Monday, April 28, 2014

Lemonade Iced Tea (Refined Sugar Free)

I love spring.  Mainly because that means that summer is soon behind.  Especially here in Alaska.  My husband, an Alaskan native, likes to say that Spring is a five minute affair in Alaska.  Literally all the buds pop at once and you're suddenly looking around at green everywhere.  And that's it.  It's summer after that.

With the coming of Spring comes the coming of the wonderful sun.  Winters in Alaska are long and dark, so when we finally see the sun again, all Alaskans, no matter how cold it remains outside, immediately pull out their grills, t-shirts, ice cream makers and other summer "essentials" and we embrace summer with great zeal! 

One of my favorite drinks to make in the summer used to be a corn syrup laden concoction made by some company (I honestly can't remember the name) that I loved to death.  Lemonade Iced Tea.   I used to make it constantly during the summer months and drank glass after glass (and then would wonder how I put on five pounds even though I was active...har).  I have become smarter since those days and realize more what I'm consuming now, but I saw a container of that frozen concentrate at the store the other day and I could almost taste it.  That's when I decided that I needed to make my own.

Now, for this recipe I used home made lemonade because of two reasons.  One, I wanted to sweeten it with local raw honey and two because we have to avoid the corn that might be added to other mixes to preserve them.  So, I made my own.  But, if you are not the type of person who wants to sit there and sqeeze lemons for hours....okay okay or do it the lazy way.  Cut the lemons in half, seed them with a grapefruit spoon and then empty the lemon and pulp into a food processor with said grapefruit spoon.  Repeat until you have all your lemons seeded and peeled, puree in the food processsor and then just strain through a wire mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.  Take the pulp that remains in the cheesecloth and wrap the cheesecloth around it and squeeze the life out of it over the wire mesh strainer to catch any pulp that might leak out and voila!  Lemon juice!

Anyway, if you don't have the time, or the lemons to make your own, there are some decent pre-made brands that taste pretty good.  Santa Cruz makes a ready made lemonade you can get in the organic foods section of Fred Meyer/Kroger and I'm sure there are others.  Just remember you'll need 4 cups or 32 oz. of lemonade for this recipe.

Now onto the main event!

Lemonade Iced Tea, Honey Sweetened
  • 4 Cups Home Made, Honey Sweetened, Lemonade (recipe follows)
  • 4 Cups Home Made Iced Tea (Recipe follows)  
Take Lemonade and Iced Tea and combine in a pitcher (make sure your iced tea is unsweetened as the lemonade will sweeten the tea).  Mix well to combine.  Serve over ice.  Add additional lemon if you like a stronger lemon flavor.
Home Made, Honey Sweetened, Lemonade

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, organic preferred
  • 1/2 cup honey (I added a little bit extra as I used Big Lake Honey and it's pretty mild tasting)
  • 6 cups water
Take 2 cups water and warm on the stove top to warm, not hot, and dissolve honey in the water.  This will stop it from settling to the bottom of your pitcher later.  Add all to a pitcher, mix well to combine and enjoy!

I doubled this recipe and used an insane amount of lemons because I wanted a bottle of lemonade for the family to drink too (they don't have a love of iced tea like I do).

Home Made Iced Tea 
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • 4 to 8 tea bags, depending on how strong you like your iced tea.  I use eight.  For this I used Stash English Breakfast Tea.  Just make sure your tea is gluten free.
  • 4 cups cold water
Take tea bags and place in boiling water (I use my 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup for this) and let steep for 10 minutes  to make a really nice, strong tea.  Remove tea bags and add cold water. 

1 comment:

jperr said...

Thanks for the recipe.
Blessings Jocelan