Sangria(Edited from AP) Like so many people, Rocco DiSpirito uses the start of the new year to assess my life and zero in on all the things he wants to change. For 2012, he wants to focus on being healthier, continue exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and spend more time with family and friends.

And there’s no need to wait for Jan. 1 to get working on them. Granted, the onslaught of holiday parties and the many cocktails they offer, can make that a challenge. But he’s a big believer that you can make sensible choices and still enjoy a party.

Sangria(Edited from AP) Like so many people, Rocco DiSpirito uses the start of the new year to assess my life and zero in on all the things he wants to change. For 2012, he wants to focus on being healthier, continue exercising, maintain a healthy weight, and spend more time with family and friends.

And there’s no need to wait for Jan. 1 to get working on them. Granted, the onslaught of holiday parties and the many cocktails they offer, can make that a challenge. But he’s a big believer that you can make sensible choices and still enjoy a party.

That’s why he came up with this recipe for alcohol-free sangria, which is based on the popular Spanish fruit and wine punch. And at only 43 calories a glass (downsized from the average 170 calories for traditional recipes) there’s nothing wrong with that.

His sangria’s sweetness and hint of fruity flavor come from two good-for-you teas: pomegranate and hibiscus.

He also adds tons of flavors with fruit such as citrus, berries and melon. That’s the versatility of sangria; it tastes delicious with any combination of fruit.


NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION SANGRIA


Start to finish: 15 minutes active, plus chilling
Servings: 4

1 cup water
3 bags pomegranate tea (such as Yogi)
3 bags hibiscus and rosehip tea (such as Teekanne)
6 packets stevia sweetener powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters (such as Angostura)
1 1/2 cups fresh cut up fruit (such as citrus, grapes, apples, berries and melon)
5 sprigs fresh mint
2 cups seltzer water

In a small saucepan, bring the 1 cup of water to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add all 6 tea bags. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, pressing them to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir in the stevia, agave and bitters. Add the fruit and 1 sprig of the mint. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

Fill 4 tumblers with a third of the way with ice, then divide the chilled tea between the glasses. Add 1/2 cup of seltzer water and 1 mint sprig to each cup.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 43 calories; 0 g fat (0 percent calories from fat) (0 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 2 mg sodium.

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Rocco DiSpirito is author of the ”Now Eat This!” and ”Now Eat This! Diet” cookbooks.

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