Healthy Sweet Tea
Healthy Sweet Tea is here my friends! It’s healthified. And bonafied (O’Brother Where Art Thou anyone…?), and gasp made by a Yankee?
I have learned that one thing that all southern boys love is sweet tea. And southern boys demand it SWEET. My wonderful brother-in-law Scott, is from Huntington, West Virgina. Scott has been vocal that sweet tea in the Seattle area is neither sweet enough, or “tea-y” enough.
I set out to prove that not only can a crunchy granola Yankee chick make sweet tea, she can make it healthier and still taste great! I consulted the internet. Two cups of sugar per pitcher was pretty standard. Uh, no thanks. I asked a good friend from Louisiana who has always raved about her Mississippi granny’s sweet tea. Apparently, southern grannies don’t write down recipes, nor do they care to share them! The only tip I received from my friend was “you want it sweet enough for your lips to stick together” and “you have to add the sugar while the water is boiling”. I chose to only follow the second piece of advice….
A healthier version of sweet tea that uses honey instead of buckets of refined sugar. One simple secret ingredient gives you a strong tea taste, without the bitterness.
- 1 family style black or green tea bag Don't have family style bags? Use 7 small tea bags
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 4 cups water, boiling
- 4 cups water, cold or ice cubes
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
In a saucepan, boil 4 cups of water. While bringing the water up to a rolling boil, add 1/3 cup of honey and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Stir well.
Once the water has reached its boiling point, add the tea bags. Remove pan from heat, and cover. Let steep 15 minutes.
Remove tea bags from the pot without squeezing them, and pour contents into a glass pitcher. Add 4 cups of cold water and place in fridge until properly "iced". If you'd like to serve immediately, fill the pitcher with 4 cups of ice cubes.
Steeping the tea bags for 15 minutes will give you the desired strong flavor. The baking soda cuts out the bitterness from letting it steep for so long.
Serve over ice if you’d like to serve immediately. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool.
Our preferred way of enjoying this is 3/4 tea, and 1/4 lemonade – ‘Palmer style bitches! Regardless of the tea and honey you use, you’re looking at about $1 per pitcher. Compare that to a 12 oz bottle of tea at the store, and you’re saving a bundle. I won’t even compare it to “real” sweet tea in terms of sugar consumption. But, let’s just say this version won’t give you the crazy energy rush that would allow you to tie a rope around your waist and tow your car home.
The best part of this tea is, it is brother-in-law approved. He loved it you guys. Ya’ll? Everybody? Whatever, he drank it and loved. Healthy sweet tea for the win!