Southern sweet tea is one of my favorite beverages but if it’s made right it’s anything but low carb. You have to boil the sugar in the water and then steep the tea in it. It makes a difference in the flavor that I can taste immediately.
Needless to say I don’t like unsweet tea or even unsweet tea with sweetener. It just never gets the right kind of sweet.
You can’t boil sweetener in water either, so I just pretty much gave up ever drinking sweet tea again. I know, this isn’t rocket science but it was a big deal to me — and if you grew up on that syrupy sweet stuff we call sweet tea you’ll totally understand.
One day I decided to see if Xylitol would work. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It’s the sweetener that Atkins uses in their shakes and snack bars. You get to totally discount the carbs from it.
There is one teeny problem. Some people are sensitive to it. If you don’t know how your body reacts to this stuff it’s best to drink it when you aren’t going anywhere for a few hours. It has a, well let’s just say it can have a cleansing effect on the system.
I used less Xylitol than I would have sugar and then after the tea was all done I did add a little more sweet flavor with my stevia powder. It was close enough to the real thing that I sat and drank a pitcher of it.
…I won’t be doing that again.
Use your favorite low carb/carb free add ins. I used the lemon slices as garnish but added a some of the carb-free lemonade drops just to make sure there was no extra carbs happening in that stuff. You could also muddle mint leaves or whatever you like.
I promise a tall glass of this filled with ice is exactly the perfect thing for a hot, southern day.
I like xylitol … if you can find it locally it’s available on Amazon – (disclaimer… this is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy it helps support the blog. Thanks so much!)
Xlear Xylosweet Bag, 5-Pound
- 1 cup Xylitol
- 1/2 gallon filtered water
- Generous 1/3 cup loose leaf tea or 3 family sized tea bags
- Tons of ice
- Mint leaves
- Sweetener to taste
Put the water in a large pot.
Add the Xylitol and bring just to the boiling point, stirring until it is dissolved.
Immediately remove from the heat.
Stir in the tea or add tea bags.
Steep tea bags for 5 minutes or loose leaf tea for 3.
Remove tea bags or strain the loose leaf.
Pour tea into a pitcher and let come to room temperature before adding ice.
Taste and add sweetener of choice to get it just right.
If you are using loose leaf tea stir the tea constantly but slowly and gently for the full 3 minutes. This gives it a chance to unfold and release the full flavor. A pinch of baking soda can be added if desired. It can help keep the tea clear and guard against bitterness from over steeping.