Over three years ago, I decided to give up artificial sweeteners in an effort to fill my diet with as many real, whole foods as possible. As a former Diet Coke addict, it was a very sad day. Not only did I say goodbye to diet soda, but I also had to say goodbye to a few of my favorite, low calorie drinks such as Crystal Light and Diet Snapple.
It wasn’t until the warmer months that I realized just how much I was relying on artificial sweeteners to quench my thirst. Although I’ve always enjoyed iced tea, I often added a splenda or two. In my defense, these low calorie sweeteners were key in helping me achieve long term weight loss in 2007. Nonetheless, fake foods are fake foods. As Jillian Michaels said, “Only eat food that comes from the ground or has a mother.” Last time I checked, splenda doesn’t have a mommy.
These days, I keep things interesting by infusing iced tea with various flavorings such as fresh herbs or ginger. A perfect example of this is my Orange Ginger Tea. Today I decided to infuse fresh mint and a bit of fizz with sparkling water at the end. It’s the perfect Summer drink.
Your straw is waiting.
Iced Tea Spritzer
- 20 leaves mint (about two long stems)
- 10 bags black or green tea
- 10 cups boiling water
- Sparkling water (such as LaCroix)
- slices Lemon
- Place mint leaves and 10 tea bags in a big pitcher. Pour boiling hot water over the mint and tea, let steep for 30 minutes or longer; let cool. To serve, fill tall glass with ice and fill with 1/3 tea mixture, 1/3 water and 1/3 sparkling water on the top. (Similar to Starbucks, I brew smaller batches of strong tea then add water to serve.) Serve with fresh lemon and extra mint sprigs.
Nutritional Information (per serving): No calories! Just lots of healthy antioxidants from the tea.