Delicious Summer Beverages – Hold the Processed Sugar

This website contains carefully researched content meant to guide readers in educated health decisions. Although I am not a physician or research scientist, I am a committed and careful researcher of technical information and share health tips which I have considered and used in my own journey of health as a breast cancer survivor. I am also mindful of citing sources and careful not to plagiarize. If you choose to share the information I have published, please extend the respect of citing this website and my name as the source of the information, or citing the sources I have shared out of respect to your readers who choose to trust you as a source or conduit of information in their own journey of health. - Christy Begien, Non-Toxic Lifestyle (c) 2020 All rights reserved, Denver Colorado.

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Someone recently told me that June is National Fruits and Vegetables month! And with the abundance of these food items in our stores and at our farmers markets, we can create some delicious, thirst quenching summer beverages without the use of sugar.

I’m always on the quest for creative drinks that everyone loves (including me) and that are so much healthier. This week, I’m listing a few of my favorites along with some newly discovered drinks that I’m going to try myself!

Good Old Fashioned Sun Tea

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleTraditionally made with black tea (usually orange pekoe), one can make sun tea using green, white, oolong and even caffeine-free herbal teas. Berry flavors, mint, ginger and rose hip are particularly tasty.

Directions:

  1. Using a large, clean glass jar, add 8-12 cups of pure spring or distilled water.
  2. Add 8 teabags or 6 teaspoons of loose leaf tea (in a tea ball).
  3. Stir well and cover tightly and place in a sunny area for 3-5 hours. Outside is best, especially on a surface that heats up as well.
  4. Check the tea after 3 hours. The longer it sits the stronger it will be (never let it sit for more than 6 hours).
  5. When done, remove tea bags or tea ball and refrigerate.
  6. ENJOY!

Note: If you do add sweetener to your tea, be sure to add it AFTER it’s done to reduce bacterial risk.

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleRed Zinger Herbal Tea

Introduced by Celestial Seasonings in 1972, this is still a year-round favorite, hot or cold. I love it iced! It’s a wonderful blend of hibiscus, orange and lemongrass, caffeine-free and is gluten free. Talk about a refreshing drink with 0 calories, sugars, carbs, sodium and fat per 8 ounce serving. How “cool” is that!

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 tea bags in a heat – resistant container.
  2. Steep 4 -6 minutes and remove tea bags. If desired, add sweetener while tea is hot.
  3. Add two cups cold water and chill.

Cupid’s Black Cherry Berry Cooler

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleAnother Celestial Seasonings drink for those of you who love berry flavors!
It’s 100% natural, caffeine and gluten free containing all natural herbs with no artificial colors or preservative. Flavors include hibiscus, blackberry leaves, chamomile and sweet cherries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-liter bottle organic ginger ale. Look for sugar-free. Zevia is a great brand.
  • 5 bags Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry Herbal Tea

Directions:

  1. Pour 1 cup of ginger ale and set aside for drinking later.
  2. Gently add tea bags one at a time to the bottle.
  3. Replace the cap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. To serve, pour over ice and garnish with citrus wedges. Yummy, healthy and pretty! Again, 0 calories, sodium, fats, sugars and carbs.

Green Tea and Mango Splash

Recipe from Eating Well | www.eatingwell.com

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleThis summer drink feels very “islandy” and mixes two of my favorites, green tea and mangoes. The mango is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene while the green tea is full of antioxidants. Makes three one-cup servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strongly brewed green tea (2 tea bags to 1 cup water)
  • 2 cups organic mango nectar*
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprigs for garnish
  • Mango slivers for garnish

*Mango nectar is a beverage free of carbonation with very few preservatives. Nectar, healthier than most processed juices can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores.

Directions:

  1. Combine tea and mango nectar in a pitcher.
  2. Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs and mango slivers. Healthy, easy AND delicious!

Basil Lemonade

Recipe from Skinny Ms. | www.skinnyms.com

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleWith lemons being high in Vitamin C, this refreshing drink promotes cleansing and alkalinity. Bodies that are more alkaline tend to be less prone to disease.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Stevia*

*Stevia is a plant naturally grown in Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, the extract can taste 250-300 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it’s so sweet, one doesn’t need as much as processed sugar.

Directions:

  1. Slightly crush the basil leaves with mortar and pestle and then place leaves in the bottom of a pitcher.
  2. Combine lemon juice and water and pour over basil leaves.
  3. Add Stevia to taste, chill and serve over ice.

Strawberry Lemonade

Recipe from SkinnyMs. | www.skinnyms.com

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleAnother refreshing drink loaded with healthy Vitamin C!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic fresh strawberries (Remember Strawberries are on the Dirty Dozen list!)
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 5 lemons)
  • ½ cup agave*
  • Chilled distilled water
  • 1 extra lemon, thinly sliced

*Agave is a natural sweetener, produced from the sap of a plant that’s been used for medicinal purposes in Mexico for generations. It’s a terrific processed sugar alternative in that it has a low glycemic index, not serving as a trigger for surges in blood sugar or insulin. These spikes can present problems for diabetics.

Directions:

  1. Slice tops from strawberries and discard.
  2. Add strawberries, agave and lemon juice to a blender and pulse until strawberries are liquid.
  3. Strain juice through a sieve if you prefer a non-pulp mix.
  4. Pour juice into a ½ gallon pitcher and add slices of lemon.
  5. Fill with chilled water but don’t overfill. Add just enough to make ½ gallon.
  6. Pour over ice and garnish sides of glasses with a lemon slice and ½ strawberry.
  7. Add some strawberries to the pitcher for a pretty presentation ☺

Watermelon Breeze

Recipe from SkinnyMs. | www.skinnyms.com

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleThis makes two servings or two cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon, chilled
  • ½ cup organic pomegranate juice, no sugar added
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 mint leaf

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour over ice and garnish with additional mint if desired.

Orange Sports Drink

Recipe from SkinnyMs. | www.skinnyms.com

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic LifestyleThis is a fabulous drink rich in electrolytes for those who work out hard, especially runners. Many sports drinks are full of unnatural ingredients and dyes. This drink is all natural, easy to make, completely replenishes electrolytes, is tasty and is more economical than purchasing at the store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 pint organic orange juice
  • Juice from one lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat ½ cup of water to boiling
  2. Remove from heat, add honey and sea salt and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add remaining water to a pitcher, add the honey water, orange and lemon juices and stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to drink.

And last but not least when I want to feel like I’ve just been to a spa, I fill a pitcher with filtered water and add slices of any of these for refreshing flavors: Cucumbers, Strawberries, Blueberries, Oranges, Lemons or Limes.

Or try these combos:

  • Strawberries and Cucumber
  • Pineapple, Mint, and Ginger
  • Raspberry and Oranges
  • Watermelon and Mint
  • Lime and Mint
  • Oranges, and Blueberries

This summer I’ll mix up some of my favorite drinks, but I’m also going to try as many of the new ones I found while doing this fun research! Let’s all take advantage of the wonderful fruits and vegetables coming into abundance this month and into the summer. We already cook them and juice them so let’s be healthy without using processed sugar and create some refreshing, delicious, pretty pitchers! And send me your favorites! I’d love to share your recipes with our many readers!
Cheers!!

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic Lifestyle

 

 

Sources:
Celestial Seasonings
Eating Well
Healthy Eats
Medical News Today
Organic Authority
SkinnyMs.com
WiseGeek

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