Make Your Own Flavored Instant Teas—Just Add Water
This was a request of one of my group members who said she bought an instant raspberry tea mix on vacation that she just adds water to. She told me the vendor informed her it was made with flavored Jell-O gelatin. So I went into my mad scientist laboratory (a.k.a. kitchen) and played. This is what I came up with. Lightweight and perfect for hiking, this drink mix will fit in small containers for single servings.
I picked up a new product some time ago; meaning to try it out and never did anything with it. New Jell‑O Simply Good Gelatin is advertised as, “Made with the good stuff like real fruit juice, vanilla bean, banana, cocoa and with no artificial flavors, dyes, or preservatives. So I gave it a whirl with this recipe and it was quite good! See product pictures below.
I chose to use Lipton Unsweetened Iced Tea Mix because I consider the ingredient list relatively harmless; Instant Tea Powder and Maltodextrin. (Besides, that is what I had on hand.) Lipton makes a decaffeinated version as well. See product pictures below.
I have also included some regular Jell-O flavors. It is your choice what you choose to flavor with. See product pictures below.
I will—in the future—figure out how to use my dried fruit powders to make this drink mix, but in the meantime I hope Melinda likes it! We eagerly await her critique….hint, hint….
April 5, 2017 UPDATE: To answer to a few questions asked about this mix…
Why the gelatin? I have experimented and found that the use of the gelatin gives the mouth-feel of a more syrupy drink — just like you would find in something like Snapple or Arizona Teas — giving you a drink akin to these tastes. ndno, the gelatin does not gell. I had a quart of this mix in the refrigerator for hours to test before I wrote the initial article just to make sure (yes, I had doubts…lol).
Can I use Sugar-Free Gelatin? Yes you can, but you may need to play around with your mix because the Sugar-free Jell-o has a more intense flavor to cover any bitter aftertaste experienced from the artificial sweetener. Add more of the unsweetened tea mix to compensate for this. And, since the sugar content makes up the bulk of a regular Jell-o box, you may not need the 2 tablespoons called for to mix your drink.
Is there a Vegan option? Jewish Kosher Gelatin or Vegan Gelatin packaged mixes are going to be expensive, but the only way to make this a Vegan option with the convenience of a dry mix. That is, until I can figure out how to use fruit powders and agar-agar to get the same results.
I like my tea very sweet. Can I add sugar to the mix? Of course you can. I always encourage folks to take my recipes and make it your own. Just keep in mind that you will need to add more than 2 tablespoons of the mix to each cup of water because you are increasing the volume of the mix by adding sugar.
What is the difference between Jello Simply Good and the regular Jello? New Jell‑O Simply Good Gelatin is made with the real fruit juice, vanilla bean, banana, cocoa, etc. Regular Jello uses artificial flavors, dyes, and preservatives.
Instant Flavored Teas—Dry Mix
Makes 1/2 cup of dry mix; enough for 4 (8-ounce) servings or 1 quart of tea
1 (3 ounce) box Jell-O flavored gelatin or Jell-O Simply Good Flavored Gelatin
3 tablespoons Lipton Unsweetened Instant Tea Mix, Regular or Decaf
- Combine all ingredients in a 1/2-pint Mason jar or vacuum seal bag, shaking well to mix thoroughly..
- This can be doubled or tripled if you would like a larger batch of dry mix.
To Use Dry Mix:
- Shake well before measuring.
- Add 2 tablespoons of dry mix to 1 cup (8 ounces/235 ml) of hot or cold water.
- Optional but delicious: throw in a few dehydrated berries, peach or pineapple slices, or other dried fruits in while your tea is steeping or chilling. It really kicks up the flavor!
Measurements for 6 ounce boxes of Jell-O Gelatin
1 (6-oz) box Jell-O Flavored Gelatin
6 tablespoons Lipton Unsweetened Instant Tea Mix, Regular or Decaf
Combine all ingredients in a 1-pint Mason jar or vacuum seal bag, shaking well to mix thoroughly.
Product Example Pictures
All products were found at my local Wal-Mart.
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