Delightful Drinks (that don't decimate your diet)

Written by Christine Tenekjian, MPH, RDN, LDN, Dietitian Clinician at Duke Diet and Fitness Center


Recipes written by Christine Tenekjian and Hollee Grady, Dietetic Intern at Meredith College

Everyone wants to enjoy a delicious beverage now and then, but it's not wise to drink too many calories since we don't get the same quality of satiety from liquid calories as we do from solid ones. This blog series will give you some tips on how to mix drinks that will WOW you and your friends while keeping everyone's waistlines intact.

Part I - SWEET TEA

The Duke Diet and Fitness Center is located in the heart of the south, so we are no strangers to sweet tea. According to www.calorieking.com, there are about 190 calories in a "Regular" (20 oz) size sweet tea at Bojangles. Yowza! You could drink that...or you could EAT 1 medium banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter for the exact same calories...hmm, wonder what's the more nutritious and filling choice? With that banana and peanut butter you get potassium, fiber healthy fats, and protein - with the sweet tea you just get one thing (sugar). 

If you are accustomed to drinking sweet tea, you can always try unsweet tea with an artificial sweetener to cut the calories; or you can dilute your sweet tea with unsweet tea (try half and half first, then keep decreasing the amount of sweet tea as you get used to the less sweet taste). Or you can jazz up your unsweet tea with other fun fruit and herb flavors - check out the recipes below! 

 

Our first recipe uses a method called "muddling" to blend the flavors of fresh fruit and herbs (strawberries and mint, in this case). We use just a tad of sugar to help break down the mint and berries and add a bit of sweetness. To muddle, you will need a muddling tool. If you don't have one you can simply use any small, flat wooden tool such as the end of a wooden spoon or a French rolling pin (without handles). And feel free to use a bit more mint or strawberry if you like!

Strawberry Mint Tea

 

Strawberry Mint Tea

Servings: 1

Serving Size: 12 oz.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chopped strawberries

5 mint leaves

¼ teaspoon white sugar

~8 ounces freshly brewed unsweet tea (cooled to room temperature)

Ice as needed

 

Directions:

1.     Muddle sugar, mint leaves and strawberries in a shaker

2.     Add tea and ice

3.     Shake and pour into cup

4.     Add garnish as desired (whole strawberry and/or mint sprig)

 

Nutrition Analysis per Serving:

Calories: 10

Fat:  0g (0g Saturated)

Carbohydrate:  2g (0g Fiber,2g Sugar)

Protein:  0g

Sodium:  0mg

 

Our second recipe simply uses a bit of natural juice to add fruit flavor and natural sweetness. The lemon zest further enhances the sweetness and flavor without adding significant calories. You can use any other combo of citrus zest or juice in this recipe, and substitute black tea for the green tea if you prefer. 

 

Tropical Green Tea

Servings: 1

Serving Size: 12 oz.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons Orange juice

½ tablespoon pineapple juice (or crushed canned pineapple)

½ teaspoon lemon zest

~8 ounces freshly brewed green tea (cooled to room temperature)

Ice as needed

 

Directions:

1.     Add all ingredients to a shaker

2.     Shake and pour into cup

3.     Add garnish as desired (slice of orange or lemon or pineapple)

 

Nutrition Analysis per Serving:

Calories: 10

Fat:  0g (0g Saturated)

Carbohydrate:  2g (0g Fiber, 2g Sugar)

Protein:  0g

 

Sodium:  0mg

 

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With more than 40-year years of experience in delivering wellness and weight loss programs, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center has established itself as one of the leading weight loss and total body health destinations for health conscious individuals seeking a residential style health program focused on natural weight loss.

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