Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to numerous health problems, key among them being diabetes, cancer and heart disease (1). And large quantities of sugar usually get into the body through overindulgence in ultra-sweetened teas and coffees.
Now, if you are a health conscious individual, it is obvious that you would want to minimize the amounts of sugar you consume or better yet steer clear of sugar. But the problem could be; you have no idea of the best alternatives to turn to that can help you enjoy a sweet but healthy cup of tea.
If you are in such a state of limbo, then this article will help you unlock the different ways of sweetening tea without using sugar. Just continue reading.
Why It Could Be Important To Completely Avoid All Kinds of Sweeteners
If you’ve decided you want to sweeten your tea without sugar, then it wouldn’t make any sense going for an alternative that’s just as sweet as sugar or something close to it. Honey might be naturally sweet and loaded with antioxidants and vitamins but it still has lots of carbohydrates.
The idea of sweetening tea without using sugar is based on adding something that makes the tea palatable, without increasing your carbohydrate intake or posing any health side effects. So all processed sugars and chemical sweeteners are a no-no in
Some of the sugars or sweeteners that will not be featured as best alternatives on this write-up include:
- Maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Corn syrup
- All other chemical sweeteners
How to Enjoy Tea with Natural Sugar-Free Sweeteners
The alternatives we are going to discuss below will not actively sweeten your tea or coffee. Rather, they’ll leave you with a sweet aftertaste for every sip you take. Tea that’s brewed without sugar will often have a bitter or acidic taste. So, natural sugar-free sweeteners will just spice up the drink a little, making it a little more appealing to the taste buds.
Now that we’ve cleared the air on what you can expect, here is a list of the best natural ingredients that can sweeten your tea:
Cinnamon tea is a delicious beverage that’s very easy to prepare. All you need is a cinnamon stick, some water and your tea brewing will be as good as done. The cinnamon bark, used in cinnamon tea, is taken from cinnamon trees that are found in certain parts of Asia.
When brewing tea, you can either use cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder. All of them present the same value. The cinnamon in tea can help you lower sugar levels, lose weight, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and boost immune system.
It is important to note though that cinnamon back, when used whole, can be hard to dissolve in water. So you might need to break the stick apart or crush it in order to get the flavor infused in the tea. Cinnamon blends in perfectly with black tea but you’re free to add some milk for an even more wonderful flavor.
2. Honeysuckle Flowers
Honeysuckle tea has for long been used as a natural remedy for different ailments. Notwithstanding its health benefits, the herbal tea still boasts of great flavor. There are more than 200 species of honeysuckle species you can choose from, but majority of them share the same nutritional profiles as well as active ingredients.
Honeysuckle flowers may not be as sweet as sugar but they have an inch of sweetness from the actual nectar. So when you drink the tea, you’ll experience a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. You are free to use the flowers in any kind of tea, including herbal, black, green and/or rooibos tea, just the way you like it.
To prepare the tea, first collect a couple of honeysuckle flowers (be sure to pluck them at the base so as to retain the nectar). You’ll then need to carefully place the flower in a sizable mason jar as you bring to boil, about 3 or 4 cups of water.
Upon boiling, remove the water from the heat and leave for 2 minutes. Proceed to pour the hot water over the honeysuckle flowers in the jar. Allow the mixture to cool down then serve.
3. Ground Cocoa Shells
Cocoa shells in ground form can be used to make tasty sugarless tea that can leave you with an amazing after taste. Pre-made cocoa powder usually comes out as too powdery. You can still enjoy tea that has some huge amounts of this powder but
keep in mind the flavor will be impacted, especially when you steep the tea.
If you only want to enjoy reasonable amounts of the ground cocoa shells in tea, then you might need to creatively put it in your tea bag. That way, the fine cocoa particles can be dissolved alongside the tea leaves, at the time you are steeping.
If you are unable to buy or access ground cocoa shells, you can still grind the cocoa shells by yourself. The particles might come out as large but they’ll still make some good flavorful steeped tea. Be sure to dry the shells properly though before trying to grind them.
4. Vanilla Pods
Steeping some vanilla pods in reasonably warm water is another way through which you can make flavorful tea without sugar. Vanilla has generally been used, since time immemorial, as a basic ingredient for sweeteners and sweet foods. And since it blends well with many things, it can definitely be great for making teas too.
Vanilla, especially in hot black tea, can not only produce great flavor but will also give a refreshing aroma. Now, that sounds like a great way of enjoying some morning or bedtime tea. While vanilla pods are a bit expensive, they can give you a distinct aftertaste on your tea if you’re all about sugarless teas.
If you enjoy the sweetness of strawberry fruits, then you’ll relish a cup of strawberry tea. The tea, however, isn’t as sweet when brewed in hot or warm water as the strawberries themselves are likely to get tangy and sour. So making a pitcher of cold or iced tea and adding sliced strawberries to it can really do you good.
6. Sweet Tisanes
If you really want to enjoy hot tea that’s sugarless yet flavorful, then trying out some tisanes can turn out just great. You can infuse boiling water with a mixture of fresh spearmint leaves, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger root and/or dried rosebuds.
There are two ways you can prepare tisane tea: either as an infusion or a decoction. If you want it as an infusion, all you have to do is pour a reasonable amount of hot water over the tisane and then let it steep for some time. You can afterwards strain the tisane and serve.
To prepare a tisane decoction, you’ll first need to place the tisane mixture in a non-aluminum pot with cold water. Proceed to put the pot on a stove and bring the mixture to boil. You can boil till about 2/3 of the water has evaporated. Remove from the stove, strain and serve.
Tea made from rooibos is naturally sweet and caffeine-free. Loaded with lots of vitamins and polyphenols, rooibos tea is not just delicious in taste but also healthy. This tea can either be brewed as hot tea or iced tea. It all depends on what you fancy most.
Rooibos tea also comes with a sweet aroma, something that spices up the drinking experience the more. When preparing it though, you can add some milk, vanilla or cocoa just to make it hit the right spot on your taste buds.
The Rooibos plant exclusively grows in South Africa but it is exported to other parts of the world. So it is possible to order for ground or crushed rooibos online or simply buy it at a local store near you. That means you can effortlessly brew or steep your sugarless Rooibos tea from wherever you are.
The Added Bonus of Drinking Tea That’s Sweetened without Sugar
Most of the ingredients discussed above, for making sugarless tea, are actually natural with no processing done to them whatsoever. Some of them are only ground or crushed to make them dissolve easily in water or brewed black tea. They do taste great but their health benefits cannot be overlooked.
A good number of the ingredients above present many health benefits to users. Some of them aid in weight loss, alleviating heart disease, regulating blood sugar and streamlining digestion. Others boast of powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and other polyphenols that fight cancer and heart disease. So there’s more to these ingredients than just their great taste.
As you can see, it is possible to drink tea that’s sweetened without sugar and still be able to enjoy it. While such teas might not be as ultra-tasty as the ones brewed with sugar, they do offer an unbeatable flavorful aftertaste. The good thing is that the sugarless tea flavoring options to choose from are countless. It is upon you to go for what your taste
buds will love the most. Otherwise with these alternatives at your disposal, you can drink a flavorful cup of tea every day, all while keeping your health in check.