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Welcome to WFAEats — a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

Sugar-Free Summertime Treats

Jennifer Lang

As temperatures rise, we turn to light, refreshing treats from the kitchen. With the abundance of vegetables and fruits that grow in our area, it's not hard to whip up light, cool dishes and drinks that are full of summertime flavor. Today on Charlotte Talks, a trio of guests talked about their favorite foods and beverages of the season. 

Peter Reinhart, Johnson & Wales Chef on Assignment, shares two of his summer treats. Bonus- they can be made sugar-free.

Hibiscus and Citrus, Sugar-Free Iced Tea (makes 3 quart)

The key to this easy to make summer iced tea is in the hibiscus, long known as an herb that “cools off the body.”  It also provides a beautiful red color, almost like a punch. You are free, of course, to substitute with any herbal teas of your choice, but this combination is one of my favorites. (Note: the use of caffeine tea, such as black tea like Orange Pekoe or English Breakfast, is optional. It’s great either way. Also, liquid stevia is now readily available at most markets and allows for a sweet tea without the use of sugar. However, if you prefer using sugar or honey, simply add it to the steeping tea so that it dissolves.)

1 quart boiling water

3 bags of Celestial Seasoning Red Zinger Tea (or any hibiscus based tea blend)

3 bags of Lemon or Orange Zinger Tea

2 bags black tea (optional)

1 teaspoon of liquid stevia (or to taste), or 1 cup sugar or honey

12 cups of ice cubes

1/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

Turn off the boiling water and add all the tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes (or up to 10 minutes for a stronger tea. If using black tea tea, steep for only 5 minutes). Strain out the tea bags, pressing them over the tea in a strainer to capture all the liquid.  Add the liquid stevia or sugar or honey and stir.  Add the lemon and lime juice.

Place all the ice into a gallon size container and pour the hot tea over the ice.  Taste and adjust the sweetness to taste.  Transfer the tea into a serving pitcher, reserving the excess for refills. Will stay cold for a few hours. Keep leftover tea in the refrigerator, where it will be good for at least 3 or 4 days.

Berry and Peach, Sugar-Free Crisp (makes 4 servings)

Feel free to use any berries of your choice. The crisp topping is sugar free but you can also use sugar if you prefer. Almond flour (aka almond meal) is readily available at most markets, or feel free to substitute ground pecans or other favorite nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts. You can grind them into a coarse meal in a food processor (do not use a blender, which will create too much friction and turn them into nut butter).


4 cups fresh berries

4 fresh, ripe but still firm peaches, peeled and sliced into 8 to 10 slices each

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup almond flour (meal) or ground pecans or other ground nuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup sugar)



3/4 cup almond flour (or ground pecans)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (2 ounces) melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia (or 1/4 cup sugar or brown sugar)


Combine the berries and sliced peaches in a bowl.  Gently stir in the lemon juice. Add the almond or nut meal and cinnamon and gently stir to coat the fruit. Add the melted butter and stevia (or sugar) and stir to coat.  Transfer this mixture into a greased or buttered baking dish. 

Stir together all the topping ingredients to make a coarse mixture. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the fruit filling. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20 - 30 minutes, or until the topping turns golden brown and the fruit begins to bubble.

Serve warm with ice cream or with a dollop of Greek or goat milk yogurt.


Recipes Copyright Peter Reinhart, 2014