This summer, I spent a month in California where my daughter trained for water polo. I found that I had significant breaks in the day where I didn’t have enough time to venture off to go sightseeing, but too much time to sit at a pool for 2-3 hours (in the hot Cali sun with a big sun hat, sunscreen, large umbrella, hand fan – yes I look ridiculous at times, but the sun isn’t my skin’s friend).
Malls and clothing stores got old really fast (yes, I said it) and LA traffic meant I couldn’t risk jetting off to the beach and not making it back on time.
On day 18 of 30 of our stay, I went to a nearby strip mall in search of Mexican food (addicted!) and found the most adorable antique-lifestyle store with a mix of old and new wares. The store was huge and was set up like a maze with secret aisles and corners full of gadgets, trinkets, and history. I was in heaven. I love antiquing and find myself imagining who the item belonged to and how it made its way through history and into my hands!
One of the treasures I purchased was an old, wide-mouthed milk bottle. The glass was hazy (which cleaned up well with some warm soapy borax water) and the metal brackets were a bit rough (brought back to life with some coconut oil), but I saw the potential in this beautiful, soon to be iced-tea vessel. I don’t know why I get excited about things like this, or why a regular pitcher just won’t do….but for me, making tea in beautiful bottles and decanters somehow makes it taste better and elegant. This bottle is perfect for my addiction to healthy iced-teas that I consume all year round.
Here are the basics for my detox tea that is super versatile and the base recipe for several drinks that you can make at home. I always include lemon and ginger in mine and then throw in whatever I have in the pantry and fridge for a delicious and flavourful thirst quencher.
Lemon Ginger Detox Tea Recipe
1 litre of water
2 tea bags (choose your favourite green or herbal tea)
1 lemon & 1 lime
2 tbsp ginger juice
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Sweeten with stevia, honey or another healthy option
Sprigs of Mint or Lemon Basil, Frozen Berries, Peaches, Cucumber
Coconut water (for extra hydration)
1 – Boil water in a pot.
2 – Remove from heat and add tea bags.
3 – Add baking soda and let tea come to room temperature.
4 – Add stevia (or honey) if using, stir to combine, then set aside to cool.
5 – Once your tea has cooled, pour into your favourite pitcher or large mason jar, squeeze in your lemon and lime juice (place lemon/lime rinds in jar), add ginger, mint leaves and recommended fruit - stir.
6 – At this point you can remove your tea bags
7 – Pour your cooled tea into your ice-filled glass and decorate with additional mint or fruit. I like to leave my tea alone for about another hour before I serve to really get the flavours out of my ingredients.
Why do you add baking soda to iced tea?
Passed down from an old neighbor, I’ve learned that a pinch of baking soda makes a world of difference in a pitcher of freshly brewed iced tea. The baking soda neutralizes the tannins in black tea, giving it an overall smoother taste. This same trick works to take the bitterness out of other teas as well. You can add a small pinch to a cup of hot tea while steeping.
What makes your detox tea recipe healthy?
Lemon & Ginger – Lemon gives your immune system a boost, improves your skin, aids in digestion, and freshens your breath. Ginger is a fantastic detoxifier and helps your body remove unwanted chemicals. If you’re on a diet or watching your weight, ginger is known to improve digestion, suppress your appetite, and keep your metabolism fired-up all day long. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it a perfect home remedy for muscle and joint problems.
Infused Teas and Water – Adding low sugar fruits and veggies into your tea (like berries, peaches, and cucumber) is a smart and tasty way to hydrate and cleanse without getting overloaded with sugar and calories. There are many health benefits of infused tea and water including appetite control, hydration, immune defense, heartburn prevention, blood sugar regulation, and weight management.
Green Tea – Flavonoids in green tea can help prevent oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce blood clotting. Studies show green tea can also help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and total and LDL cholesterol.
Mint – Some research has linked the anti-bacterial compounds in mint’s essential oils — carvone and limonene — to help reduce the risk of potentially harmful bacteria within your GI tract.