Teas for the Springtime
Spring has arrived. It’s a wonderful time of renewal, rebirth, and rejuvenation. Everything turns green outside and we can’t wait to get outside and become more active and enjoy the warm temperatures. A great way to nurture your body and help it along at this cleansing time of year is through drinking teas.
Along with tasting great, teas can have medicinal properties to them also. A wonderful tea for spring is roasted barley tea. Made from the whole grain barley, which is the signature grain of spring, this tea has a slight bitter taste that can quench your thirst. If brewed strong enough some people use it as a coffee substitute. Barley has a strong cleansing property and helps to remove excess stored fat or water out of the body. You can find roasted barley tea at your local health food store. It comes loose in a bag, usually with oriental writing on the bag. It may be labeled as “Mugi Cha” tea.
A tea made from sweet vegetables nurtures your spleen, pancreas, and stomach. This is where people hold their stress. By nurturing these organs you are more able to relax and not be so uptight.
An excellent drink to help normalize the body’s temperature is rice tea. It has a mild taste and is enjoyed either hot or at room temperature.
ROASTED BARLEY TEA
4 tbsp roasted barley
4 cups water
Bring water to a boil. Add barley and simmer for 10-15 minutes. You can simmer for longer if you wish. The longer you simmer the stronger the taste. Strain the tea from the barley. Enjoy hot or cold.
cup onion (diced very small)
cup carrot (diced very small)
cup cabbage (diced very small)
cup winter squash (diced very small)
4 cups water
Bring water to a boil. Place each vegetable in water, one at a time. Boil tea for 20 minutes with lid off. Strain the water from the vegetables. Discard vegetables and drink tea.
4 cups water
8 tbsp uncooked brown rice (about cup)
pinch sea salt
Rinse the brown rice and put into a heated skillet. Dry roast the rice for 10 minutes until it starts to smell fragrant and turn yellow. Then put the rice into a pot with the water and sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour the tea through a strainer and discard the rice. Serve the tea warm or at room temperature.
Valerie Wilson is a whole foods chef who teaches cooking classes in Garden City, Michigan. She is the author of Perceptions in Healthy Cooking, a collection of both recipes and poetry. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.macroval.com or phone (734)261-2856.