Friday, April 23, 2010

Coke Addict (Iced Green Tea)

I am by no means a heath nut. Never have been, and most likely never will be. I do, however, object to eating highly processed foods. Luckily, I've got the time and inclination to cook from scratch. The one notable exception to this "no highly processed food" rule that is a daily struggle for me is Coca-Cola. I love it. I REALLY love it. Put a cold six pack in front of me and I can't chug down a couple mindlessly. And easily finish the rest of the 6 throughout the course of the day.

About a year ago, I made the switch over to Mexican Coke, which is made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Mex Coke comes in a real glass bottle, in a smaller serving than it's American bottled counterpart, and is more expensive than regular Coke. It's so delicious. There's something special about it that makes me want to savor every sip. I've been able to cut back to about one Coke a day since the switch to Mex. I've also become a snob. I'm no longer interested in drinking the overly fake sweet tasting regular Coca-Cola anymore.

So The Captain and I go on a couple of trips - right in a row. I don't have access to Mexican Coke in either location, so I just don't drink any soda at all. Which is completely crazy for me. My soda is the first thing I drink the the morning. No coffee for me. Soda is my caffeine delivery system.

Anyhoo, one of the cities that we travelled to was Charleston, South Carolina. While there, we visited the only domestic tea plantation. Now, The Captain and I aren't tea drinkers, but since I was visiting the ONLY place in the US that actually grows tea, I figured I would pick up a souvenir box of green tea.

When I got home, I realized that it had been a couple of weeks since I had consumed a Coke. I decided to see how long I could go without drinking one. I would need another source of caffeine. A freshly unpacked box souvenir box of green tea was starting at me from the counter top. Hello, green tea. Nice to meet you.

Iced Green Tea
6 cups of water
3 bags of caffeinated green tea
1 inch knob of ginger
1 citrus fruit (lime, lemon, or orange)

I have to make this in batches because we don't own a tea pot. I peel the knob of ginger and slice it. Add it to the water and bring it just barely to a boil. Add the tea bags and let steep for about 6 minutes.

In the meantime, add some ice to a pitcher. Slice citrus and add. After the tea has steeped, add honey to taste. (I only add a little, I don't want it super sweet.) Pour tea into pitcher.

Serve over ice.

Now, in addition to replacing some absolutely empty calories, there are health benefits associated with ginger tea and green tea. Ginger tea (which is just ginger steeped in water) aids in digestion and has been traditionally used to ward off colds and flu. And green tea studies show that it has the potential to fight cancer and heart disease. I don't know about all that, but I do know it has the ability to fight addiction.

Hey, speaking of ginger...

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