‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, alternative to sugar,  kid approved, children love it, whole leaf stevia, peppermint tea, hibiscus tea, red color, natural, sugar-free, red dye

The first time I remember having Kool-Aid was at summer church camp during my teens. I loved drinking it when I was so thirsty after my Life-Saving class. It was a novelty, staining our mouths and tongues red. My mom never bought this for us at home!

Later, as a young married wife, I helped serve Kool-Aid during Vacation Bible School snack time, and all the Moms made comments on how wound up the children were, but I don’t think we had made the connection between the food dyes and hyperactivity back in the 80s.

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, little boy with glass of Kool-Aid, red stain on shirt, messy face


The Washington Post and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP)  have recently spoken out that artificial food dyes have been linked to hyperactivity, and it’s not just in candy. “Americans are really turned on by a bright-red strawberry juice, and they think it’s natural,” said Kantha Shelke, co-president of the food research firm Corvus Blue. The Center for Science in the Public Interest points to studies suggesting that some of the dyes are also suspected carcinogens.

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, food dyes that are harmful, Centers For Science In the Public Interest

Here is what the Kool-Aid label tells us is ‘good for kids’:

KOOL-AID INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Contains Less Than 2% Of: Natural And Artificial Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E Acetate, Calcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking), Acesulfame Potassium (aspartame) And Sucralose (Sweeteners), Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, BHA (Preserves Freshness).

While I delighted in my children even when they were rambunctious and very busy, I hoped to avoid anything that would make them feel or act out of control. Looking back, I wish I had known about this when we were trying to figure out food allergies. Who wants to rev up their children even more than they already are?

So if you want to serve the children a bright, sparkling, sweet, and delicious red drink that won’t make them act silly, get angry, aggressive, or just plain hyper, I think you will want this recipe.

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ is made like a tea using three herbs and served cold on ice:

Stevia leaf is known for its amazing sweetness and smoothness~

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, stevia leaf, sweet herb, Bulk Herb Store

Hibiscus flower gives off its bright red color and has a sweet tart taste that really quenches your thirst~

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, hibiscus leaf, cut herb, Bulk Herb Store

…and Peppermint leaf is so cooling on a hot summer’s day~

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, Bulk Herb Store, peppermint herb, cooling

Besides tasting terrific, a great thing about my alternative is that it is sugar-free and dye-free. It has a lot of extra healthy benefits as it’s loaded with Vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, hibiscus leaves, Bulk Herb Store, red coloring, tea, sweet tart

Here is the simple recipe:

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over:

~2 TBSP Hibiscus flowers
~1 to 1 1/2 tsp Stevia leaves depending on desired sweetness (fresh or dried herb)
~1 tsp Peppermint leaves (fresh or dried herb)

Let steep for 15 to 20 minutes then strain into a 1/2 gallon pitcher. Add several cups of ice and fill the rest of the way with cold water. Stir and enjoy!


‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, alternative to sugar, stevia leaf, peppermint herb, hibiscus flower,herbal tea


‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, sugar-free, sugar-free, straining off herbs, making herbal tea, alternative Kool-Aid, Better than Kool-Aid

There is a Bulk Herb Store Giveaway going on right now here on Deep Roots! It runs until August 9 at MN. I hope you will hop on over and enter for a chance to WIN!!!

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, alternative to sugar, sugar-free,, hibiscus leaves, peppermint, stevia leaves, herbal teas, no food dyes, Bulk Herb Store

For more information on addictive Aspartame: Which Is Worse: Sugar Or Aspartame?

For more on Natural And Artificial Flavors: Addictive Flavors & Foods To Avoid

For more on code-words that are used to cover-up usage of seriously dangerous ingredients: Does ‘Tasty’ Kill? ~ Excitotoxins

“True healthcare reform starts in your own kitchen, not in Washington.”  ~Anonymous

(I do have an affiliate standing with Bulk Herb Store. If you need a source of pure, organic herbals, books, or accessories to make your own wonderful recipes, I would be grateful if you would purchase through the link or the buttons in this post. It helps to support Deep Roots At Home. Thank you!)

 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1: 7

‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe, little girl eating apple, holding bread

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~ Jacqueline

This entry was posted in Bulk Herb Store, Favorite Products, Health, Herbs, Sweet Treats. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to ‘Better Than Kool-Aid’ Recipe

  1. Jess Lamson says:

    I love the idea of using stevia, somehow it hadn’t occurred to me yet! My family really enjoys tea made from hibiscus and lemon balm sweetened with a small amount of honey or sugar. It’s really lovely and refreshing.

  2. renee says:

    My son never did like Kool-aid,neither did I. We have always found it to bee too sweet.

  3. Sherri says:

    This looks wonderful! I’m sure we would so enjoy it and my husband wouldn’t even have to know it is good for him.

  4. Hannah Sommers says:

    We just made the lifestyle change to ‘healthy’ in Jan of this yr. But before that we had stopped buying products with red 40 in them because of our son. The Dr told me (when our son was about 2) that he would say our son was Autistic and he wanted to give him meds. I refused and started asking around and doing some research. As a result we discovered that he was reacting to the dye… So kool aid has been a no-no since then (8 yrs)… This looks fun. My two children have always wished them could drink ‘pretty’ drinks! :) So now maybe we can! :D

  5. Mona G. says:

    Sounds good to me, I would like to try it :)

  6. This sounds so delicious and healthy, will definitely give it a try. Have you tested any other herb combinations? Thanks for sharing!

  7. This sounds delightful and delicious, Jacqueline!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

  8. My son was born in 1983 and by the time he was 2, I wouldn’t give him anything sugary too often because it made him so ranbunctious. I didn’t read it anywhere, and I don’t know if it was ‘out’ there to be read in the 80′s. I made as much as I could with carob and sucunat or honey….that was all I knew to do back then (doesn’t this make me sound ancient?!) Later I found that all those colorful red foods both artificial and naturally red like tomatoes are called solicilates and will have an affect on some children (if not most?).

    I am enjoying reading what you are sharing from the Bulk Herb store and your storehouse of knowledge as I am trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to eat healthier.

    • Jacqueline says:

      All we can do is our best, and that is what God gives us to do for each day. It has been slow for us, and it has taken time, but I wouldn’t doit any other way, if possible! Mother seem to instinctively know things others can’t understand!
      Blessings, friend!

  9. Sandra says:

    Oh yes Kool-aid is bad in my opinion. What always gets me is how it will stain your fingers, clothes, counter tops. If it does that to objects what does it do to our insides?

    What a great idea mixing the three of them. I’ve had hibiscus before and it is quite yummy.

  10. Lydia says:

    I have a more complicated recipe that we love – but this looks nice and easy! Do you think spearmint would be okay in place of the peppermint?

    • Jacqueline says:

      Yes, spearmint would be great, and I was thinking that to add red raspberry leaf would be very cool for women with menstrual issues or pre- or post-partum needs! Blessings!

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  16. Julie says:

    I would be very careful using anything with stevia in it – especially for children. It has frequently been tied to stomach issues, particularly diarrhea.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Thank you, Julie! I agree if it is processed stevia, but this is the unprocessed plant. People are also having stomach issues with wheat and too many nuts. I appreciate your comment, though.

  17. Chris says:

    Be careful with the stevia! Make sure you let everyone know that you are using it and not sugar or honey. I had a anaphylactic reaction to stevia. People think that since it is natural, it is good for everyone.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Chris, it’s right there in the ingredients :) People could also be allergic to eggs, wheat, corn, and strawberries. Thank you, though, for your care and comment.

  18. Mindi says:

    Jacqueline ~ This is a great recipe! We have been Kool aide free for over 9+ years (our son has a very adverse reaction to Red dye, which means orange and purple too).
    I was wondering if you think I could replace with a drop of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil of Peppermint and raw honey to sweeten?

    • Jacqueline says:

      Hi, Mindi!
      Absolutely…peppermint EO sounds awesome, and if the stevia isn’t sweet enough, you can always add more to the brew or add honey! We LOVE raw honey; it is our main sweetener in moderation. Glad you like the post. I think many of us have kids who are sensitive to the dyes…freaked me out the first time our oldest had a rxn! Have a great weekend!

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    • Jacqueline says:

      I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it wouldn’t take it unfortunately…Anyway, I Pinned it on 3 (‘Smoothies and Drinks’ on my board and 2 others within a huge group board) different boards and let’s see what happens! Here is my Pinterest! http://www.pinterest.com/deeprootsathome/
      Have a fantastic day!

  20. Pam says:

    Hi Jacqueline,
    I sent a care package to my daughter with the ingredients last week. All her men LOVED it!! I’m reposting this today. Thank you for your wonderful ideas!

  21. PLB says:

    Stevia can be dangerous for children, I’d be wary of using this recipe except on very rare occasions.

  22. Amy Jung says:

    I love the ideas you share here! This sounds refreshing!

  23. Krystal says:

    This looks amazing!!! As a Black-American, kool-aid is the main drink in our soul food dishes. As I got older, I wanted a healthier alternative without all the dyes and white sugar! I wouldn’t want to drink that all the time. Hibiscus is very close to tasting like the real deal, but with added benefits. Adding stevia and peppermint leaves is a plus! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! :)

    • Jacqueline says:

      Krystal, I’m glad you like it! I think it is pretty amazing that hibiscus tastes so similar :) Have a blessed weekend!

    • Nate says:

      Krystal, the hibiscus drink is why we as black Americans drink kool aid. Hibiscus is a west African flower that millions of us still use to make this drink today as it is popular all over west and central Africa and in the Caribbean. Google the words Zobo (Nigeria), Bissap (Congo), Sorrel (Caribbean), and you will see images of this red hibiscus drink African and African descended people drink all the time. African Americans did not have access to this drink in north america so we made substitutes with other red drinks. It’s funny how this webpage is teaching you about your ancient culture and you did not even realize it. Hibiscus drink is our original kool aid.

  24. Kelly says:

    Have you tried this with any other herb combinations? This looks amazing and I want to try and of course I think I have every thing under the sun…but not hibiscus!

    • Jacqueline says:

      We love the stevia herb brewed with peppermint, red rooibos, and also ruby red chai (a Trader Joe’s tea), but the hibiscus really TASTES like Kool Aid! Have fun :)

  25. Love this healthy alternative! How can I find a container with a strainer like yours (or something similar) or do they coincidentally work together?

  26. Jen S. says:

    Is the stevia the same as what is found in drinks like Vitamin Water? I ask because whenever I’ve tried that, I get a terrible aftertaste – worse than aspartame – so it’s not something I would voluntarily put in my drink! lol We’ve avoided food dyes for many years already because it caused night terrors/sleep walking and bed wetting, in addition to behavior issues. I would definitely like to try this.

  27. I live in Mexico and we drink Hibiscus tea all of the time, though we call it jamaica! It’s wonderful! If you still have trouble with the sugar content, try adding some baking soda to the mix. The salt intensifies the sugar flavor so you can cut back the amount.

    • Jacqueline says:

      What a neat tip! I’ve never heard of that, but love to learn new things! Maybe it is based on something we discovered in our kitchen: a bit of sea salt does make sweet things sweeter – at least to us! may be it is just more balanced :)
      Blessings to you, Kristi.

  28. Aira says:

    How many batches does that bag of Hibiscus flowers make? Or, how much does the .5lb measure out to?

    • Jacqueline says:

      Hmmm…I am really not sure I can be exact, so this will be a guess: I have under a half bag and have made it 7 times. I gave 2 TBSP to a friend, as well. I’m going to guess it will make 11-12 1/2 gallon containers full. You could call the BHS and ask them to be more accurate. http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Hibiscus-Flowers-Cut_Organic#a_aid=deeprootsathome The phone # is on the page link. Good luck and sorry I couldn’t be of more help. It will cost more than Kool-Aid but be WAY better for you and actually give you health benefits, too :)

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  30. What a great idea – and it sounds like it would taste really great! I did not realize that they were labeling aspartame as something else. Yikes!

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  33. We can’t get Kool Aid here, and it’s not something I’d want my kids to drink, though I did love it myself as a kid. I’ll look out for these ingredients to make ourselves a pitcher over the summer. Thanks for sharing with Mom’s Library, I’ll be featuring you this week at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures.

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  37. Jenny K says:

    I just got my ingredients in the mail this week. We will try this with lunch today. Thanks for sharing with us.

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