Iced Citrus Green Tea (under 3 calories per serving!)

I cannot believe it took me this long to try green tea! I guess I always assumed it would taste "green", you know, like grass or something.  I had my first iced green tea at Pei Wei, it was a mandarin orange flavor. Turns out, green tea tastes nothing like grass.  It was so tasty and refreshing! Since our family has made a commitment to eating healthier and natural foods, I have had a hard time finding things that I really love to drink.  I was a diet soda addict, but now you couldn't get me to touch the stuff. Besides, even if you do love sodas, they are so freaking expensive!

I was really excited when I found green tea bags at the grocery store because I wanted to recreate this green tea drink at home using my favorite zero calorie sweetener, Truvia.  It is made from the leaf of the stevia plant, is natural, and really tastes delicious. You can find this product under other brand names too. I like this brand because they have the spoonable jar.  Tearing all of those little packets open is annoying and really just a lot of unneeded waste. I even save the Truvia containers because I know I will find a way to repurpose them, and you will probably read about it on here so stay tuned! Anyway, to find a stevia type sweetener,  just look in the same area of the store as the sugar and you will find it.

Iced Citrus Green Tea
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yield: 2 quarts

2 quarts of water
2 family size green tea bags
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Truvia (or any other stevia sweetener)

Fill a 2 quart pitcher with water.  Pour some of the water into a small saucepan (about 1 1/2 cups). Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat.  Add the tea bags to the hot water and let them steep for 3 or 3 1/2 minutes.  Do not leave them in the water longer or it will result in a bitter tasting tea.  While the tea is steeping, squeeze the orange juice.  Measure out 1 1/2 tbsps of orange juice and pour into pitcher of water, using a small mesh strainer to catch the pulp. I usually cut a small end off of the orange for juicing and I slice up the rest to store in the fridge so that each glass can have a fresh piece.

Tips for better tea:

Do not steep the tea for more than 3 1/2 minutes.  Longer steeping times will make the tea taste bitter.
Use a small mesh strainer for the orange juice unless you like pulp floating around in your glass.
Keep orange slices in the fridge to use as a garnish or for an extra citrus burst, give the slice a squeeze before dropping it into the glass.  Yum!

This citrus green tea is so tasty, basically calorie free (the oj adds less than 3 calories per glass) and much cheaper than buying all those sodas!  Besides being yummy and budget friendly, green tea is also a potent antioxidant and believed to have many positive health effects.  You can find out more about green tea by visiting Wikipedia.

I am looking forward to finding some great hot teas to sip as fall starts to show itself soon. Do you have a favorite hot or cold tea to drink? Leave a comment and let me know!

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