Fun Project: Make Your Own Citrus Iced Tea Lemonade!

August 19, 2011

Iced-tea 
This is National Lemonade Month and when the sweltering heat of late August starts to creep in, a tall glass of iced tea lemonade is one of the most refreshing ways to cool down.

Citrus fruits, like lemons, limes and oranges, have strong antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. They are also excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a necessary part of our diet as it is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in our body that is most effective at neutralizing free radicals, which may be cancer causing. Vitamin C is also able to give a big boost to your immune system and is very helpful in fighting off colds and flus.

Citrus fruits are a great way to add healthy flavor to your meals, whether they are used as whole slices to flavor baked fish or chicken, juiced to bring citrus and acid to a salad dressing or zested over fresh pasta or roasted veggies. They are a great way to add a burst of fat-free, sodium-free flavor to any meal.

I use green tea for this recipe, but you can substitute black tea or a fruity herbal tea if you choose. Green tea is packed with antioxidants, particularly EGCG, which may stop the growth of cancer cells without harming the rest of your body.

The citrus fruits will help bring a tart and refreshing flavor to this homemade iced tea lemonade. This iced tea lemonade is meant to be enjoyed immediately because the rinds from the citrus fruits will become bitter after a day or two. If you want to make this iced tea lemonade to keep in your fridge for a few days, just remove the rinds before adding the fruit.

Ingredients

  • 4 Lemons, plus 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Lime, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raw brown sugar, honey or agave
  • 3 ¾ cup boiling water
  • 6 green tea bags (use non-caffeinated or herbal for kids)
  • Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Directions

  1. Halve lemons and squeeze juice and pulp into a heat resistant jug or bowl. Add lemon, orange and lime slices. Tie tea bag strings all together and drape over the side of the bowl, with the tea bags inside.
  2. Pour 1 ¼ cups of hot water over tea bags and lemon juice. Stir in sugar until it dissolves.
  3. Pour the remaining hot water into the bowl.
  4. Allow tea to steep and cool completely before removing the tea bags.
  5. Pour into a pitcher over ice, stir and serve!

For extra flavor and pizazz, serve in a tall glass with a sprig of fresh mint!