What is tea?
Tea is a beverage made by steeping leaves of Camellia sinensis in hot water for several minutes. Other types of herbal teas are known as tisanes and are usually caffeine free. While these tisanes are probably beneficial, the studies that show the benefits of tea are referring to tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Green tea is made by steaming freshly-harvested tea leaves and then drying them. The resulting greenish-yellow tea has a green color and a fresh taste. This type of tea is the least processed and contains the most beneficial plant chemicals. It also has less caffeine than black tea.
Why should I drink tea?
• There is already convincing evidence that people who drink more tea suffer fewer heart attacks and strokes.
• Some of the phytochemicals found in tea might help prevent and/or slow the progression of at least several types of cancer.
• Epidemiological data have fairly consistently found that people who drink more tea are less likely to lose cognitive function over time.
• A recent study in China has added yet more evidence that tea is good for the heart and mind.
• The most economical way to enjoy tea is to buy leaves or bags in bulk and brew yourself.
• Avoid excess calories by purchasing diet tea or unsweetened tea if buying brewed or bottled.
• Beware of large bottles of tea that look like 2 servings but are actually multiple servings and a lot of calories per bottle because they have added sugar.
• Beware of instant mixes that have a lot of added sugar. Read the nutrition facts label to determine serving size per calories listed.
It is easy to make refrigerator tea - place 3 tea bags in 2 quarts of water and refrigerate for a few hours until the tea is the desired color. Flavor with lemon, mint and non-nutritive sweetener. To brew tea, place bag in cup and pour boiling water over the top. Allow to steep for a few minutes then remove the tea bag.
Green tea bags can cost as little as .08 each which translates to about .24 for a half gallon of iced tea. Black tea bags are about .04 each or .12 per half gallon of iced tea. The same amount of soda costs about $1.50. Over time this can add up to money saved and health gained!
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.