Cheers!! Happy National Iced Tea Day!

Now this is the kind of holiday a southern girl like me can get behind!

We southerners LOVE our ice tea. To be honest, like most of my family, I prefer sweet tea. I know a ton of sugar in one glass of tea isn’t the best thing for your glycemic index, but man, it tastes so good!

I wanted to make ice tea that would tap into my desire to be a good girl and not go crazy in sugar town, but still honor my southern roots. I had my Daddy (pictured above) sit in on our taste testing and I promised him this wouldn’t taste like dishwater! I chose a caffeine free orange spice tea which I had no idea had so many health benefits. (Don’t tell my Daddy! He will think it’s too healthy to be good.)

Orange is high in antioxidants and is known to be a cholesterol-reducing agent. That sounds like a win-win to me. What I typically do when I make my ice tea is make it by the glass.

  • Pour boiling water over your tea bag and let it steep for 4 minutes.
  • Remove tea bag, add ice and a teaspoon or two of coconut palm sugar. It is low glycemic and adds a lovely caramel flavor.

As a super bonus, it melts easily in hot or cold beverages and adds amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins. I topped it off with some orange basil from my herb garden and a sassy striped straw and we were ready for lift off.

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As you can tell by the pic my Daddy isn’t too sure if my Californian hippie ice tea will be to his liking. He’s making sure I take a sip first before he tries it! But ... BINGO ... we have a winner folks. It was delicious AND my Daddy said it was good.

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Cheers to you and yours on National Iced Tea Day!

And if you’re really looking for some southern flair, nothing complements iced tea better than some good ol’ pecan pie! Once again, I tried to marry my traditional southern taste buds with my Californian health conscious sensibility. I found this pecan pie recipe on eatingwell.com and am so excited to try it! It’s got all the fixins’ of the classic, except it swaps out maple syrup for corn syrup and incorporates nuts into the crust to give it a healthy boost!

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.