Citrus Iced Tea Cubes 🍊Filled with fresh orange juice, tea, ginger, lemon, mint, and turmeric, these colorful citrus-centric ice cubes are bursting with flavor, immunity boosting vitamin C, antioxidants and plant-based goodness!
I've been on a quest to create recipes that embrace health, healing and hopefulness. Easy, yummy & uplifting recipes. Good for the body & soul. 💚
Inspired by the abundance of sweet juicy oranges growing in my backyard, I wanted to come up with a variety of easy, exciting recipes that celebrate the goodness of the all mighty orange. So I've been working on savory, sweet, tart, baked, and fresh dishes, like this tofu orange skillet recipe and this one, my favorite vegan lemon blueberry bread. While I was at it, I thought, why not find a way to be able to enjoy the fruit for weeks or even months?
Then it hit me that, yes, I could simply freeze the juice - but why not take it a step further and create fun & healthful iced tea cubes. My goal was to make a convenient ready-to-go, super delish immunity- boosting cup of tea. Just drop a cube in a mug, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and voila! An uplifting, tasty cup of tea full of vitamin C! So here is what I did.
How to make citrus iced tea cubes
First, I gathered up the ingredients I wanted to use in my ice cubes.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice
- An assortment of brewed teas - matcha, lemon, mint, and chai rooibos
- Thinly sliced & peeled fresh ginger
- Thin slices of fresh lemon
- Fresh mint leaves
Next, I began filling an ice cube tray with each of the ingredients, allowing each layer to freeze for a couple hours before adding the next ingredient, in this order:
- Orange juice
- Ginger, turmeric, lemon, or mint - one ingredient per cube
- Water (just enough to to cover the above ingredients)
- Tea - one type per cube
🥕TIP: I love using these silicone whisky ice cube trays. They're the perfect size for making these Citrus Iced Tea Cubes.
Finally, I let the filled tray freeze several hours. Then I removed the cubes and here's how they turned out!
There's a lot of goodness packed into those pretty layered cubes!
I couldn't wait to try them!
First, I placed a cube in a highball glass, added a splash of pomegranate juice and topped it with sparkling water & a twist of lime. So refreshing! As the cube melted, it infused my simple summer cooler with so much added flavor - and color!
Make an instant cup of hot tea!
Then I wondered, if these cubes taste great cold, how would they be served hot? So, I put one of the orange/lemon/mint cubes into a mug & heated it for about 40 seconds in the microwave. The I added enough water to fill the cup and heated it a bit longer. It was delicious! Next I tested a cup of orange/matcha/turmeric tea. The turmeric settled to the bottom of the cup, so I just gave it a quick stir. It was remarkably tasty. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed a hot cup of the rooibos chai with fresh ginger & orange.
Finally, I thought - how would these work in a cocktail? Heck, why not? So I poured the last of a bottle of a single malt Scotch whiskey over the top of an orange lemon cube. What I ended up with was an iced tea infused whisky sour. It was surprisingly good.
Is tea healthy?
I wanted to know for myself, what were the health benefits in the ingredients I used in these citrus iced tea cubes. Here's what I learned:
According to an article from The University of Pennsylvania, there are numerous potential health benefits from drinking green, black, white and herbal teas.
What are the health benefits of green tea?
Green tea is exceptionally high in flavonoids that can help boost your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Studies show this type of tea can also help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol.
Other research has found that green tea has a possible impact on liver, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. This tea variety has also shown to be anti-inflammatory, which helps keep your skin clear and glowing.
Is Matcha a healthy tea?
In recent years, matcha – a form of green tea – has grown in popularity. Matcha is a very fine, high-quality green tea powder made from the entire leaves of tea bushes grown in the shade. Since it is the only form of tea in which the leaves are ingested, matcha contains even more antioxidants that regular green tea. In fact, some have suggested that one cup of matcha is the equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/december/health-benefits-of-tea
What are the health benefits of turmeric?
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years, not just as a seasoning to enhance foods, but for its medicinal attributes. Well known for containing antioxidants and, anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has been shown to reduce swelling and pain in arthritis.
Turmeric tea is a good idea!
In addition to turmeric's effectiveness in easing inflammation, according to an article in Healthline.com, turmeric tea may provide several other healthful benefits, including: Lowering cholesterol; cancer and Alzheimer's prevention; keeping ulcerative colitis in remission; and boosting the immune system.
What are the health benefits of ginger?
For more than 20 years, my husband and I have always started every morning with a hot cup of fresh ginger tea. Not only does it taste wonderful, it's super refreshing. Ginger is really great for digestion, calming nausea and an upset stomach.
Like turmeric, ginger is also loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Add some ginger to your tea!
Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger help your body ward off germs. They’re especially good at halting growth of bacteria like E.coli and shigella, and they may also keep viruses like RSV at bay. Plus, ginger has been shown to be beneficial in maintaining good oral health.
Get as creative as you want making your own cubes!
With so many varieties of beautiful teas - black, white, green, rooibos, herbal tisanes, oolong, jasmine, lemon, mint, chai . . . and fresh fruits and juices - lemon, orange, tangerine, lime, grapefruit, berry, apple, watermelon, acaî, kiwi . . . and healthful add-ins like ginger, turmeric, mint, basil, rosemary, citrus slices, maple, cinnamon, nutmeg . . . the sky's the limit!
I'm so happy with how these turned out that I'm going to keep a tray of citrus iced tea cubes in my freezer all the time. It's such a simple, fun way to make use of left-over brewed tea, or citrus fruits. With the addition of ingredients like ginger or turmeric, you can enjoy a quick & tasty cup of hot or iced tea (or cocktail) that's loaded with healthful compounds & immune - boosting goodness.
🍊 See more delish dishes in this colorful collection of citrus inspired recipes!
very vegan 🌱 very good
Citrus Iced Tea Cubes
- tea kettle
- ice cube tray with lid
- paring knife
- small bowls or dishes
- 1 C orange juice
- 2 C tea green, black, herbal, your choice - assorted
- ¼ C water
- 1 ginger root peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ lemon fresh, thin, quartered slices - without seeds
- 4 leaves fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
- Pour 1 C fresh orange juice, evenly divided, into ice tray. Cover.
- Place in freezer for 2 hours or until juice is frozen.
- On each cube, layer a few slices of ginger, lemon, mint leaves, or a sprinkle of turmeric.
- Add just enough water to cover the above ingredients. Cover tray,
- Place in freezer for 2 hours or until water is frozen.
- Brew two or three cups of tea, of your choice (I like a variety). Place in fridge to cool.
- Finish filling ice cube trays with chilled tea. Cover and freeze for several hours until solid.
- Remove cubes from tray as needed. Heat cubes in a large mug or microwave safe bowl.
- Serve hot in a tea cup or mug or on ice in a highball glass. Dilute with water if needed.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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