Monday, August 19, 2013

hot days, cold drinks: sun tea

you may have noticed a trend in my cold drink recipe series.  almost every recipe calls for stevia.

there are many reasons that i use stevia in most of my sweetened drinks, hot and cold.  the biggest reason is because stevia is so simple to use, as it mixes easily into the drink.  my other sweetener of choice, raw honey, is almost impossible to dissolve in cold drinks, and takes work to stir into hot drinks.  stevia mixes in within seconds.  as a busy mama, the difference between seconds and minutes is priceless.

i also like stevia because it is much less expensive than honey.  one bottle is a bit pricey ($15 for 4 oz) but it lasts a long time (at least two months, and we use stevia daily). on the other hand a gallon of raw honey (which i guesstimate sweetens approximately as much as 4 oz of stevia) costs about $45.  big difference!

another reason to love stevia is because it is an all-natural sweetener made from the herb stevia.  make sure to buy the liquid form of stevia, which is less refined than the powder.  also, make sure to do research on which brands have the most pure form of liquid stevia.  we like sweetleaf brand.

stevia is the perfect sweetener for sun tea.  the best part about sun tea is that you don't need to heat the water to make it.  not only does this save energy, the environment and money, but it also keeps your kitchen cooler in the hot summer time!  this recipe makes a weak brewed tea, which i find refreshing in the summer.  if you like a stronger brew, add a few more tea bags.

Sun tea brewed in Mason jar
Sun Tea

4 bags of black tea
1 gallon of filtered water
juice from 1 lemon
stevia to taste (about 5-6 droppers full)

1.  add water to a gallon sized glass jar.  add tea bags, keeping the tags out of the water.  screw on the lid with the tags hanging out so that the tags are outside of the lid.

2. set in a sunny spot for 6-8 hours.  i usually make sun tea first thing in the morning, and let it brew until mid-afternoon.  that way it can cool in time to serve with dinner.

3. after the tea has brewed, add juice from one lemon and stevia to taste.  for visual appeal, add a few slices of lemon to the pitcher if you want.

4. chill and enjoy!

click here for the next recipe in the series: green peach smoothie

photo credit: Andrew on flickr

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