Beverages can be a very big source of unhealthy carbohydrates. Sodas and sports drinks are often loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup which fuel the high blood sugar and insulin level that lead to weight gain. Even fruit juice is not a healthy alternative since fructose triggers high triglyceride levels and contributes to heart disease.
To avoid these problems, people often switch to sugar-free sodas. While that takes care of the sugar and fructose issue, now you are dealing with artificial sweeteners which may or may not eventually turn you in to a newt. If you are used to drinking sweetened beverages, usually plain iced tea just doesn't cut it and water is too boring.
Fortunately there is a readily available spice and a simple flower that can provide you with a refreshing beverage with out making your heart erode or boring you to tears. A quick trip to a heath food store, Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, or even a neighborhood grocery store is all it takes.
- 6 3" cinnamon stick pieces
- 4 whole dried hibiscus flowers
- Bring 1 quart of water to a boil
- Pour the boiling water over the cinnamon and hibiscus in a heat safe pitcher or large jar
- Steep the cinnamon and hibiscus flowers until the water cools
- Place the tea mix in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or even overnight
- Once it has chilled, strain the cinnamon and hibiscus out and add 1 qts of cold water
- Taste your tea mix at this point. You may want to add an additional quart of cold water if the mix tastes strong to you
- Pour in to a glass filled with ice and enjoy
NOTE: If you are a drinker of Celestial Seasonings brand tea, you are already familiar with the taste of hibiscus flowers since this is the base for many of their herbal tea flavors.