Green tea lemonade is so delicious and refreshing, especially in the summer months. But how much are you spending at Starbucks every week to get those antioxidants? Do you know you can make a much healthier and cheaper version at home with just some green tea and lemons?
What exactly do they put in those Starbucks green tea drinks? It might not be as healthy as you think.
The main culprit is the lemonade and the classic syrup. The Premium Lemonade mix includes water, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon oil. The classic syrup ingredients are sugar, water, citric acid (E330), and potassium sorbate (E202) used as a preservative.
Starbucks uses about 3 pumps or 3 tablespoons of classic syrup for a tall (12 oz) drink making the Shaken Iced Green Tea Lemonade 100 calories, almost as many calories as a Coca-Cola!
I recommend ordering the unsweentened version. It still contains sugar from the lemonade, but it is much lower in calories at only 35 calories.
Starbucks uses Tazo Zen Full Leaf Tea . It is a blend of tea with green tea from China, lemongrass, and spearmint. It has more of a minty flavor rather than a green tea taste – perfect if you don’t like the taste of green tea!
Some recipes suggest making a large batch of green tea and storing it in the refrigerator, but this is not the best idea. Green tea catechins degrade over time. To get the most antioxidants, just brew enough for the day and make a new batch the next day.
Pre-made lemonades from the store usually contain a lot of sugar, are from concentrate, or include natural flavors. The ingredient list of natural flavors is a mystery. It is made in a lab and is anything but natural.
Fresh lemons are a much healthier substitute. Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. A 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice contains 23.61 mg of vitamin C, or about 30% of your daily value (DV based on a 2,000 calorie diet).
If you like it sweet, try using honey. Honey is a natural sugar containing vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and it has a healthy Glycemic Index (GI). Honey tends to be sweeter than sugar, so add it gradually until you find out how much you like.
Green tea (loose leaf or tea bags)
1 or 2 lemons (or 1/3 cup lemonade)
1 cup water
1/3 cup ice
Optional: 1 teaspoon sweetener (honey, sugar, etc.)
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