Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Beverages    

This is a delicious and refreshing homemade iced tea.

Citrus iced tea in a glass with ice
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 10 minutes      Cook time: 5 minutes      Makes: 2 servings      Difficulty: Easy

This recipe is additive free and gluten free. For those new to stevia, citrus fruits are a good mask to the slightly different flavor of stevia. Since stevia is not actually a sugar, it registers a bit different on the tongue. This is such a great sugar replacement, that it really will be worth the effort to get used to it.

Gluten free Dairy free Egg free Vegan Option
Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

You want to buy 100% certified organic teas and dried herbs, labeled gluten free, with no additional additives.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. You should avoid any teas and herbs that have added ingredients, such as flavorings.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

As a general rule, teas and herbs should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

Check out this article about what the term Organic means:

You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:

Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Oranges are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 27th out of 48 for contamination. They should be purchased as organic.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

You want to buy organic stevia. It comes in a variety of suitable forms, and a variety of non suitable forms.

This is a plant that has a natural sweetness about 100 to 300 times as sweet as sugar. The chemical make up of this plant is actually different, so the sweetness does not actually come from a sugar type of molecule, thus it has none of the effects of sugar, such as being a load on the insulin system in your body.

Fresh leaf - The best form to use would be to use the fresh leaf, and chop it very fine, and add to your dishes. Since it's green, it can take a bit getting used to. A trick I used when I first started using fresh stevia was to just think of it like mint.

Dried leaf - You can also buy it as a dried herb. This also can be used chopped fine and added to food. You can place it in the liquid part of your dish for a couple hours, and the sweetness will enter into the dish.

You can also brew it like coffee, and make "sweet" water, that you can then add to dishes.

Concentrated liquid or powder - NO FILLERS - You can also buy it as an extremely concentrated pure liquid or superfine powder. You need to be VERY careful when you buy this, as you want pure liquid or powder extract. You DO NOT want to buy the new versions that have recently hit the market that are loaded with all kinds of fillers, additives and sugars.

Since stevia in it's natural form takes up a ton less space than sugar, you will need to adjust how you cook. The "cup for cup" new products out there are a toxic mess. Don't buy those, as most of the fillers and additives will cause varying degrees of stomach upset. And the ones with sugar as fillers are just plain stupid. The point of using stevia is to stop using sugar.

Give yourself at least a couple weeks to get used to it if you don't like the taste. For those who are new to stevia, lemon (and other citrus fruits) are a good mask to the slightly different flavor of stevia. This is such a great sugar replacement, that it really will be worth the effort to get used to it.

To get your family and kids used to it, if they whine about it, then mix it 25% of the recommended amount of stevia, with 75% of the amount you would normally use of sugar or honey, and then transition over a couple weeks to fully using stevia. They also will get used to the taste. 1/32 of a teaspoon of powdered stevia (no fillers!) is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey.

Check out this list of articles about stevia:

You want to find raw, unfiltered honey. It has many nutritional benefits over pasteurized and filtered honey.

The best place to buy it is directly from the bee farmers, either at their farm or at a farmer’s market. Sometimes smaller health food stores may carry it. There's limited regulations on the word raw, so often store bought raw honey won't actually be raw. You can hunt for a farmer who is located next to organic land or wild land, and it will be the least contaminated.

Raw unfiltered honey will not be crystal clear. It should be crystal like, and have small or tiny "floaties." These floaties are bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and even broken bee wing fragments. Some farmers will have some light filtering, which will be simply a course sieve. This will remove the wings, but leave in the smaller bits of pollen and propolis.

Over time, raw honey will solidify. You don't want it filtered, or heated, or treated, which completely removes any benefits of honey.

For additional reading on raw and unfiltered honey, check out these 3 articles:

Ingredients:
2 cups Boiling water
3 to 4 Black tea bags; or any hot tea of your choice
6 Cinnamon sticks
2 Oranges, juice of
1 cup Ice, for serving
 
Optional Ingredients:
A tiny bit Stevia - you really just need a few grains of the powder, since it's so sweet - (* see Shopping Tips section above to find out the right form to use)
OR    
1/2 tablespoon Honey, raw and unfiltered
Directions:
  • Add the stevia or honey (if using) to the hot water. Add tea bags and cinnamon sticks.
  • Allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Once cooled, add fresh orange juice. Divide between glasses and top with cool water to taste, and serve with ice.

Delicious! Enjoy!

FREE Guide to get you started
10 Steps to Healthy Gluten Free Eating
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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.