Kids always look forward to refreshing treats especially during hot days. We know that nothing beats water in quenching thirst. But adding natural flavors to it make it healthier and more fun to drink, and might even encourage intake of more fluids. I will be sharing one natural and healthy refreshment I learned from a friend.
One afternoon, upon getting home from a sleepover in a friend’s house, my daughter excitedly told me about a new drink that her friend’s mom prepared for them. She said that it's called Pink Iced Tea and it was made from Sweet Potato or Camote tops and Calamansi, a kind of citrus fruit. My Fish Sinigang that is colored pink whenever I add Camote tops instead of Kangkong leaves came to mind. Sinigang is an Asian sour soup. The sourness of the soup reacts with the extracts from the Camote tops, thus turning the soup pink.
12-16 shoots Camote tops (preferably with 3-4 purple young leaves with stems)
4 glasses Water
4 tbsp Pure honey
4 tbsp Calamansi extract (from about 10 regular-sized Calamansi fruit)
Crushed ice or ice cubes
How to prepare:
Boil water in a pot, then put the Camote tops and boil for another minute (Do not overcook the leaves). The water becomes deep green to bluish green in color. Remove the leaves and set aside in a platter. Let the stock cool. Pour in a clear pitcher, then add honey and calamansi extract. Stir then add ice cubes. Voila!.. the green stock becomes your pink iced tea!
If you don’t have a clear pitcher, pour the green stock in individual clear glasses, only ¾ full, then add 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of Calamansi in each. Stir then add ice. The idea is for your children to observe the change in color like magic, so the preparation can be a fun family activity, too. You can adjust the honey and calamansi to suit your child’s taste.
Serve the boiled leaves as Sweet Potato salad with sliced tomatoes, soy sauce and Calamansi. Sweet Potato shoots (leaves and stem) are a good source of vitamins A, B, C, iron, calcium, zinc, and an excellent source of lutein. It is as nutritious as spinach. It can regulate blood sugar making it a healthy treat for diabetics. To know more about health benefits including anti-cancer and anti-hypertension properties, read this publication.
The use of honey instead of sugar is also good for diabetics. Honey, having a low glycemic index than table sugar, is a healthier alternative. The following link thoroughly discusses the benefits of honey over sugar.
Hope your kids will also be fond of this treat and enjoy its health benefits as well.