Posts tagged tea

cinnamon-orange tea

Some foods have simple flavors.  What you put into the dish is what you taste when you eat it.  Other foods – most foods, I think – are more than the sum of their parts.  This was most evident to me when I made pad thai for the first time.  I had eaten it many times, but would never have guessed that so few ingredients with such strong flavors would meld together to make that magical tangy-salty-sweet pad thai sauce.  Many drinks fall into the former category: strawberry lemonade, for example, tastes like strawberries and lemons.  Mint green tea tastes like green tea and fresh mint.

This tea is different.  Sweetened enough so that the liquid is slightly thick, it is fragrant and floral.  As with pad thai, if I didn’t already know what flavorings were added to this tea, I doubt I would have been able to identify them.  Normally, I don’t post about recipes that I made almost verbatim from another site, but this one was so unique and delicious that I thought it merited an exception.

Cinnamon-Orange Tea (makes 1 pitcher)

I am sure this would be as delicious unsweetened, or more lightly sweetened.  Use your judgment.  From Food Network.

Ingredients:

  • 12 c. water
  • 10 black tea bags
  • strips of orange peel, taken from 1 orange with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 sprig mint leaves (4-6 leaves)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, place 12 cups of water, along with orange peel and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and add tea bags.  Steep 4 minutes, and then remove tea bags.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and ginger.  Heat over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.  Turn off heat, add mint sprig, and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour syrup through a strainer into the tea, and give a quick stir.  Pour into a pitcher, and serve over ice.

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cranberry tea tonic

Sometimes, you get to a time in your life when you’re sick of all the not-so-good for you food you’ve been eating, and you just want to start over with a clean slate.  Maybe you’ve been working too long or traveling and you’ve found yourself indulging in too much fast food.  Maybe, like me, you start off well with a bunch of grapes as your first meal, and then degenerate to a dozen fish sticks and a half pint of Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter ice cream.  Some people swear by the lemon juice/maple syrup/cayenne pepper detox diet, even people who think it tastes disgusting!  I say, why torture yourself?

I swear by this drink, because it makes me feel good.  You can drink it warm or hot, but I find it particularly excellent ice cold.  I picked each ingredient specifically for its potential health benefits, but the recipe is highly adaptable, and it can be modified to anyone’s tastes.  I would emphasize here that although I’m listing the known potential health benefits, medical studies have been inconclusive for most of what is below – so don’t go drinking this thinking it will cure or prevent anything!

– Green tea has been touted to have numerous health benefits: wow, look at all of these!  Of course, conflicting studies have been done, and it’s tough to know with certainty what the actual health benefits of green tea are.  Still, there is some evidence that green tea increases the metabolic rate, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol, and may even help oxidize fat, helping people to lose weight.

– Honey has been used nutritionally and medicinally for thousands of years due to its naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Honey has been used externally on wounds, as well as internally to soothe sore throats and coughing fits.  It is thought to potentially bolster the immune system, and there is some evidence that eating honey from bees in your local neighborhood may help ease allergies.  These benefits are said to vary based on the quality and type of the honey, and it is often said that raw honey is the best (particularly for allergy sufferers), since it includes bits of pollen.

– Cranberry juice is known to be high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants and flavonoids.  Cranberry juice might have benefits related to the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as having anti-bacterial effects such as anti-adhesion properties.

Cranberry Tea Tonic (makes 4-6 servings)

Some detoxers swear by drinking a glass of warm water and lemon juice first thing in the morning to stimulate digestion.  Substituting some lemon juice for the cranberry would probably have a similar effect here.

Ingredients:

  • 6 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. raw honey
  • 3 green tea bags
  • cranberry juice (2-4 tbsp. per serving)
  • ice cubes and cold water

Directions:

  • In a large pitcher, pour boiling water over the honey.  Add tea bags and steep according to directions on the box.  After discarding the tea bags, stir to make sure the honey has dissolved, and then let cool to room temperature, or chill.
  • For each serving, fill a tall glass with ice cubes, and pour in a small splash of cranberry juice to taste.  Fill about halfway up with the green tea mixture, and then add cold water to fill the glass.

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