Delicious, Calorie-Free Alternatives to Powdered Drink Mixes

Because tomorrow is the Fourth of July (!), and because so many people will get together to celebrate, laugh, visit, and eat, I thought a reminder of healthy cookout-friendly drink recipes (can I even call them that?) would be perfect for today. 

Sometimes we just serve what we serve because we don't stop to think of alternatives--a "this is what I've always done" mentality.  However, when you read the label and take a closer look at the ingredients of most conventional iced tea or lemonade mixes, you see that perhaps these drinks aren't what you should be feeding your friends and family.  Take a look.

Image Source: Lipton Tea
Ingredients: Sugar, citric acid (provides tartness), instant tea powder, silicon dioxide (prevents caking), natural flavor, artificial color (red #40).
In one serving, 19 grams of mix, this iced tea has 70 calories and 18 grams of sugar.

Image Source: FunFitGirl
Ingredients: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Contains Less Than 2% Of Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness).
One serving, 17 grams of mix, contains 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar. 

You know I am not about counting calories, but there are definitely better ways to get your lemony refreshment on...

The following are three delicious, calorie-free (sugar-free, fat-free, and artificial coloring-free) alternatives to powdered drink mix.  They are all, as it turns out, iced (or even just chilled) herbal tea. 

If you've ever been intimidated thinking it's too time consuming or involved, it's not.  If you can boil water, you're halfway to homemade tea already.

The directions are simple and the same for each tea below:

Boil water.  Steep tea bags (I used 3-4 for the jugs below).  Allow to cool.  Pour over ice.  Enjoy. 

Simple, right?!

Bigelow's I Love Lemon Herbal Tea

This tea has a nice lemon flavor, while still tasting like tea.  It is calorie and caffeine-free.  It is light and refreshing--sweet without the "I need another drink to follow this one because there's so much sugar" kind of sweet...  A good options for people of all ages.  Overall, delicious.

Celestial Seasonings' Jammin' Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea

Celestial Seasonings' tea comes in a box, but the tea bags are not individually wrapped.  In regards to this practice, the box says, "Healthy teas. Healthy planet. Healthy you.  No strings attached.  With no string, tag, staple, or wrapper, our natural fiber tea bag keeps 3.5 million pounds of waste out of landfills each year."  This tea has a little more kick than the I Love Lemon tea.  It is tasty and invigorating.  It's also calorie and caffeine-free.  If you like ginger, you'll like Jammin' Lemon Ginger iced tea.  An ideal option mainly for adults.

TAZO's Passion Tea

I know I've already written about TAZO's Passion tea last month for National Iced Tea Day, but it is so good, I decided to include it here as well.  If you haven't tried it yet, you need to pick some up for your Independence Day celebration--I think it could pass for red... The flavor is sweet and almost tart, even without any sweeteners.  Especially if you think the children in attendance may be put off by the color of the other two options (the fact that they are not bright yellow, like powdered lemonade), this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

What is your favorite naturally delicious alternative to powdered drink mix?  Comment below or on the Making Mindfulness Facebook page.