Before anything else, I’d like to say that I am a beginner in the kitchen, so any tips that I am sharing are very easy to do and are things I recently learned during quarantine 🙂
Early on in the quarantine, I quickly found out that drinking multiple daily espressos was not a good idea because it heightened whatever jitters I was feeling (on top of leaving me with excess energy that had nowhere to go). I needed to find drinks that were soothing instead of stimulating, and hopefully something that would be good for our health too.
Like most people, we have a malunggay (moringa) tree in our backyard, and while we often use the leaves–which are packed with vitamins, by the way!–in our chicken tinola soup, I never really tried using them to make tea. One day when we trimmed the branches, we had so many leaves even after we gave some away to our neighbors, that we tried drying them out in the sun so as not to waste them.
After drying them for a few days, we took the dried leaves and ground them up using our coffee bean grinder. Then we put them into our coffee press, added hot water and brewed them for a few minutes. After it had cooled down, we poured it into a pitcher and added some honey and a couple of lemon slices, and it made an absolutely delicious iced tea 🙂 Who would have thought? Anyway, I’m sharing the recipe below 🙂
Moringa Iced Tea Recipe:
- 2 heaping tablespoons dried and ground malunggay (moringa) leaves
- 6 cups of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of honey (or sugar)
- 2-3 slices of lemon
Put 2 heaping tablespoons of dried and ground moringa leaves into a coffee press.
Add 6 cups of boiling water and allow to brew for 5 minutes.
Pour hot tea into a pitcher and allow to cool. Add 2 tablespoons of honey (to taste) and squeeze the juice of 1 slice of lemon. Add the remaining 2 slices of lemon into the pitcher.
Refrigerate and serve over ice. Enjoy!
The next tisane (or tea) we discovered was the Butterfly Pea Tea. It’s a very, very pretty looking drink along with having a lot of health benefits, so what’s not to love? 🙂 This tea can be made with dried or fresh flowers, and since we planted a couple of seeds during quarantine which grew and bloomed profusely, we opted to dry some (air dried for a few days, and after they shrink in size, additionally dried in the fridge for good measure) and turn a few fresh flowers into tea.
The beauty of these flowers is how easy it is to make into tea. One fresh flower steeped in a cup of hot water is all you need for a simple tisane (the flower itself is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and has beauty and health benefits, but it doesn’t have much taste on its own). Personally I loved making it into iced tea, adding some calamansi or lemon juice for flavour and also to bring out it’s ‘magical’ transformation into a purple or pink tea/lemonade 🙂 Honey can also be added, although we enjoy the fresh tartness of the drink without. Sharing our simple recipe below…
Butterfly Pea Iced Tea Recipe:
- 7 fresh Butterfly Pea flowers (or 10-12 dried flowers)
- 6 cups of boiling water
- 3 calamansi squeezed into half a cup of water
- 1 slice of lemon
- Honey (optional)
Put 7 fresh flowers into a coffee press or pitcher.
Add 6 cups of boiling water and allow to steep for a few minutes until the water turns an intense blue (around 5 minutes).
Pour into a pitcher and allow to cool.
Pour the calamansi or lemon juice into the cooled tisane and enjoy watching the color change 🙂
Pour over ice, add a slice of lemon (and honey if you like it sweet, skip it if you like it tart) and enjoy!
Let me now if you tried (and enjoyed) these recipes, and if you have any other simple drink or food recipes you’d like to share with a kitchen newbie. I’m currently playing around with utilising the vegetables, herbs and flowers from our little kitchen-scrap-farm (to read what else it inspires, click here “Sowing the Seeds”) because I love the full-circle moment of enjoying what we grew from something we would have thrown away.
From our little corner of the world to yours, I hope that continuing to share our stories and ‘adventures’ from home will put a smile on your face and lightness and good energy out there for everyone! Also, please feel free to comment or drop me a note…I’d love to hear what you think 🙂