The Country Cook: Strawberry Sweet Tea
                                                   

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Strawberry Sweet Tea

Not all recipes that are in my head turn out like I hope. Sometimes I'll be mosey-ing (is that a real word, I'm not sure. But you get my drift) around the grocery store and I'll get this ding of inspiration. The light bulb pops up over my head and I get super excited. Usually it's when I see a certain ingredient or product. So I'll rush around the grocery store like a mad woman picking up the other things I need so I can get home and work on what I think will be AMAZING.  
And so I get home and start working on this fabulous recipe that is in my head. Only, it doesn't turn out quite so fabulous. Sometimes the ingredients just don't go together or the flavor is off or I need to go totally back to the drawing board. It happens and that is the fun and challenge of creating a recipe sometimes. But this recipe I am sharing today is one of the successes, y'all. Big, sweet, yummy success!
This time my inspiration was strawberries. Strawberries are really starting to come into season in my area. They are beautifully ripe and gorgeous. My other inspiration was Equal® sweetener. Many of you are familiar with this zero calorie sweetener. I get asked, pretty frequently, by readers for more recipes using this sugar substitute. So I really wanted to create a recipe just for you! There are many reasons why folks love it:
  • Equal® is a great-tasting, sugar alternative that adds just the right amount of sweetness and flavor, and can be used as a part of your daily ritual in coffee or tea
  • Equal® also adds great sweetness to any cold beverage such as iced tea and lemonade and it will dissolve! You can sprinkle it on cereal and fruit, and use it in many baking and cooking recipes. 
  • Equal® 0-calorie Sweetener is a great option for people, especially those living with diabetes, who want to replace or reduce sugar intake and keep their blood glucose levels in check.
  • Equal® products are available at most grocery, club and drug stores. Also look for Equal® in the sweetener caddy at coffee shops and restaurants. It's the blue packet!
Be sure to scroll down and check out the #EmbraceYourTaste giveaway below!
Whatever your reason, you are going to love this drink recipe! It is summer in a glass. I took my favorite tea and added some delicious, fresh strawberries to the mix. And lightly sweetened it with a few packets of Equal®. Promise me you'll make this soon!
Ingredients:
4 cups water
4 tea bags (regular size, not family size)
1 pint strawberries, divided use
8 packets Equal® 0-calorie sweetener (to taste)
2 tsp. strawberry extract (optional)
ice (or frozen strawberries), see notes below

Directions:
Bring 4 cups of water to a simmer. You don't need it to come to a full boil. Just as you start to see bubbles form at the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat. 
Then add the 4 tea bags to the pot and let it steep (again, make sure the heat is off.)
While your tea is steeping, time to work on the strawberries! Set aside 5 strawberries (to use as a garnish for your drinks.)
Take the rest of the strawberries and remove the stems (discard those) and slice the strawberries in half. Ahhhh...I just love to look at strawberries. They're so pretty, right?!
 Pop the strawberries into a blender or food processor.
 And blend until liquified. 
Now, back to the tea. Once your tea has finished steeping, pour it into a large pitcher. Then pour the contents of the packets of Equal® 0-calorie sweetener into the brewed tea. 
Give it all a stir to dissolve. At this point I want you to taste it. Is it sweet enough for you? If not, continue to add one packet at a time to get to your desired level of sweetness. 
Next, take the strawberries you blended earlier and strain them over the sweetened tea. This will help with removing all those strawberry seeds that didn't get blended up. 
Quick note: If you want, you can add all of the strawberry pulp (unstrained) into the tea. Give it all a good stir, then strain the entire tea mixture. Whichever is easiest for you and whatever you have the patience for.  The thinner liquid will be a bit easier to strain.
This next part is totally optional. But if you really want a kick-in-the-pants strawberry flavor then I would definitely add strawberry extract. Cause ya know, sometimes strawberries (especially if they aren't in peak season) are not that strawberry tasting. If you know what I mean. This really helps to bring out that strawberry flavor. After you add this in - give your strawberry tea one last taste to make sure it is sweet enough and you have enough strawberry flavor. This is the time to add more if necessary. 
Finally, add ice cubes OR frozen strawberries to the tea. Another note: Ice cubes can water down the drink as it cools. Instead, try using frozen strawberries. This will keep the drink cool, look really pretty and it won't water down the drink! Before pouring the drinks, you can always throw a few ice cubes into the glasses. 
Tastes like summer!
Cook's Note: Like lemon in your tea? Try adding a 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice to this for hat extra little zing! Makes 5 servings. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



This post is sponsored by Equal®. As always, all opinions are my own. 

32 comments :

  1. Love sweet tea, very sweet sweet tea.

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  2. I love tea, both cold and hot. But nothing is more refreshing than a cup of cold fresh iced tea on a hot summer day. Can't wait to try this recipe.

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  3. I usually just drink unsweetened tea but this strawberry sweet tea looks and sounds awesome!



    Thanks so much for an awesome giveaway!!

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  4. This looks delish!

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  5. I love iced tea and drink it year round.
    One of my favorite memories is from when my husband and I were first dating - we had a restaurant that we went to for lunch and would order strawberry tea - it was delicious! Thanks for the recipes and the great site.

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  6. My favorite summer drink is Sweet Tea!

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  7. Can't wait to get to the store to get ingredients. I don't have the strawberries and they have some beautiful ones right now. Going to get ingredients for the other teas too. Thank you so much for these recipes and the contest! Especially the tea recipes!

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  8. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thank you for the recipe. Sweet tea is very refreshing after a long work day

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  9. drink mostly lots of water but on ocassion I do make fresh lemonade or sun tea
    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity

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  10. Strawberry lemonade is my fave!

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  11. I usually make lemonade but this strawberry tea looks good!

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  12. Sweet Tea is a must daily no matter the weather but lemonade is also a fav during the summer. My mouth is watering to taste some of this deliciousness!

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  13. Sweet Tea is pretty much the drink we have everyday at our home. Love any kind of sweet tea.

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  14. Sounds yummy! Will have to try soon...

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  15. Fresh lemonade is my favorite to make in the summer. Can't be beat.

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  16. Love strawberries and sweet tea. Definitely making this recipe!

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  17. Can`t wait to try this.

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  18. I love sweet iced tea, We always had it ready any time of the day and always with dinner. It was just unheard of not to. In the south of course where I was born and raised. I love the idea of strawberry sweet tea. I'm going to try this tomorrow.

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  19. Any kind of frozen fruit that I can turn into a slushy

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  20. Ilove flavored teas... will try the Strawberry sweet tea soon...

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  21. My absolute favorite summer time drink, actually, year round drink, is sweet tea. I grew up on it and drink it every day :)

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  22. I love lemon tea in the summer.. In face some times I feel like I can drink it all day long!

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  23. Oh, this sounds so good and refreshing!
    Marilyn

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  24. I love to drink lemonade during the summer, but will definitely try this strawberry tea. Sounds really good.

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  25. I like sun tea in the summer

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  26. I like to mix tea and lemonade in the summer! Your strawberry sweet tea recipe needs to be given a try at my house.

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  27. Love sweet tea. this looks awesome!!

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  28. I can't wait to try this!!! Strawberries on 903, our local berry farm has them ready to pick. Yay!!!! Thanx for all the recipes.

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