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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ginger snap tea


Ginger Snap Tea is one of our favorite herbal tea mixes. It really is like a ginger snap cookie in a mug and makes a fabulous evening treat on weekdays when I'm avoiding dessert. We originally bought a mix of this tea from the Bulk Herb Store and loved it. But of course, I am very careful with herbs whilst pregnant and nursing, and the licorice root listed in BHS's ingredients is a mild estrogenic that I wanted to completely avoid. So, once I was no longer pregnant with my son, I started working on figuring out the Ginger Snap Tea recipe myself so that I could simply omit the licorice, or indeed tweak the recipe in any other way I needed for reasons of personal taste or health. I also wanted to have a stevia free blend, as sometimes my guests or gift recipients don't like to use stevia, and a quick pinch of cut stevia is easy to add the brewing pot at home from a little jar in the cupboard. One more change I made was the addition of star anise. This is a similar flavor to fennel, so you can omit or replace with fennel seed if you prefer, but I like the balance the two bring together in this tea.

I hope you enjoy this tea as much as we do. It is a fabulous alternative to cough tea mix for all coughs and colds, as these herbs are soothing to a raw throat and aching chest, and warming in chilly weather. Drink plain, with honey, or with a splash of milk or cream or coconut milk added. I personally like it best as a hot drink, but chilled and milky, or in a blended slushie with ice, makes a yummy summery change. Due to the estrogenic qualities of licorice root, I recommend drinking this tea not more than 3 or 4 times a week by children, men, and women who are not pregnant. Nursing mamas may want to use their own discretion as to the safety of licorice during lactation, and either include or leave out the root of your own mix at home.

Be sure to decoct your Ginger Snap Tea to properly release all the goodness and flavor from the hard herbs, by adding 1 Tb mix per pint of simmering water, covering, and simmering on very low for about 20 minutes before serving. Add 1/4 tsp cut stevia herb per pint in the last 5 minutes of simmering time. Leftover tea may be strained and stored in the fridge for several days.


Ripoff Ginger Snap Tea 

2 oz (2/3 cup) red rooibos tea 
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) ginger root bits 
1/4 oz (1 Tb) whole cloves 
1 oz (4 Tbs) fennel seeds 
1 oz (6 Tbs) licorice root bits 
1 oz (4 Tbs) orange peel bits 
1 oz (5 sticks at 4 inches long, or 1/4 cup chips) cinnamon chips 
1/4 oz (5 whole stars) star anise

Yields about 9 oz, or over 1/2 lb, of tea mix.


Mix dried herbs together. To make cinnamon chips, place sticks in a sturdy bag, either of strong, clean cotton canvas, or a freezer safe plastic bag you don't mind throwing away, hold the opening closed with one hand, and bash up the sticks to your desired size fragments with a hammer. The same can be done with star anise. Store tea mix in sealed glass in a dark, cool place.


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