Healthy Herbal Iced Tea
There's nothing like sitting on your deck enjoying the warm, sunny weather, sipping a glass of refreshing iced tea. Making
your own is not only more cost effective but gives you control over what exactly is going into your beverage.
The following dried herbs make very tasty iced teas and are nutritious to boot: rooibos, peppermint, elder berry, rosehips, lemon
balm, lemon grass and bilberry. You can use them on their own or be creative and come up with your own tasty blend.
To make a herbal iced tea simply steep your chosen herb in just-boiled water for
15 minutes or until desired flavour is reached. Use one teaspoon herb (or herb combination) per cup of water. Strain and chill.
Some helpful hints:
You can use cut and sifted stevia herb to impart a subtle, natural sweet taste. Steep a pinch or two with your other
If you prefer stevia extract powder or liquid, or a sweetener such as honey or Sucanat, add desired amount after tea has
been strained. Taste your tea before adding these ingredients; you may enjoy the flavour all on its own.
When using whole rosehips, elder berries or bilberries, you may wish to crush them with a mortar and pestle just prior
to using. This will help release the flavour during the steeping process.
Health benefits of above listed herbs:
- Rooibos is an African tea that tastes similar to regular black tea but is caffeine-free and high in antioxidants. Try it
with a dash of fresh lemon juice.
- Peppermint is cool and refreshing, especially as an iced tea, and can help with indigestion.
- Elder berry is a delicious fruit high in antioxidants.
- Rosehips have a slight fruity taste and are a good source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
- Lemon Balm makes a nice lemon flavoured tea that is soothing to the nerves. Not recommended for people with
- Lemon Grass contains vitamin C, has a slight lemon flavour and tastes best when combined with lemon balm and rosehips
for a more full bodied tea.
- Bilberry (European blueberry) is high in antioxidants and makes a delightful iced tea that tastes similar to blueberry
- Stevia has a sweet taste and is a natural plaque retardant.
Source: Rainbow Natural Foods
Recipe published: Summer, 2006
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Above photos: left: bilberry, from factsaboutfruit.com; right: rooibos tea.
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Copyright © 1999-2012 Robin L. Russell