Change Yourself…Change The World.

Sweet Iced Tea & Other Treats
March 23, 2012, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

It’s officially Fall in Paraguay! I woke up snug and warm under my covers to a breezy 80 degrees. I have a feeling I am really going to love the Fall here. I guess the American phrase ‘March comes in like a lion but out like a lamb’ applies here as well- except to heat, that is.

All of next week I’ll be in the capital working on national initiatives- our Jóvenes Empresarios del Paraguay has a meeting with all of the committee heads about our upcoming business plan competition in July, and then for the next three days after that I’ll be working on the Kuat, Peace Corps Paraguay’s tri-annual magazine. The magazine covers topics in technical (ideas and support from all of the sectors in the Peace Corps), food and travel, entertainment, a ‘despedida section’ (for the group that swears out of their service), and whatever theme we feature for the edition. Last edition we featured ‘DIY’ (Do It Yourself) Articles, where volunteers sent in home-made crafts and projects to inspire other volunteers. This edition our theme is ‘Heroes: People who inspire us, inside our communities and out.’ As I’m on the Kuat layout team and have a vested interest in successful editions, I spent yesterday and today writing up a variety of articles for different sections. One of the articles I wrote up was for a really delicious and healthy drink I love to make all of the time, and I thought I would share it on here!

Since coming to Paraguay, I’ve become quite the cook. Being an American and relying on easy-made food like mac and cheese and frozen dinners, or packaged deliciousness like ready-made sandwiches or as many fresh and varied vegetables you could ask for in the supermarket, it has taken me quite awhile to adjust to cooking here, where literally every single thing must be made from scratch. Even the drinks! Fortunately my grandparents, who are big cooks, sent me lots of wonderful spices down here to experiment with my cooking (Thanks Muzzy and GB)! For the past eight months I’ve been experimenting with lots of Indian, Mexican, and Italian food in my kitchen, and I’m really proud of the results. I now have a couple staples in my diet, including a super tasty vegetable casserole, zucchini pasta, and last week I made my first attempt at whole wheat pizza- yummy! My family has also caught on to my newfound cooking skills, who marveled at my chopping when I was home in the United States during Christmas.

But drinks- sometimes, tereré just doesn’t do it, much like drinking plain old water doesn’t always hit the spot. Sometimes you want something with a little flavor. Which is why I about died of happiness when one of my best friends in the Peace Corps, Veronica, taught me how to make the easiest, most delicious, and healthy iced tea. I make these by the gallon, and it is definitely one of my favorite go-to drinks here in Paraguay.

So for PCVs and Americans alike (for PCVs this is simple in any country, and for Americans, here’s a yummy iced tea that’s not chock full of sugar), I give you Sweet Iced Tea.

Easy, Sweet, and Healthy Iced Tea

Prep and cook time: 10 minutes

What You’ll Need:
– One tea bag (Chai tea is the preferred brand, since it has such a strong flavor, but any tea will do)
– Three heaping tablespoons of honey (Volunteers: go get some from your neighbor’s house! Or if you’re a bee-keeping Volunteer, perhaps you can cosechar some yourself)
– A tea kettle (or small pot), stirring spoon, and pitcher
– Six cups of water
– Ice (optional)


– Pour three cups of water into the teakettle and bring to a boil.
– Once the water starts boiling, turn the teakettle off and drop in the tea bag. Give the tea bag about 5 to 10 minutes to steep, occasionally stirring.
– Add three heaping tablespoons of honey into the hot water, stirring to let the honey mix throughout (it’s better to add the honey to the hot water, as it will mix thoroughly).
– Pour the hot mixture into your pitcher (take out the tea bag), and then pour in the last three cups of cold water. Mix.
– If serving immediately, add ice. If serving at a later date, put the pitcher into the fridge and the mixture will cool down gradually.

There you have it. I have two pitchers full of freshly brewed tea chilling in my fridge as we speak. Cheers!

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