Hey guys! I’m back!
Since being pregnant has really put me off food, I haven’t been very active on here…I’m sure you guys would be sick of the weird cravings I have, if I was to post them here (like tahini and sauerkraut on toast, EVERY single morning…).
I’ve also needed to reprioritise and have been focusing my energies on my herbal medicine studies so that I can have most of the course work completed before bub is born in January ’17. Since the conception of Vie De La Vegan, I’ve always wanted to incorporate more gardening/herbal medicine/lifestyle in my recipes, but somehow I got sidetracked from that original idea.
However, now that I have been spending more and more time on my herbal studies, I’ve been really inspired to share my knowledge with you guys and incorporate more herbs into my recipes :)
Something I’ve been drinking regularly is nettle tea. For some reason, I’ve felt a particular affinity for nettles for some time. In fact, we bought a block of land earlier this year, and the main appeal this land had to me was the wild stinging nettles growing everywhere.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a nutritious herb – herbalist Susun Weed actually states that nettle is the most nutrient dense plant! Nettle is a great herb to consume during spring as it is effective against hayfever. Also, nettle grows prolifically during the spring, it is found in abundance during this time of year! Thus, nettle became the basis of this spring tonic iced tea.
Next, I looked for other nourishing herbs that are growing rapidly during this spring. My next choice was lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, which is another of my favourite herbs. Lemon balm is a calming herb which is great for relieving anxiety and mild stress.
The next herb I chose for this iced tea was mint, Mentha piperita, mainly due to it’s flavour – it combines really deliciously with the lemon balm! Medicinally, mint is great for soothing upset stomachs, modulating the immune system, and fighting off viruses.
To sweeten this tea, I opted for some fresh stevia leaves. Our stevia plant is my children’s favourite herb in the garden, they are always eating the leaves while they are exploring outside! If you don’t have a stevia plant (and I highly recommend you obtain one ;) ), you can sweeten this tea as you desire.
I also added some blueberries and strawberries to give the tea a fruity flavour, but that is entirely optional too. You can use any seasonal fruit you desire – lemon slices would be particularly nice in this tea too.
- 1.5 litres water
- ¼ cup dried nettle leaves / ½ cup fresh nettle leaves
- 2 tbs dried lemon balm leaves / 4 tbs fresh lemon balm leaves
- 2 tbs dried mint leaves / 4 tbs fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbs fresh stevia leaves (or other sweetener as desired)
- Handful each of blueberries & chopped strawberries
- Ice cubes to serve
- Bring 500ml of the water to a boil in a saucepan over the stove.
- Meanwhile, chop the herbs (if using fresh herbs).
- Turn off the heat, add the nettle, lemon balm, mint and stevia leaves, and cover the saucepan with its lid.
- Let the herbs infuse in the boiling water for at least 15 minutes (you can let the herbs infuse overnight for a richer infusion).
- Pour the remaining 1 litre of water into a serving jug (with a capacity of 1.5-2 litres).
- Strain the infusion into the jug, and discard the used herb leaves.
- Add the berries.
- Refrigerate the tea until cold.
- Add ice cubes just before serving.
I’d love to hear from you!
- Do you enjoy iced tea?
- What are your favourite herbal teas?
- Are you interested in more herbal recipes like this one?