Summer is here! I’m well and truly sweltering in this hotter then Sahara heat (apparently). Being 9 and a bit months pregnant I’m in need of genuine refreshment.
Last summer I gave you a very lovely recipe for a beautiful ice tea, which is still a firm favourite….If I can be bothered to make it. Maybe it’s having a feral toddler to run after, maybe it’s the pregnancy but I’m finding my energy levels are pretty variable. So I’ve come up with a solution. Ice tea ice cubes that I can add to a glass, along water and just drink. Very simple, very effective and very easy. The joy of these is that you can make a ton when you have the time and inclination and keep in the freezer ready to be used when the need arises.
I’ve chosen four varieties, which can be drunk alone or mixed together, but the possibilities are endless.
- Tea bags – I love this blackcurrant one from Pukka, a white tea, ginger tea and a peppermint tea.
- Fresh peppermint leaves (optional).
- Raspberries (optional)
- Boiling water.
- Boil the kettle and place place each tea bag into a separate pot or large mug. Once the kettle has boiled fill with water and let them brew for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer to let the water cool.
- Pour one of the cooled teas into a jug and then pour into your ice cube trays. Add a mint leaf or berry to a couple or all of the cubes.
- Repeat with the other types of tea.
- Freeze. Take the frozen cubes out of the trays and place in separate, labelled, bags ready to be used.
- When you’re ready to make your tea simply add 5 or 6 cubes (I like mixing the blackcurrant, ginger and mint) to a large glass and fill with water (still or sparkling). I like to then add the juice of half a fresh lemon or lime. Wait for a few minutes for the cubes to melt and then drink. If you need a bit more sweetness then free add a dash of elderflower cordial, which works wonders with this mix.
What I love about this drink is that it allows you to get the benefits of the herbal tea even when you don’t fancy a hot drink. Here’s a brief rundown of the positive effects of drinking this concoction:
- Blackcurrant Beauty (Pukka) – I love this one because it’s so much more then a fruit tea. With the obvious blackcurrant there is also beetroot, rosehip and hibiscus flower. Brimming with vitamin C and other antioxidants this has great immune support and have anti-inflammatory properties. These herbs are mild diuretics making them useful (when combined with their antioxidant content) in supporting kidney function. Fennel and liquorice also support digestive function.
- White tea (Clipper) – White contains high levels of certain antioxidants (catechins) shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. They also help to protect the skin from UV rays (but don’t think you can skip the sunscreen) and support cardiovascular health.
- Three Ginger Tea (Pukka) – Helpful for relieving digestive discomfort, especially nausea and vomiting. Has anti-inflammatory effects, which is why people it has ben shown to help people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- Three Mint tea (Pukka) – Supports digestion and helps to sooth stomach spasms (much needed for me at a the moment when all my digestive organs have been pushed out of place).
As you can see this tea has multiple benefits, as well as being quick and easy to make it hydrates and refreshes. It also gives a pleasant alternative for those pregnant and avoiding alcohol.