Blueberry tea couldn’t be any healthier or more refreshing then when it’s iced. Blueberry tea is jam-packed with flavor and free radical fighting antioxidants. This post will show you how to make a deliciously healthy blueberry iced tea.
The Jersey Blues are back! New Jersey blueberries are back in season for the month of June. This is the perfect time to make a healthy blueberry tea. This blueberry iced tea recipe couldn’t make it any easier to keep a refreshingly healthy iced tea on hand.
Are you having difficulty trying to eat healthily? Eating healthy should not be hard or expensive. But sometimes it is. To get the best value I try to buy from local farmers and choose organic if I can. I also try to buy food that is in season.
Fortunately for blueberry lovers, New Jersey is renowned for the best blueberries nationwide. These tart little blueberries burst with a slightly sweet citrus flavor as you bite them. Nature’s own candy. It’s all about the terroir, as it is with any agricultural product.
What Makes Blueberries so Special?
Let’s talk about those lovely Jersey blueberries. New Jersey blueberries are so rich in flavor, they are the official state fruit. Just what makes them so tasty?
New Jersey soil, especially southern New Jersey is responsible for the exceptional taste of New Jersey blueberries. New Jersey ranks second in the nation in blueberry production growing 52 million pounds of berries each year. All thanks to the sandy soil of South Jersey. The soil is just right for these lovelies to flourish with flavor.
Blueberries are known for their abundance of robust antioxidants, making them powerful brain boosters. Clinical studies associate blueberries with increased cognitive function, memory improvement and decreased oxidative stress, possibly reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmor
Since blueberries are antioxidant superstars, when combined with black tea and lemon juice, two other antioxidant stars, you’re getting a beverage jam-packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants.
Pick Your Own Blueberries
Look for pick-your-own farms as blueberries come into season. This makes a great family activity for young children during the summer months. Blueberries grow low enough even toddlers can pick them.
Most states have an agricultural site that lists where to find in-season fruits and vegetables available at local supermarkets, farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and pick-your-own farms.
Measuring & Selecting Blueberries
This recipe calls for one pint of blueberries. One pint of blueberries should fill two dry cup measures. A dry pint is not a measure of weight but a measure of volume, as in cubic inches. This is different from a liquid pint which is a measure of fluid ounces.
Look for blueberries that are plump and fresh looking. They should be blue, black, bluish-black or purple in color. You know they’re ripe if they’re firm with a little give. You can refrigerate blueberries for about three days or freeze them by spreading them out on a cookie sheet and once frozen, place them in a freezer storage bag until ready to use.
Best Types of tea to use in Blueberry Tea
I like to use a Nilgiri or Ceylon black loose leaf tea. Any high grown tea works well when making fruit-infused iced teas. You can buy these from many reputable tea vendors.
The high grown black teas are more forgiving when brewed and don’t cloud as much when refrigerated. I tend to use more tea leaves and steep a little longer to balance the tea and fruit flavors.
Simmering the blueberries with the lemon juice helps to enhance the blueberry flavor while adding sugar balances out the tartness. I love my fine mesh chinois, it works very well to remove any pulp as the cone shape holds all the blueberry juice nicely while pressing the juice through the sieve.
Beyond Healthy Blueberry Iced Tea
How to make a deliciously healthy blueberry iced tea.
- 1 pint blueberries
- 5 cups filtered water
- 8 tsp black loose tea I use heaping teaspoons which weigh 17 grams
- 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Wash blueberries.
Put all the blueberries in a saucepan Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
Bring the remaining 5 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat.
Add tea leaves and steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove tea leaves.
Strain blueberry juice and add to the brewed tea. I used a french sieve.
- Stir all together.
- Cool. Serve over ice and enjoy!
Medicinal Goodness of Blueberry Tea
Blueberries: The most prevalent nutrients are vitamin K, manganese, resveratrol, anthocyanins, quercetin (an antioxidant) and kaempferol, another antioxidant found to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. These nutrients build bones, helps blood clotting, promotes healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, prevents heart disease and combat inflammation.
These nutrients build bones, helps blood clotting, promotes healthy metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, prevents heart disease and combats inflammation. To learn more about the benefits of blueberries read 7 Reasons to Eat More Blueberries.
According to Easy Health Options, recent studies show eating more blueberries helps in the following ways:
Lemons: Lemons are high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, flavonoids called limonoids. Limonins are found in the juice of the and are linked to a decrease in cancer risk. Lemons also act as an antioxidant.
Studies have shown limonin may have an effect on lowering cholesterol.
Vitamin C plays a role in immunity by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C also has cardiovascular benefits by lowering cholesterol, keeping arteries flexible and protecting against free radicals.
The high citric acid in lemons is a deterrent against kidney stone formation.
Black Tea: Tea is high in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have proven health benefits to cardiovascular health.
Black tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which is unique to tea and has some very interesting effects on the brain. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves inducing a calm and deeply relaxed state. Combined with the caffeine, which is about half the amount found in coffee, the overall effect is a focused calm.
The Top 10 Health Benefits of Tea gives a good overview of all the health benefits derived from tea.