You can make teas that are savory instead of sweet. It seems that many people are fatigued by sweets. Many medications such as chemotherapy agents used to treat cancer alter taste sensations and make sweet foods and beverages unappealing. For these reasons, or just for a change of pace, savory teas are a taste treat. Try these savory herbal teas to add some spice to your life and to enjoy the health benefits that culinary herbs offer.
Sprigs of rosemary were considered a love charm, a sign of remembrance, and a way to ward off the plague. Now rosemary is valued for its phytochemical rosmarinic acid, which is a potent antioxidant.
Rosemary Lemon Tea
1 tsp. rosemary
1 cup water
1 slice lemon
Add the rosemary to 1 cup of boiling water; add the lemon slice and steep in a covered container for ten minutes.
This popular member of the mint family is often tossed into tomato sauce or pounded into pesto. Basil contains antimicrobial compounds that may inhibit the growth of disease causing bacteria. As a tea it is best combined with tomato. Try this soothing drink on a cold winter’s day:
Basil Tomato Tea
1/4 tsp. basil
Dash garlic powder
1/2 cup low sodium tomato juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Heat the basil and garlic in the vegetable broth until boiling. This can be done in one minute in the microwave. Add tomato juice. Serve in tea mug or bowl.
The clove is the unopened bud of the clove tree. The word clove is derived from the Latin clavus, for nail. Oil from cloves has many medicinal uses ranging from antibacterial mouthwash to a treatment for toothaches. Cloves may play an additional role in regulating glucose metabolism.
Cloves are strong; a little goes a very long way. Try this spicy tea to relax after a long day or as a mid afternoon treat to get some calcium!
Spiced Tea Latte
1 cup skim milk
Pinch: cinnamon, allspice, cloves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tea bag
Place milk, spices and sugar together in a coffee mug and stir well. Add the tea bag and microwave on medium power until hot, about 2 minutes. Allow to steep for a few minutes, discard tea bag and serve.
Just as the champions of the first Olympic games were awarded garlands made of bay leaves, you can reward your family with a hot broth made with bay after your own Winter Olympic events such as sledding.
To make a broth drink with bay leaves, you need to simmer it slowly for 20-30 minutes because it takes time for the flavor to permeate the food. Be sure to remove bay leaves before serving!
A savory broth is a version of tea and is a warming, soothing drink. A cup of broth served with warm bread or crackers makes a great snack. Try it as a beverage for lunch with a sandwich.
3 quarts water
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1 stalk celery
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and celery stalk before serving.
You can make a batch of stock and freeze in one-cup containers. Simply microwave and drink!
By Carol M. Coughlin, RD - excerpted from Eat Your Herbs (FMI?see www.foodandhealth.com or call 800-462-2352.)
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.