Green Tea Lemonade

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on August 23, 2011

You could say that I’ve become a bit obsessed with green tea lately.

You can find me using it as a replacement for the milk or juice in smoothies, combining it with almond milk for cereal [don’t knock it till you try it], or enjoying a green tea lemonade as a mid-morning treat. Because there’s caffeine in green tea; albeit not as much as in a cup of coffee, I try to limit it to 1 cup per day, 5 days a week.

Green tea and I have always had a Ross and Rachel relationship – on again, off again, love, hate… you know. Gosh, I miss that show.

As with a lot of foods, I get bored, I move on, and then come back to it when I remember why I loved it in the first place. In the case of green tea, it’s been absolutely pivotal in helping me break my habit of snacking when I’m not hungry.

You see, thirst; for some people, masks itself by displaying the same signs as hunger. Of course our first reaction to hunger pain is to eat, but sometimes hunger is not the case! 9 times out of 10 it’s because we’re thirsty.

My general rule of thumb is that if I’ve eaten in the past 1-2 hours and I get hunger pains, it’s probably because I’m thirsty. I can’t express how amazingly helpful this has been in healing my digestion. Before coming to the conclusion that my portion sizes were causing me digestive grief I would be finishing off the contents of my lunch kit – breakfast, morning and afternoon snacks, and lunch – all before 11am. It wasn’t that I was eating more in a day, I was just eating it all at once because I was dehydrated.

When our portions are too large; like when we have snack + lunch within an hour of each other, we have too much food in our system which makes it nearly impossible for our bodies to digest the foods properly. With too much food at once and not enough enzymes to go around, I would often get gas pains and a swollen belly every afternoon.

Dealing with swollen belly at the office is anything but pleasant. After recognizing what the issue was, I was quick to come up with a water schedule and prepare a couple of treat-like drinks to help me transition to eating in 2-3 hour increments instead of jamming a days’ worth of food into a couple of hours. It’s not about eating more or less it’s about structuring the foods that you eat in a way that’s going to benefit your digestion. Of course if I drink my water and I’m still getting hunger pains, I grab a snack.

One of my favorite treat-like drinks has to be this green tea lemonade. I like to drink it in between my morning snack and lunch. It hits the spot with it’s sweetness and hydrates me at the same time. Win-win in my book!

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Green Tea Lemonade

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

A delicious and refreshing way to meet your daily water intake requirements and load up on age defying antioxidants. Keep in the fridge for up to a week for quick hydration.

Yield: 10 cups [5 servings]

Ingredients

  • 4 bags organic green tea
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp concentrated stevia powder *see note
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Place water in a large saucepan, cover, and heat on high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and drop in teabags. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags and stir in honey, mixing until dissolved. Allow pot to sit for a couple of hours to cool before pouring into a large glass jug, mixing in lemon juice, and storing in the fridge until use.

Try using [naturally] flavored green tea like jasmine, apricot, or mango for flavor variation

note: Adjust stevia amount to taste as several brands seem to have a different sweetness strength. Don’t like stevia? Try 1/2 cup honey or palm sugar.

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Also, it should be mentioned, that contrary to belief, studies* are now showing that drinking tea doesn’t dehydrate us as originally predicted. In fact, because of the antioxidants contained in green tea it can be a better solution than water… within moderation. I’ll stick to my 7 cups of water, but I’ll take in that last 1 cup of fluids by enjoying a tall glass of this stuff!

*Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006

What’s your favorite treat-like drink?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

Green tea AND lemonade, all rolled into one…. I dig it!

And proper hydration is sooo key, on so many levels for our bodies. Love everything you mentioned and i agree!

As an aside, the ads on your blog..I swore you were with FBuzz. Did you take them down and go private advertising? (clearly you have ads up that arent FB so just wondering :))

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alyssa - fashion fitness foodie

this looks so refreshing! I have been on a green tea pomegranate kick!

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over

I love black tea! I have 3 or 4 cups a tea with milk a day – I’m Irish ;)

I’ve never really warmed to green tea. If I’m not going to have black tea, I’ll have peppermint, chamomile or ginger.

I do worry about not getting those super-duper green tea antioxidants so I love the idea of having it in a lemonade!

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Holly @ The Runny Egg

I love your example of eating your entire lunchbox before 11am — I find myself doing that now and then and I could never figure out why!

I love the idea of green tea + lemonade — it sounds very refreshing!

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Lindsay@GetHealthyWithL

I love this recipe and the use of natural sweeteners instead of sugar! Wonderful!

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Lisa @ Healthful Sense

You said it!! Swollen/bloated bellies are the worst! It’s amazing how you can feel so hungry when all your body really needs hydration :)

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Kelley

hi leanne! this looks super yummy, but I was wondering what other kinds of treat-like drinks you drink? thanks :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Kevin makes a really yummy apple lemon drink (recipe in this post: http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/08/15-minute-salmon-cakes-with-fresh-tartar-sauce/)
And we love making herbal tea iced slush drinks using this recipe: http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/06/healthier-and-cheaper-iced-cappuccino/ and just replacing the coffee with black tea.

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Stephanie

I love green tea lemonade! My favourite is chilled green tea, lemon juice and a generous helping of frozen berries to act as ice cubes. So refreshing and delicious!

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Kate

Yum I love sweet tea and lemonade but I think this might be even better!! Maybe with some fresh mint.

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Ayla

I’m not a tea person mainly because I find it hard enough to get the 8 cups of water in nevermind drinking other fluids but this green tea lemonade is calling my name. It’s healthy and can replace a cup of water? Sounds good to me! When I DO drink fluids other than water, I love homemade juices or.. a latte from Starbucks. I use to be strictly no-coffee but my sister has unfortunately converted me.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

I absolutely HAVE to schedule my meals so I don’t eat everything super early. I find that I drink TOO MUCH water, so I’m trying to limit it, but I could still replace some of it with this :)

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Betsy

Great post! I too find myself wanting to snack when I’m not hungry. I try to just drink tons of water but it can get boring. I’m going to try this for sure!

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Sky

I usually find green tea a bit bitter but this sounds pretty good. I’m going to give it a try.

Recently, I have been totally hooked on this vanilla rooibos tea which I make into ice tea with a bit of stevia. It is soooo yummy and sooo refreshing.

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Clarkie @ Beloved Green

We were totally on the same lemonade kick today – except yours is much healthier then mine.

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Cassie @ Bake Your Day

I love this idea, thanks for all of that great info too! The green tea lemonade is something that I will enjoy!

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

Leanne–That was a FANTASTIC post. So insightful and FULL of information. I am e-mailing and tweeting it so others can read it.

I have green tea at home and cannot wait to give this a whirl.

I didn’t realize that the position of tea dehydrating you had been reversed…YEAH though because I love tea.

Thanks for this information.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I was pretty happy to read that study too, not going to lie. Glad you found a bunch of details you could apply to your day-to-day!

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Mike @ How To Make A Smoothie At Home

I love finding new green tea recipes. I can’t wait to try it.

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Maria@healthydiaries.com

That tea looks so refreshing. I just need to get myself some Stevia powder, and I’m all set to make it! Might I mention, that was a great post full of useful information. I’m glad I found your blog on tastespotting :-)

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Refreshing and delicious! Great drink!

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Kristin

Is Truvia the same as Stevia??? Can it be used in this recipe with the same measurement??
Thankyou

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Lisa

Oh heavens, this is delicious! I made it with limes as that’s what I had a bunch of, and it’s crazy good! Thanks for such an easy and delightful recipe!

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Lydia

Hi! I only have liquid stevia- how much would I use instead of the powder??? Is it a 1:1 ratio? Thanks!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Lydia – I bet you could do 1:1 ratio :)

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