Summer is finally here and to me, there’s nothing more refreshing than a glass of iced tea to cool off. There’s reason to celebrate too as June is National Iced Tea Month! There are plenty of opportunities this month to gulp some down!
Tea has been enjoyed for centuries throughout the world. There are many different varieties of tea from white to black to green, and in recent years, herbal teas have become more popular as well. You can find tea leaves already bagged or you can purchase loose-leaf teas so you can mix and match different varieties.
Tea is a natural source of many powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants travel throughout the body searching for cell-damaging free radicals and neutralize them, preventing them from further damaging cells. This has been shown to help reduce the risk of many types of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Green, black, and oolong tea come from the plant species, Camellia sinensis, which is high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. It is estimated that green and black teas actually have more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables.
You’re probably familiar with the crystallized iced tea mixes you find in the supermarket, but, unfortunately, those are full of artificial flavoring and sugar. Luckily, you can brew your own iced tea!
I remember my mom making her own fresh iced tea. All she needed to do was set up a pitcher of water and a few bags of black tea to sit in the sun for a few hours. When I was a kid, there was nothing more refreshing than a large glass of that sun-brewed magic over a pile of ice! You can use any kind of tea to make iced tea, so you’re bound to find (at least!) one that you enjoy.
You can also make your own on the stovetop! Follow the steps below to make it yourself:
- Start by boiling a pot of water on your stove or in an electric kettle.
- Pick out 3-4 bags of your favorite tea (it is best to use the same bags and not mix different types together); you can use more bags for stronger flavor.
- After the water has come to a boil, remove the pot from the heat source, place the bags in the water, and allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes.
- Chill the liquid completely and pour your tea into a pitcher and place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
The best part about making your own tea is you can make it as sweet or as un-sweet as you’d like! Each glass can be made to a specific person’s liking, so it’s an automatic crowd pleaser. You can also add some other fun flavors just before you drink a glass. Trying different combinations can be a fun activity for everyone in the family.
Try sprucing up your tea with:
- Crushed mint leaves, like spearmint.
- A drizzle of honey.
- Squeezed fresh citrus juice, like lemon, lime or orange.
- Fresh cut up fruit, such as peaches, strawberries, or raspberries.
Pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea in celebration of National Iced Tea Month!
Your turn to take action:How will you brew yourself a glass today? Let me know in the comments below.