hibiscus lemonade

Thanks to Adam, we’ve been enjoying this recipe for some years now. And I run the recipe each summer because people ask me to. And, yes, it can also be found in our third cookbook, Blue Ribbon Edition, from our kitchen to yours.

If you don’t know, stevia is a South American herb that tastes much sweeter than sugar. The good thing is that stevia doesn’t affect blood sugar, is safe for diabetics and contains virtually no calories. An 8-oz cup of Pink Stevia Lemonade yields roughly 3 calories. You can live it up, baby!

Hibiscus is a beautiful flower and makes a pretty tea and lemonade, but does it have any health benefits? There are consistent scientific studies that show hibiscus helps with hypertension and liver disorders. One study, published in 2004 in the journal Phytomedicine (2004;11:375–82), concluded that “people suffering from hypertension can lower their blood pressure significantly by drinking hibiscus tea daily. The study included 70 people – one half of whom drank 16-oz of hibiscus tea before breakfast daily, or ingested 25 mg of an antihypertensive medication (captopril) twice daily. After one month, the hibiscus tea drinkers’ diastolic blood pressure was reduced at least 10 points in 79% of the participants; blood pressure in the medicated group was reduced at least 10 points in some 84% of the participants – a statistically insignificant difference.” And, hibiscus tea is caffeine-free, rich in vitamin C and known to act as a natural body refrigerant in North Africa. All the more reason to enjoy in the summertime.

Makes 1 gallon

2 Celebration Herbal hibiscus tea bags 1 tsp pure stevia extract
¾ C lemon juice (I use organic bottled) water to make 1 gallon total

Pour about 8 C boiling water over hibiscus tea bags. Steep at least 5 minutes. Add ¾ C lemon juice and 1 tsp pure stevia extract powder. Add water to make one gallon total. Chill.

You’ll love both taste and color.

Variation #1: Replace hibiscus with your favorite fruit or berry tea bags (elderberry, perhaps?)
Variation #2: Use fizzy mineral water instead of water.
Variation #3: Roughly double stevia and lemon to make popsicles.