Frosty, Fruity Iced Tea

September 02 00:00 2004 Print This Article
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The British may be considered champion tea drinkers, but in the U.S. these days, tea consumption is second only to that of water. With about half of all Americans drinking it, we sip or chug twice as much tea as we did ten years ago, about six glasses of tea a week. What makes tea drinking in this country unique is our preference for enjoying it cold. At the moment, iced tea accounts for about 80 percent of our total consumption.

If the results of over 300 studies now underway confirm what we already know about the health benefits of drinking tea, tea consumption will no doubt increase. Mostly, we drink black tea. Green tea, which is somewhat higher in the antioxidants that give tea its health benefits, currently accounts for a tiny fraction of all sales, including those of loose, bags and the abundance of bottled, ready-to-drink choices.

When I serve regular iced tea, I never offer it sweetened. In recipes using tea, I do use sugar, honey and other natural sweeteners, but always in modest amounts. Iced tea offers the opportunity to sweeten with fruit juices, which also adds vitamins and minerals. Sometimes I use orange and apple juice concentrates, which contain more vitamin C than juice.

To go even further in giving sweetened iced tea better nutrition content, try smoothies to maximize the health benefits of tea and fruit. The Frosty Fruit Freeze below can be served as an almost spoonable slush. Or, let it melt slightly and you have icy-cold fruited tea. A combination of green and mint teas, frozen melon cubes and mandarin oranges, this fruit freeze contains all the fiber and nutrients in the fruit. When the temperature and humidity spike, it is even more refreshing than simple iced tea.

Frosty Fruit Freeze

Ingredients

  • 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin orange sections in light syrup
  • 2 cups cubed honeydew melon
  • 2 decaffeinated green tea bags
  • 1 herbal mint tea bag
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Directions

    Place oranges with their liquid into a resealable plastic bag and freeze so that the bag lays flat. Spread melon cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. If not using within 12 hours, transfer frozen melon to a resealable plastic bag. Place green and mint tea bags in a heatproof container. Pour in 2 cups boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing to release excess tea into the container. Refrigerate the tea until cold. Pour chilled tea into a blender. Break up frozen oranges into chunks and add. Pure mixture. Add frozen melon and blend in to a fine slush. Divide among 4 glasses, garnish with mint if using and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
79 calories,
0 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat),
21 g. carbohydrate,
less than 1 g. protein,
1 g. dietary fiber,
21 mg. sodium


Source: AICR

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