healthy.
So, I’ve pulled together some healthy iced tea recipes. And by healthy I mean low in sugar, but still maxing out in flavour. Instead of sugar I’ve added other flavours like lemons or orange juice to give the tea some sweetness.
One of the key things for a good glass of iced tea is the glass shape. I’d recommend a tall thin glass that you can stack full of ice. This keeps it cooler for longer. Another tip is to make the iced tea a little stronger than you’d like, so when the ice melts the flavours are still strong enough.
Below are my favourite 6 recipes that all serve one. Which will be your favourite?
#1: Iced Tea – Back To Basics
- I’m starting off with one of the simplest recipes. I call this one ‘simple’ as it uses classic black tea, which most of us will have lurking in a cupboard somewhere.
- To make this tea: Add 1 black tea bag and 2 slices of lemon to a cup, pour over 6 – 8oz of boiling water. Steep for 3 minutes and then remove the tea bags and lemon. Refrigerate until ice cold, usually overnight is best. Serve with fresh lemon and if needed sweeten with ½ tsp of sugar.
#2: Citrus Iced Green Tea
- The base for this recipe is green tea which has lots of natural health benefits, such as being high in antioxidants. Green tea can be like marmite – you either love it or hate it. If you’re not so sure about green tea, I’d still give this a go as the lemon somewhat masks the flavour of the green tea.
- To make this tea: Steep 1 green tea bag in 6 – 8oz of cold water overnight. Depending on how strong you like the tea, it can be steeped for less time. Discard the tea bags. Before serving add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Then serve in a glass with some lemon slices on top and lots of ice.
#3: Orange Iced Tea
- This iced tea gives a vitamin C boost with the addition of orange juice. It’s great to serve at breakfast with the feel of fresh orange juice, but it contains a lot less sugar. This is better for your body and your teeth.
- To make the tea: Steep 1 black tea bag in 6oz of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag and cool the tea down in the fridge for 1-24 hours until it’s cold. Before serving add 2oz of unsweetened orange juice and stir through. Serve with orange slices and ice cubes.
#4: Mojito Iced Tea
- This is a perfect non alcoholic drink for cocktail hour or an afternoon drink. If you’re not so keen on green tea you can swap in some other fruity tea.
- To make the tea: Place 1 green tea bag and ½ cup fresh crushed mint leaves in a cup and pour over 6-8oz of boiling water. Stir together. Let it steep for 10 minutes and then remove the tea bag and mint leaves. Squeeze in around a quarter of a lime and stir in 1 tsp of sugar. Refrigerate for 1-24 hours until it’s ice cold. Before serving add in fresh mint leaves, slice of lime and ice cubes.
#5: Ginger Lemon Honey Ice Tea
- This one isn’t for the faint hearted, as the ginger can be quite strong for some. The beauty of making your own iced tea is that you can adjust the flavours to your individual preference. So, don’t be shy to increase or decrease the ginger.
- To make the tea: Steep 1 earl grey tea bag in 6-8oz of boiling water. Add the zest of half a lemon, 1 spring of fresh mint and grate a 1cm cube of ginger. Stir together and after 3-5 minutes sieve the tea to remove the bits. Refrigerate for 1-24 hours until the tea is cold. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and honey (adjust to your taste) as well as ice cubes and lemon slices.
#6: Fruity Iced Tea
- To finish we have a recipe that I call the ‘cheat recipe’. And this is because it’s just so simple! There’s a division in the ice tea recipes between making the tea with cold water or hot water. I tend to find that hot water makes it better, but here’s one recipe with cold water to try out. See which one you find better.
- To make the tea: Steep 1 fruity tea bag in 6-8oz of cold water. Refrigerate for 1-24 hours or until it’s ice cold. To serve, add some accompanying fruit and ice cubes to the glass.
By now you see just how quick and easy this popular drink is to make. The above recipes are just a flavour of all the different types of iced tea that you can make.
There are so many variations with ice tea, so get creative when you next make some. And don’t forget to serve it in a tall thin glass with lots of ice. There’s no science for this one, but in my opinion the presentation definitely adds to the flavour.
Have a go with the recipes above, tweaking them to your taste and find your favourite. [potential to ask readers to comment with their favourite]
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