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In the kitchen with Kelley: Watermelon and basil iced tea

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Southerners know how to cool down. We had to figure it out to survive. Not only are the summer months below the Mason-Dixon line just plain hot, the humidity makes it downright oppressive.

That’s why we drink a lot of refreshing sweet tea… and enjoy a fair share of our favorite summer fruit: watermelon.

Who knew you could combine the two and create an extremely refreshing drink? Well, you can — and it’s easy. Just don’t forget to choose a ripe watermelon, preferable one that comes to maturity after July 1st. That way you’re likely to get a nice red one with ample antioxidant power.

You can use your favorite tea with this recipe, though I’d steer clear of flavored teas that might not mix well with the watermelon. Green or black tea are both good options, not only for flavor, but for the wealth of health benefits they’ll bring to the recipe.

And don’t be afraid to have more than one serving of tea daily (just cut down on the sugar)… because people who consume at least three cups of green or black tea daily had a 21 percent lower risk of stroke, and reduction in cholesterol, than those consuming less than one cup daily according to a studies.

And the basil in this tall cool recipe is no slouch either… basil leaves contain compounds known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. So enjoy it, cool down and feel good about it!

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