Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tea Time

So I've missed a few posts! May last post was on Spring, and now it already feels like summer where I am! That means it's time for some iced tea.
Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water. It is enjoyed both for flavor and for health.
BLACK, GREEN AND WHITE TEAS are all from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The variation in color and flavor comes from processing. All of these teas contain antioxidant compounds that protect cells from damage, but green tea has had the most research behind it. Research over the last few years has shown that consumption of green tea may help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, increase weight loss, reduce rich for cancer, and even promote oral health by warding off bad breath, tooth decay and even mouth cancer. Green tea also contains one of my favorite compounds, the amino acid L-theanine, which helps promote relaxation and mental alertness.
HERB TEA (TISANE) is not true tea, but an infusion made from herbs and plants. Most (but not all) herbal tea is caffeine free, and there are numerous fruity or exotic blends available. Herb teas may also be used for medicinal purposes, such as Holy Basil for stress or Ginger for nausea and indigestion.
Tea can be consumed eithr hot or iced, and they can be purchased as whole loose leaf tea, in tea bags, or ready-to-drink in a bottle.

Here is a refreshing green tea recipe, perfect for warm weather:
Green Tea Lemonade
Lemonade Concentrate
Green Tea bags

Prepare lemonade concentrate using only 1/2 the amount of water needed for the full recipe. Brew green tea equal to the amount of water needed to complete the lemonade, and allow it to cool to room temperature. (Example – if preparing 1 gallon of lemonade, make 1/2 gallon lemonade concentrate and 1/2 gallon green tea)
Combine cool brewed tea and lemonade. Serve chilled or over ice.