Last month, I road tripped with a friend halfway across America. At the very end of our long trip, we woke up deep in the woods, in a gorgeous house on a rushing river. Life couldn’t be more picturesque or more perfect. Then as I groggily stumbled out of my temporary bedroom, I was offered a cup of the most delicious hot tea I’ve ever tasted. Crushed fresh ginger, turmeric, cloves and loads of black pepper came together to create her “witches brew,” as she called it. Each sip made me feel like my body was getting stronger, my soul was reviving and for a second I thought, “I might be able to give up coffee for this tea.” My host gave me her recipe and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. Sometimes, some people just make it better, or maybe it was the moment that made that tea so divine.
Though it might have been just the moment, there are real reasons ginger and turmeric could have been making me feel whole again. Ginger has more nutritional benefits than I can count, including regulating digestion, calming the tummy, may help with MENSTRUAL RELIEF!, lowering blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and it may even prevent cancer and help improve brain function so as to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers and long story short, you should work this cheap, delicious and easy root into your diet. Turmeric has a list of nutritional scores just about as long as ginger, so together they can take your immune system from zero to 60 in about as long as it takes you to brew your second batch of tea (the first one will be so delicious, you’ll be wanting more!).
Maybe its my Southern roots, but my passion has always been firmly in the iced tea camp. Inspired by the summer heat and in an attempt to cool down from it while still getting that rejuvenating, immune boost from these super spices, I took my hosts recipe, simplified it a bit, added my own favorite ingredient (citrus!) and found that it’s a perfect pick-me-up for a summer afternoon in the city.
- Fresh ginger- a chunk of about 2 square inches
- Ground turmeric – a big spoonful
- black tea
- lemon or lime
- honey (optional)
- Put 8 cups of water in a pot on the stove to boil.
- Chop or grate the fresh ginger with a zester and add it to the water. Protip: frozen ginger grates (and keeps) like a dream! But it’s impossible to chop so make sure you have a zester before you put it in the freezer.
- Add the turmeric and bring the water to a boil. Be careful with turmeric! It’s bright and beautiful but will stain everything!
- After the brew boils for 2 minutes, turn the heat off and put 2 tea bags in to seep for 5 minutes.
- Strain into cups.
- Add honey to taste. I prefer it spicy and tangy, so I skip this step.
- Cool in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Squeeze in half a lemon or lime and serve over ice!