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Stevia Ginger Ale & Citrus/Mint Iced tea
by Christine Sine
This year I have two stevia plants thriving in my backyard and enjoy getting our visitors to sample the incredibly sweet leaves. So now I find myself needing to experiment with using it as a sweetener. I harvest the leaves when the branches look as though they are about to flower and dry them in the microwave ? it only takes a minute or two. I usually start with 30 seconds then continue in 10 second increments until the leaves are just dry. When they cool down they will be totally dry.
I make a Ginger Stevia syrup that I then add to different summer beverages including the Citrus/Mint Iced tea below. This recipe first appeared on my blog called Godspace
GINGER STEVIA SYRUP 2 cups water 1 ? 2 tablespoon dried stevia, crushed ¾ cup ginger root, finely chopped or grated 2 tablespoons vanilla ¼ cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup lemon verbena leaves chopped
Bring water to boil. Add ginger & stevia, as well as the lemon verbena and mint leaves if you are using them. Boil for 10 minutes, strain into a heat resistant container. Add vanilla and lemon juice. This syrup will store in the refrigerator for several weeks. If you want a mint flavoured syrup add a cup of mint leaves to the syrup.
HOME MADE GINGER ALE I first started making this recipe when I discovered that most ginger ales have no ginger in them at all and were usually full of high fructose corn syrup.
Add 1-2 oz syrup to a glass depending on how sweet you like your drinks, top with 6 oz sparkling water and ice cubes or use it in the recipe below.
CITRUS/MINT ICED TEA 8 teaspoons Loose Leaf black or red tea Or 8 Teabags l cup Fresh Mint Leaves? 8 cups Boiling Water 1 cup Orange Juice 1 Orange,Cut Into Thin Slices 1 Lemon,Cut Into Thin Slices 1 Lime,Cut Into Thin Slices 1/4 to 1/2 cup stevia syrup 2 litre bottle sparkling mineral water or soda water.
This is a favourite for our summer BBQs & picnics. Put tea & mint in a heat resistant glass or ceramic pot. Pour in the boiling water & steep for 30 minutes. Strain & refrigerate. Pour into a large pitcher. Add orange juice. Add orange, lemon & lime rinds. Add ginger syrup & mineral water and serve with ice cubes. If you prefer a more lemony flavour add 1/2 cup lemon juice or steep a handful of lemon verbena leaves with the mint.
Thank you for the wonderful ideas Christine! Bless you!
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