It wasn’t until the Snapple phenomenon hit when I was in high school that I actually started to appreciate iced tea. Before that, iced tea was something that the adults drank while sitting on the patio, nibbling on their egg salad sandwiches and shooting the breeze about current affairs or the upcoming hockey season (hey, this is Canada we’re talking about!)
Now you can by iced tea in every imaginable flavor…peach, raspberry, mango and so on. The problem is that most store-bought varieties are loaded with sugar. Or even worse, loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Of course, there are now brands coming on the market that use more natural sweeteners and contain all organic ingredients. But why not try your hand at your own concoction?
With fresh berries, peaches and cherries filling the farm stands throughout the summertime, it’s easy to make your own iced tea, with just the right amount of sweetness to suit your tastebuds. I used maple syrup to sweeten this blackberry version, but honey or agave nectar would be good substitutes.
And don’t let the “blackberry” in the title limit you. Use whatever berries or stone fruits that are available and strike your fancy. For fruits such as peaches or nectarines, be sure to remove the skin (and the pit!) before pureeing the fruit (see my post on How to: Peel a Peach).
As for the tea, you could use black tea (I used my favorite Earl Grey tea bag), green tea, white tea or herbal tea, depending on the flavor and level of caffeine you prefer.
Other recipes with summertime fruit:
Blackberry Maple Iced Tea Recipe
Brewing your own iced tea is easier than you could imagine. Use summertime fruit, such as blackberries, to make a low sugar, healthier version.
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Puree the blackberries in a food processor or blender.
- Pour the blackberries mixture through a strainer into a large pitcher. Add the tea and maple syrup to the blackberry mixture, and stir to combine. Taste and add more maple syrup, if desired.
- Refrigerate until cold, 1 to 2 hours.
- Serve the iced tea over ice. Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint.
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