Sunday, July 15, 2012

Home-made iced ginger tea for scorching summers

Ginger, if you see it in the store, looks quite ugly. It looks like a tiny, sallow, unattached hand. But it also has to be the most deceitful spice ever. Once you peel it, ginger has a charming flavor, like flowers and scrubbed clean cotton. There's no end to how many purposes you can find for ginger in the kitchen. I've become addicted to cooking with it, not just in curries but also in adaptations of Romanian and New Mexican foods.

Nutritionally, ginger has very powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkiller) properties. Since ancient times, it has been used in many cultures to alleviate heartburn and also menstrual cramps (bet you didn't know that!). Ginger tea is not only tasty and refreshing, it also helps digestion, so it's good to have any time of day.

This ginger tea recipe is the result of much trial and error. It's sweetened with Stevia, which is a natural sweetener and has zero effect on our blood sugar level. Let this be one drink in your life that you don't add sugar to. 

Iced Ginger Tea with Stevia
~ makes 1/2 gallon (64 oz)

1 3-inch piece ginger root
8 cups (64 oz) filtered water
juice of 1/2 lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
4 caffeine-free tea bags (Oolong tea works great, I personally like the Triple Leaf Tea brand)
5 drops Stevia or another natural sweetener

Peel the ginger root with a teaspoon. Wash it well and cut it into small pieces. Set the water and ginger root in a stainless steel pot on medium heat. Stainless steel works well because it does not react with the ginger. Try to catch it right before it boils and take it off the heat. The ginger will be stronger in the tea if you don't boil it. 

Set the teabags in a heatproof glass bowl and pour the hot water and ginger over them. Cover and steep the teabags for 10 minutes and then remove them. Cover again and let the ginger steep for another 1 1/2 hours. After that, sweeten with 5 drops of Stevia extract or the sweetener of your choice. Add the lemon juice and stir. We add the lemon after the tea's cooled down so as not to kill the lemon's valuable enzymes. Pour into a pitcher through a strainer and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment