Time for another Recipe Redux! This month's theme:
Beverages Are Hot - That which is served in a mug, glass, or stein is becoming just as interesting as what’s on the plate. New cocktail-only blogs are emerging. Pinners are cooking with their Keurig K-cups. Hot beverages have gone way beyond hot cocoa. Beverages are in! Whether you’re serving something hot or cool, kid-friendly or happy hour worthy, show us your healthier drink.
At first, I was a bit flummoxed. As someone who is perfectly satisfied with tap water, black coffee and tea, I couldn't think of anything creative. I've already shared my favorite hot chocolate and more than enough smoothie recipes. I could share juicing recipes, but I mostly just throw leftover fruits and vegetables into our juicer, with variable results. I was stumped.
This recipe was developed out of necessity. Last week, as the snow started the fall, I felt a tickle in the back of my throat and started to get nauseous. Bad things were brewing, and it wasn't just the weather. When I went to brew tea, my go-to cold & flu fighter, I found a mostly empty drawer.
I never really thought of making homemade tea, but now that I have, it seems so obvious. With a mix of fresh herbs, spices and citrus, it achieves a complexity of flavor you could never get from dried tea. The fresh ingredients, in this case, orange, ginger and mint, are supported with a background of fennel and black peppercorn. Because my tummy hurt, I chose ingredients known to aid digestion.
Besides it's potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, ginger is helpful for reducing stomach gas and relaxing the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps increase the release of digestive enzymes, bile, and saliva. In studies, ginger has been shown to be effective relieving symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. This is especially helpful for women dealing with morning sickness, as many medications can be dangerous during pregnancy.
- 2 thin slices of fresh orange
- 2 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- Pinch of whole, black peppercorns
- Honey (optional)
- Place the orange, ginger and mint in a teacup. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, mash them lightly to release the essence. Crush fennel and black peppercorns lightly in a mortar and pestle. Place the ginger, mint leaves, fennel and black peppercorns in a tea ball. I left mine loose in the pictures since my tea ball has a big, plastic Santa Claus on it - not so good for photography. Place the tea bag back in the teacup and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Let it infuse for at least 2 minutes before drinking. Sweeten with honey if desired.