Things are heating up as we’re quickly approaching the middle of July. The sun is out, the breeze is warm and you’re looking for a cold, refreshing treat to beat the heat. As tasty as they are, Starbuck’s Frappuccinos, Tim Horton’s Frozen Lemonades and MacDonald’s Iced Frappes are full-on loaded with sugar. I’m not going to sugar-coat it because they already do 😉
If you really want to know what I’m talking about, have a look at this video from the Toronto Star:
I’ve got to give credits to my mom for this recipe. When I was away for the weekend she mixed up a jug of this deliciously simple & sweet iced tea. When I returned home, opened up the fridge (priorities) and discovered it I was delightfully surprised when mom told me she used my stevia in the tea instead of sugar! WIN! Way to go mom. You rock.
In case you don’t already know what stevia is, let me tell you. Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute (sweetener) that is actually extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It is along the lines of around 300 times sweeter than sugar..so you only need a teensy bit! If you’ve read my recipes, you’ll see that they only call for about one-third to one-half of a teaspoon of it. Not only is it calorie-free, carb-free and sugar-free, stevia has a negligible effect on blood sugar. Meaning that it does not get absorbed insanely fast by your body into your bloodstream, which then causes a huge spike in your blood sugar like refined sugar & carbohydrates do. And who wants that? No one – Too much rise in blood sugar too often means your pancreas is secreting insulin too often into your bloodstream in order to bring your blood sugar levels back down to normal, which then can eventually lead to insulin resistance/TYPE 2 DIABETES – we don’t want diabetes. Just a little dietetics lesson for ya on this fine Thursday evening. 🙂
I’m going to tell you a little story about stevia now..but I promise the recipe is in this post somewhere 😉
My grandparents were visiting last weekend, and my Grampie usually takes Sugar Twin (a 0-calorie sugar substitute made with dextrose – aka chemicals) in his coffee/tea and to his misfortune (or was it?) we had run out of the Sugar Twin stash that we keep just for him. I popped up out of my seat, ran to the kitchen and grabbed my little stevia jar. I gave him a brief explanation – like the one above – of stevia and excitedly encouraged him to try it. And guess what? He LIKED it. And so did my Nannie. They also liked the fact that it’s all natural, 0-cal and doesn’t affect your blood sugar. I’m seriously passionate about sharing my knowledge of nutrition so honestly this made my day.
AND THEN (!!), a few days ago at work, I was chatting with a co-worker about my healthy cooking obsession (they all like to tease me about it, I don’t mind) and somehow we arrived upon the topic of stevia. She started to tell me that she drinks two large teas a day, with 3 sugars each. That’s 6 teaspoons – 30 grams of sugar a day just in her tea! Then she asked me to bring in my stevia so she could try it. Once again, I was ecstatic. Day = made once again.
So please guys, if you ever have any questions for me or you need some nutrition suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or e-mail me! If you scroll to the bottom of the page you’ll see the little mail icon, click it and fire one off to me. I absolutely love giving nutrition & diet advice. Why else would I be studying to become a dietitian/have started this blog? 🙂
Alright, let’s get back on track here. The iced tea. I like to enjoy it as a nice little afternoon refresher when it’s super hot out. It’s the perfect, chill out & cool-down treat.
Simple Sweet Iced Tea:
- 4 Black Tea bags of your choice
- 1/4 cup juice of a lemon
- 1/2 cup Stevia In the Raw Baking Blend (if you’re just using the regular stevia extract, you probably only need 1 tsp or so, the baking blend has a filler so it measures cup-for-cup with sugar in recipes and in turn is not quite as sweet)
- Boil about 1 L of water, steep tea bags in the water outside in the sun for about an hour.
- Once steeped, remove tea bags. Add lemon juice and stevia. Stir until all is dissolved.
- Refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge.
I leave you with a photo of Bella on bird patrol. She even cries at the bird feeder sometimes. What an odd duck.
Bye for now,