The gift of comfort
I can’t think of anything as nurturing as a cup of tea, cradled lovingly in the hands, with the steam rolling up into your senses, promising to make the world a better place.
Tea is one of the oldest and most revered of drinks in the world. It dates back at least 5,000 years. The legend has it that when a Chinese emperor was out traveling around the country side, the party stopped to have a bite to eat. This very clever fellow had decreed earlier in his reign that all water be boiled before drinking, so the royal party set about boiling their water. Some leaves from a nearby tree fell into the water and voila! Tea was born. It soon spread around the east like a warm blanket and was eventually elevated to an art form by the Japanese. Those globe trotting Europeans got a hold of it in the 14 century the rest is history.
Any culture you look at, tea has made its loving foot print. It represents slowing down, enjoying the moment and breathing. Tea is a sanctuary in itself, warm, inviting and soul fostering. Making your own tea raises the ritual to another level. Tea is also a good way to drink your recommended 8 glasses of water. You can get all the ingredients for these teas at your local health food store. Remember there is no exact science here, just your imagination limits you.
Making tea mixes and giving them as gifts is an easy and comforting gift that will be received by anyone on any food plan. I have compile some of my very favorite tea recipes for you to mix together for yourselves or others. You can get all the ingredients for these teas in the bulk section of your favorite health food store. Gift the teas in mason jars with the directions and adorned with ribbons. I have also included a fabulous biscotti recipe that I simply adore with tea. The combination gift is unbeatable! I hope you have a warm and comfortable holiday season!
This first tea was created by my sister-in-law. It stimulates the chi in one’s system and is great for colds or whatever ails you!
Arctic Aggie’s Chi Tea
¼ cup mint preferably wintergreen
¼ cup chamomile
¼ cup rosehips
¼ cup lemongrass
¼ cup alfalfa
Mix well in an air tight jar and use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of tea. Steep 10 minutes in very hot water, strain, then cozy into drinking the warmth.
I really love this last one for its spicy flavor and stimulating effects.
Spiced Orange Tea
½ cup of lemon balm leaves
½ cup of spearmint leaves
2 tablespoons of orange peel, dried
2 teaspoons of whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in an air tight jar and shake until well blended. Use 1 heaping tablespoon per mug of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes or so, then strain and float a slice of orange in each cup, for fun and flavor!
Tom Bender, who is a dear friend of mine has created this next tea many years ago and shares it here with us.
1/3 part mint (both peppermint and spearmint in no particular
1/3 part chamomile
1/3 part rose hips
Place mixed ingredients in an air tight jar and use 1 heaping tablespoon per cupa of love.
For two mugs of hot tea. Great on a cold and freezing winter’s night. Not bad with a bit of brandy either!
2 ½ Tablespoons of tea of your choice
3 allspice berries
2 teaspoons of coarsely crushed cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of grated orange rind
1-2 teaspoons of honey
Two slices of an orange
Steep spices and tea for 10 minutes then strain. Add the honey then float a slice of orange in your mug for beauty and taste.
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Biscotti
1/2 cup of agave or honey
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 cups of blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips, chopped
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In your favorite mixing bowl, blend together the agave or honey and the eggs and vanilla till fluffy. In a separate bowl add the flour, salt, and soda and whisk till well blended. Then slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet till just barely mixed. Fold in the chips and cranberries.
Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and make a nice fat log. Now this is easier said than done! the dough is very sticky! I wet my hands alot to keep from sticking. Bake for about 30 minutes then take out of the oven and let the log cool for an half hour or so. Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into slices, about a 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices back on the baking sheet and bake another 15 to 20 minutes. (I like to bake on the lighter side so they don’t break my teeth!) Take out of the oven and do a little biscotti dance as you eat one. Serve with tea.