I remember the big pitcher of iced tea with lemons and fresh mint my mom would make each morning during the summer. Perhaps that is why I love it so and it is my beverage of choice summer, winter and every season in between. I wrote about tea here and the varieties of them as well as why you may want to quench your thirst with it often, but I have been into a different tea lately and serving it a bit differently as well.
I have been reaching for Rooibos tea, or red bush tea and tossing in a variety of fruits as well. Rooibos is an herbal tea grown from a small shrub that grows near Cape Town, South Africa, and not grown from the Camellia sinensis plant where we obtain our other tea varieties. Both "teas" have endless health benefits but here is why you should consider giving Rooibos a rotation in your beverage making and doing so often.
Five Health Benefits Of Rooibos TeaRooibos tastes great and supports many of our bodily systems. Read how here:
It acts like your personal body guard. Rooibos contains many antioxidants and we all know how good they are. But the wide variety of them in Rooibos tea helps to protect the body in a number of ways. Two polyphenol antioxidants called aspalathin and nothofagin are found in high concentrations in Rooibos tea, which aid in free radical protection. The polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties and can safeguard against heart disease and defend cells and DNA against damage and inhibit them from developing into cancer. The antioxidant chysoeriol can improve circulation as well.
The mineral numbers are abundant. Rooibos tea contains several minerals like magnesium, calcium and manganese - all essential together for strong teeth and bones. There is also zinc and iron as well.
Drink up with no caffeine jitters. The rooibos plant grows naturally without any caffeine. So if caffeine poses a problem for you, you can drink Rooibos with abandon as it will not give you the side effects of other caffeinated beverages.
Rooibos can be a restful tonic. The lack of caffeine and high mineral content together may help some relax and wind down. It could be a good choice for evening or bedtime.
Minted Rooibos SangriaHere is a non-alcoholic sangria using the healthy Rooibus tea as the base with some even more antioxidant rich berries, other fruits and lots of mint to add to the flavor. I use some frozen fruit to keep it chilled and not watered down with too much ice. This makes a big pitcher or about 8 refreshing servings.
- 5 Rooibos tea bags or 5 teaspoons loose tea in tea ball
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 tablespoons raw honey
- large handful of mint leaving a few sprigs as a garnish.
- 4 organic oranges using the juice of 3 and the slices of 1
- 2 organic lemons using the juice of 1 and the slices of 1
- 2 organic limes, sliced
- 1 organic apple, cored and sliced
- 1 cup frozen berries - one type or a mix of strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries. Reserve 1/2 cup.
- 1 cup organic red seedless frozen grapes reserving 1/2 cup.
- 2-3 cups chilled carbonated water
- Place tea bags and mint in a boiling water proofed bowl or pitcher and pour four cups of boiling water over the tea bags and mint.
- Add the honey and stir, crushing mint to extract flavor.
- Let the tea brew for 10 minutes and remove tea bags and mint. Let cool to room temperature or place in refrigerator to chill.
- Add all cut up fruit (reserving at least 1 cup of frozen fruit) to a large pitcher and add tea. Add fresh orange and lemon juices and stir well.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to chill and meld fruit flavors.
- Taste and adjust flavors.
- Add reserved frozen fruit.
- Add chilled carbonated water before serving and place pitcher in ice to keep cold if entertaining or in refrigerator. Garnish with mint.
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photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kali-ma/124218131/">kali.ma</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>