Summer Goodness: Making use of the sun for the best tea!
I’m a huge fan of sun teas, any tea can be sun tea or cold brew. I am particularly fond of Mountain Rose Herb’s Hibiscus High blend, its beautiful, and natural, with ingredients like organic hibiscus, lemongrass, spearmint, orange peel, rose petals, rosehips, and honeybush. It’s sweet but not overly so, and I never add sugar or honey (unless I have a sore throat). I like to pair it with one part of a black tea – almost any black tea will do but I try to be sure it’s also organic.
In a two-quart mason jar, put three parts of Hibiscus High tea with one part of black tea. Put cold water to the rim, put a ring and seal or a plastic screw-on lid, and set in the sun for several hours. I’m a big fan of the plastic mason jar lids which you can find anywhere. I also like Snarky Tea’s cold brew system which is a filter, but there are many others like this one that uses a lid and infuser system.
- For an adult version, I like to pour the finished tea over ice, add your spirit of choice (try pre-made margaritas for a nice limey kick) and finish with tonic.
- Add muddled fresh strawberries or other fruit (like blueberries or cherries) and steep until done.
- If you’re like me, only brew two quarts at a time so none is wasted in the fridge, because while it will keep for several days, it’s at its best when it’s freshest.
- Top your finished drink (either spiked or not) with fresh basil leaves. This adds a beautiful aromatic element to the tea.
Take advantage of the bounty of Summer and enjoy your favorite sun tea!
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I can feel the chill in the air in the mornings – and I’m seeing colors changing on the trees – It’s Fall! I know that also means flu, colds, and various bugs flying around in the air as well. I’ve put together some recipes that can help you keep your Winter Wellness this season!
There are a great many herbal teas in grocery stores but remember, to get a therapeutic dose using tea bags, you will need to use at 3-4 per serving. For loose leaf teas, you will need 2 heaping tablespoons per serving. The recipes I’m including are geared for winter but sometimes can be used in spring or summer in iced form. The best place for quality herbs is Mountain Rose Herbs. I have used them for years and always loved them.
A word on Parts, keep your parts the same, for instance, 1 part equals 1 tablespoon or 1/4 cup. This way, your ratio will be correct for the recipes.
We’ll start with a good digestive tea – remember, good health starts in the gut! (From Healing Herbal Teas)
3 parts dandelion root
1 part fennel
1 part ginger
1 part peppermint
1 part spearmint
1/2 part chamomile – use in the evening to calm the nervous system
pinch of marshmallow root to soothe inflamed tissues in the throat, stomach, and intestines – especially useful for acid reflux.
Hot: Pour 1.5 cups of just-boiled water over 2 tablespoons tea. Steep – covered – for 15 minutes.
Cold: Combine 2 cups cold water and 1-2w tablespoons of tea in a jar with a lid. Shake well to saturate all the dry ingredients, place in the refrigerator or a cool place for at least two hours.
Kathy’s Vitamin C Tea:
I love this tea – my own creation! It’s wonderfully fruity and chock full of Vitamin C. Make a container full of the dried ingredients so that you can whip it together in an instant.
1 part rose hips
1 part Elderberry Flowers
1/2 part lemon peel
1/2 part orange peel
1 part hibiscus
1/2 part elderberries
Hot: Fill with 1.5 cups of just-boiled water and let steep – covered – for at least 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey. Enjoy several times per day.
Cold: Combine 2 cups of cold water into a jar with a lid and steep for at least 2 hours, then strain, sweeten if desired, and enjoy.
Dried Ginger Tea (Kathy’s Recipe)
Dried ginger is more warming than fresh ginger and ideal for helping you warm up after getting a chill, or sweating out a fever. But you can use whatever you have available.
About 2 teaspoons Dried, sifted, organic Ginger (sliced or diced)
10 ounces of water
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
dash of honey (optional)
A squirt of lemon juice (optional)
Hot: Place the ginger in a small saucepan with the water and simmer for at least seven minutes. Remove from heat and add the other ingredients if desired.
Herbal Inspired Hot Toddy (Kathy’s Recipe)
I love a hot toddy when I’m sick – and this one is a change from the traditional in using herbal ingredients:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cranberry or cherry juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice fresh ginger (or dried if fresh is not available)
2 teaspoons dried hibiscus
1/2-1 ounce whisky or brandy
slice of orange or lemon (optional)
Simmer water, juice, cinnamon, clove, hibiscus, ginger for about 10 minutes, then strain into a cup. Add honey to taste, whisky or brandy, and a slice of orange or lemon if desired. Drink while warm – preferably in bed because this toddy puts you right to sleep!
Relaxation (AKA Achy Body) Tea
NOTE: This tea is not for pregnant women – no exceptions! Also not for people with blood clotting disorders, or who are on Coumadin, or have kidney or liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure you can take this tea
1 teaspoon dried yarrow
1 teaspoon dried feverfew
2 teaspoons dried lavender
Steep with just boiled water for at least 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey. Particularly good before bed.
Enjoy, and if you need any herbal advice going through winter – please let me know.
Holy Basil – or Tulsi – is a wonderful herb to help relieve nervous tension. That and chamomile are always in my apothecary!
Tulsi can also help ailments such as asthma, flu, coughs, and colds but it also is very beneficial for lowering stress and even minor gastrointestinal issues. Its often referred to as the Queen of Herbs because of its many uses.
Today, I’m using it in my new Tuslimint Tea.
2 tsp Tulsi, dried
1 tsp chamomile, dried
1/2 tsp mint, dried
2 whole dried rosehips
1/2 tsp rose petals, dried
1 tsp lemon balm, dried
1/2 lemon peel, dried
1/2 tsp lavender flowers, dried
Either put into a tea infuser or just in the mug and pour 8-10 ounces of just boiled water. Let steep 15 to 20 minutes covered. Strain if necessary and sweeten with honey, sugar or stevia. You can heat it back up if desired.