This sweet peach iced tea with blueberries has so much flavor and is a real show-stopper with all of the beautiful colors. It's perfect for a sweet summer treat or a special drink
when company comes over!
Sweet tea is really popular in the South, but we don't usually enjoy sweet tea in a very healthy way. In fact, most sweet tea that you find in restaurants is pretty much identical to soda
in terms of sugar, and sometimes even higher in sugar.
One of my passions is teaching group nutrition classes, and these days I'm fortunate to be able to teach classes on a very regular basis. One of my favorite topics to teach is "re-think
your drink" which looks at common sweetened drinks we consume and how much sugar is in them. I even have examples of several drinks with packets of sugar taped to the bottle to show how
many packets are in a serving of that drink, and I have to say those sugar models really get the point across. In fact, a 32-ounce sweet tea can average around 20-25 packets of sugar
depending on the brand. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 packets (teaspoons) of added sugar each day for women and 9 for men.
Too much added sugar in our diets can cause some serious health issues. First of all, there's weight gain. Sugar like what we find in soda or other sweetened foods and drinks is what we refer to as "empty calories" meaning those calories don't add any nutrition to our body - no fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, or other good things. Instead, the calories are very easily converted to fat without giving our body the nutrition it really needs. With weight gain comes increased risk for developing insulin-resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Sugar is also a contributor to cavities and other dental issues, and it can often replace other healthier foods in our diet. Now I'm not saying that we should never have added sugars in our
eating plans, because I don't believe in cutting out any foods completely. But I do believe we need to drastically cut back on how many sweet foods and drinks we eat and replace those with
fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It's okay to enjoy a sugary food or drink every once in a while, but make it a treat, not an everyday thing.
This recipe is a great alternative for those who love sweet tea but are trying to cut back on their sugar intake. I've added a little honey to the recipe for those who still enjoy some added sweetness, but if you don't normally drink sodas or other sweetened beverages, leave out the honey and enjoy the sweetness that comes from adding fruit to the tea.
I used a peach-herb tea, but any peach flavored tea will work perfectly in this recipe. You can even use other flavored teas that you already have on hand, or swap out the peaches and
blueberries for your favorite frozen fruit - there are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful tea!
Sweet Peach Iced Tea with Blueberries
Makes 4 -6servings
- 6 cups water
6 peach-flavored tea bags
1/4 cup honey (optional)
2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1 cup frozen blueberries
fresh mint for garnish (optional)
- Bring water to a simmer in a pot or large tea kettle. Add the honey and stir until it dissolves into the water. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let the tea steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Let the tea cool completely and refrigerate until ready serve.
- To serve, fill serving glasses about 2/3 full. Drop in a few ice cubes and the frozen peach slices and blueberries. Garnish with mint if
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