Guest Post by Jessica Young
Nothing screams summer like a glass of cold iced tea. I remember my mom always had a pitcher in the refrigerator that I was constantly draining. I like to do the same for my kids.
However, my idea of a good tea has changed since I was a kid. While I LOVED the tea I had growing up, it came from a can. You know, the kind that is powdered and you just add it to water and stir? Sigh. I hate to imagine just what was in it. <shudder>
And, to be honest, I have not gotten my kids to love plain tea. It does not matter how sweet it is, they are just not fans.
I have tried to change that over the past few summers by playing with different flavors and teas. I have finally found the combination of tea, herbs and sweetener that my kids love to drink. I can hardly keep the pitcher full on hot days.
It seems black tea, the kind you typically find at the store, is just too strong of a tea flavor for them. However, the lighter taste of green tea has totally made a difference in their consumption. Brewing the green tea for just the right amount of time makes for a great, refreshing flavor.
Green tea also has many health benefits, including being full of antioxidants, so I feel good about them drinking it.
But, let’s face it. Green tea looks kind of boring when others kids have fun, bright colored juices. (Which also means those juices are full of artificial colors and dyes.)
I wanted to be able to make our tea drink fun so I started playing with adding some herbs.
That’s when I fell in love with adding hibiscus. Hibiscus add a great tart flavor along with a brilliant red color to make our summer drink special.
Hibiscus is also high in vitamin C, which makes for a great boost to keeping our immune systems healthy and happy.
I love using herbs to help supplement my children’s diet because they are easily assimilated, which means their bodies have an easy time using it.
- 1/4 cup of loose green tea or you can use bags
- 1/2 cup of hibiscus flavors
- 8 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of honey or a few pinches of stevia*
- Place loose green tea in one container and hibiscus in another container you will be keeping your tea
- Bring 4 of the 8 cups of water to a boil
- Pour 2 cups of water on the green tea and allow to steep for two minutes before straining
- Add the other 2 cups to the hibiscus and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes then strain
- Combine the teas and add honey until well mixed
- Add the rest of the water (about 4 cups) and refrigerate until cool
- *We like a more tart flavor so please add more honey if needed or do stevia to taste if you are watching your sugar intake
I know this takes a few extra steps but it is worth it for this yummy tea. Green tea can be bitter if brewed too long so I always take care to use a timer.
There are a great variety of loose green tea, so when you are searching, read a bit about them to see which on might be a good fit for your taste buds.
I often double this recipe to make a gallon of tea.
I have also served this to kids that aren’t used to real herbal tea and they love it. (We just don’t use the word ‘tea’. 😉 ) Kids love brightly colored drinks and it is so fun to be able to serve them one with harmful chemicals.
I’d love to hear from you, what are some of your favorite summer drinks you make for your kids using real food ingredients?
Jessica is a wife and mama to two boys and she loves spending her days with them, watching them grow and explore the world around them. Jessica grew up on fast food and quickly ditched that life when she became pregnant with her first. Since then it has been journey of learning about whole food nutrition, herbs and natural supplements. Her goal has been to keep her family healthy and happy…as naturally as possible. You can follow her blog Simply Healthy Home or find her on Facebook.