Food

This Cooling Summer Drink Is Loaded With Antioxidants

BY Andrea Hayley-Sankaran TIMEAugust 1, 2022 PRINT

I don’t know about you, but the moment the sun comes out, I crave a refreshing drink to cool off.

A well designed summer drink can do wonders for the mind and body, imparting calm, cool, and homeostasis everywhere.

Antioxidant blueberry tea
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

By “well designed,” I mean a drink that is packed with cooling energies and the power to combat inflammation, irritation, and burning, the bodily symptoms associated with overheating.

This type of refreshing summer drink is a little hard to find amid the copious amounts of sugary, unbalanced drinks on the market.

I think this is why it is so rewarding to make your own. It is so nice to have a pitcher in the fridge for whenever you need some cooling energy.

Today I have an Antioxidant Blueberry-Lemon Green Tea that is guaranteed to cool you down and satisfy your cravings.

Antioxidant blueberry tea
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

At the same time, this iced green tea will take care of unwanted inflammation. You’ll feel refreshed on the spot, so that you can get back to enjoying your life.

Today’s tasty summer drink is jam-packed with cooling ingredients and beneficial qualities that actually counteract the heat.

The effect of drinking something like this is different from drinking water, or ice water (the obvious choice). Water hydrates, yet it contains zero cooling qualities to speak of.

In fact, drinking ice water (as so many of us do when we feel hot) actually causes the body to heat up, since it has to produce energy to raise the temperature of the liquid back up to body temperature.

So you can do your body a favor by drinking water at room temperature, and by minimizing your use of ice.

However, the best choice is a summer drink that’s actually designed to cool you down.

A Summer Drink Loaded With Antioxidants

Every major ingredient in this blueberry-lemon iced tea is filled with antioxidants that fight summer inflammation.

It’s a triple threat of green tea, whole blueberries, and fresh lemons.

Green tea is 30 percent polyphenols by weight—a literal powerhouse—and blueberries are known as the king of antioxidant foods.

Blueberries are also packed with vitamins C and K, Manganese, and fiber.

And with lemons you get Vitamin C, more polyphenol antioxidants, digestive support, and fresher breath.

Antioxidant blueberry tea
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

Antioxidants are highly desirable because they reduce free radical damage from toxins, as well as inflammation in the body that—if unchecked—can sometimes lead to diseases like cancer.

Earlier I said that the danger of inflammation is high in the summer because it’s the body’s natural response to heat.

It is actually a healthy strategy to avoid overexerting yourself in the sun, and to keep yourself cool.

How To Make Blueberry-Lemon Iced Green Tea

This recipe calls for a bag of frozen blueberries that you simmer with raw organic sugar, a bit of water, and a touch of lemon.

cooking blueberries
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

You could use store-bought blueberry juice, but it wouldn’t be as healthy, because you’d miss out on the fiber and complete nutrition of the whole berries.

The organic raw sugar in this recipe sweetens at just the right level, provides an energy boost, and adds pleasure to your drink.

It is important to use raw sugar (the brown type), because it contains vitamins and minerals that make it a more complete food.

The right kind of sugar in moderation can be incredibly healing to the mind, especially in the summer, since it has the effect of satisfying and calming the mind. For the body, sugar imparts energy, vitality, and strength.

strained blueberries
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

I used a hand blender to pulse up the blueberries to help release their juices and then strained the berries through a coarse strainer, so some of the blueberry fiber stayed in the liquid.

Next you add the fresh lemon juice, which is again squeezed from whole fruit.

Finally, there’s the tea.

Green Tea Is The Preferred Choice

I recommend a strong gunpowder green tea, which has a rich and complex flavor from all the polyphenols.

However, any regular green tea or oolong teas would also be nice here.

You could also experiment with black teas if you prefer.

Green tea contains trace minerals, and a mild, yet stimulating amount of caffeine. It is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up after gardening or walking.

Further, green tea has anti-anxiety effects, and it can improve your oral health by reducing bacteria.

tea and strained blueberries
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

Imagine! All of these benefits in one drink.

And did I mention that it tastes A-MAZE-ING?

Make a batch and it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks—if it lasts that long. The lemon, with its antibacterial properties, will keep it nice and fresh.

A Few More Summer Drink Ideas For You

When I was young, my mom would make a special treat for me whenever we had guests.

The recipe is part 7-Up or Sprite, part orange juice, and part cranberry juice. It was yummy! Thanks mom!

Today I still make this drink, and I am always surprised that nobody else seems to know about it.

Although most people know about fruit punch, and it is very similar to a punch.

I have also enjoyed a variation of this drink with some form of sparkling water and a splash of exotic juice, such as guava or pear, added for flavor.

Turmeric Elixir ‘Cure-All’
Turmeric Elixir ‘Cure-All’ (Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

Last year I created another amazing antioxidant drink that I call Turmeric Elixir Cure-All.

Turmeric Elixir changed the game for me when it came to the concept of homemade summer drinks.

Turmeric elixir is one of the most refreshing and satisfying drinks I can have on any day. I highly recommend this recipe to you as well.

In addition to being super refreshing, turmeric elixir calms inflammation and actually makes your insides feel good.

I now keep a batch of concentrated elixir stocked in the fridge year-round.

After the elixir, I resolved to create some new refreshing summer drinks for 2019 and share the recipes with you.

This recipe for Antioxidant Blueberry-Lemon Green Tea is the first of the 2019 batch.

I hope you enjoy it!

Antioxidant blueberry tea
(Courtesy of ButteredVeg.com)

Recipe for Antioxidant Blueberry-Lemon Green Tea

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 150KCAL

This Antioxidant Blueberry-Lemon Green Tea summer drink is guaranteed to cool you down, fight inflammation and satisfy your craving.

Ingredients

16 ounces frozen blueberries
a bag of frozen blueberries, or 2 cups blueberry juice
1 cup water
¾ cup organic raw sugar
½ cup lemon juice
freshly squeezed, about 4 lemons
6 cups strong tea, green or black

Instructions 

Make the blueberry-sugar juice
Combine blueberries, water, raw sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the fresh lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Crush blueberries with a potato masher or an immersion blender to release their juices. Strain through a sieve. Reserve the juice and discard the pulp. Allow to cool.

Make the lemon tea
Add 6 cups boiling water to 6 teabags or 6 teaspoons of loose tea leaves. For green tea, allow the water to cool first to 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit and steep for 3 minutes. For black tea, use boiling water and steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves and allow tea to cool. Combine blueberry-sugar juice, tea, and the remaining lemon juice in a large jar, bowl, or pitcher. Add ice or cool in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Nutrition 
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 15.2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg

This article was originally published on ButteredVeg.com.

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Andrea Hayley-Sankaran is the founder of Buttered Veg, the vegetarian food blog for conscious eaters. Andrea is a vegetarian chef (now a home cook) informed by over two decades of practice and experimentation with the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Andrea's study of traditional wisdom deepened her understanding of how to create incredibly flavorful vegetarian food that makes you feel good, inside and out. butteredveg.com
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