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Healing Kombucha Tea

21 Sep

Healing Kombucha Tea

I really LOVE Kombucha Tea! The first time I saw the Kombucha, I thought that it looked like this weird slimy alien-like fermented growth and didn’t want to drink the tea made from it. Well, when I did try the tea, I fell in love with it. It was slightly fizzy, sweet and tangy and oh-so-good for you. Kombucha tea is a healing tea with many medicinal properties. It can aid with digestion, restore an alkaline balance in the body, aid in Vitamins (especially B Vitamins), can boost energy levels and support the body as a nutritious drink.  You can’t buy the Kombucha culture in a store. You can get a starter Kombucha from someone you know or there are online resources that will ship one out to you. Once you get one, follow this recipe for your perfect batch of healthy goodness!

You will need:

a big wide mouth glass jar for fermenting the Kombucha (1.5 to 2 litre capacity)

a 2 litre pyrex measuring cup for brewing tea

a wooden spoon

3 tea bags of English Breakfast tea (preferrably organic)

2 tea bags or organic fruit tea (peach flavored)

1 cup of sugar (for 2 litres of water)

paper towel and rubber bands

1-2 jars with lids for storing the Kombucha once it’s ready

**IMPORTANT: always use VERY CLEAN utensils and clean hands while preparing the Kombucha and NEVER let the kombucha touch metal of any kind including rings and bracelets. Metal will kill the Kombucha!**

Boil 2 litres of water and pour into the pyrex measuring cup. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Add all of the tea bags and steep for 8 min. Let the tea cool down completely until room temperature. This can take anywhere from 3-4 hours. Please be patient, it’s worth it. Then in your large capacity fermenting jar, pour some of the tea that came with your Kombucha culture into the jar (filling about 1/4 of the jar). Then pour in the cooled tea that you brewed into the jar. With your hands, take the Kombucha and gently float it on top of the tea mixture in the jar. It’s ok if it sinks to the bottom. Then cover the jar with a piece of paper towel and put a rubber band around it to hold it in place. This will keep out dust, pets and insects. Then place the jar in a location where it won’t be disturbed and allow to ferment for 7-10 days. A new Kombucha culture will form on the top of the liquid. Then it’s ready for harvest. Repeat the entire process above to make a new batch. Make the new batch with the newly formed Kombucha. With the “old” kombucha, you may give it away to a friend. With the left over newly fermented Kombucha tea, use some to start the new batch and the rest pour into a glass jar, place  a lid on it and put it into the fridge. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

If you see mould growth on the Kombucha, get rid of it and get a brand new Kombucha culture!

Enjoy! Bottoms up!

photo by: Zero-X on flickr.com

Simple Chai

2 Jan

Simple Chai

Here is a simple version of chai tea that I really love. It’s exotic and warms the heart.

a spoon or two of cardamon pods

2 heaping spoons of lose leaf black tea (Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast)

1/4 cup of milk (either cow or soy)

evaporated cane juice or honey to sweeten

In a small saucepan add about 2 cups of water and cardamon pods. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 5-10 min or so. Add black tea and simmer another couple of minutes. Then add milk and bring to a boil once again. Caution: keep stirring the chai and be careful that it doesn’t boil over! So many times I had a HUGE disaster because I wasn’t paying attention.  Then reduce heat to a simmer for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a teacup. Add sugar or sweetener to taste.

Tip: I even enjoy this chai without the sweetner

photo by annosvixit on flickr.com

Great Ginger Tea

1 Jan

Great Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is awesome on a cold day or for sore throats and fevers. Best used with organic ginger. The honey is a nice touch but this tea is also great on its own.

2 spoons or more of grated ginger

a dab of honey to taste

In a small pot, add 2 cups or so of water and bring to a boil. Add ginger and reduce heat to a simmer. Add honey and cover. Let simmer 15-20 min. Pour into teacups and serve. Or pour tea through a strainer if you don’t want floaties or the tea to get too strong.

Tip: add some freshly squeezed lemon for a bit more zing

Happy sipping!

~jasmine~

photo by yomi955 on flickr.com

Mamaji’s Chai Tea

1 Jan

Mamaji’s Chai Tea

I love chai tea! This recipe I learned from some amazing women from India. I worked with them in a busy vegan kitchen. They didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Punjabi but they took me under their wing anyway. We had many laughs and tears over a cup of chai. It is so soothing that it really comforts you. It also helps aid in digestion.

a spoon of cardamon pods

a spoon of fennel

a spoon of fresh grated ginger

a dash of cinnamon

1/2 spoon of cloves (use less if you find cloves strong)

2 heaping spoons of lose leaf black tea (Irish Breakfast or English Breakfast)

1/4 cup of milk (either cow or soy)

sweetner to taste

In a small saucepan add about 2 cups of water and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 5 min or so. Add black tea and simmer another couple of minutes. Then add milk and bring to a boil once again. Caution: keep stirring the chai and be careful that it doesn’t boil over! So many times I had a HUGE disaster because I wasn’t paying attention.  Then reduce heat to a simmer for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a teacup. Add sugar or sweetener to taste.

Ahhh…..

~jasmine~

photo by kk+ on flickr.com