Herbal Tea Popsicles
Herbal tea popsicles are something that are simply going to continue to become more popular as time goes by. This is because of the base, the herbal tea. Herbal teas are healthy, they taste good, and they are an excellent alternative to the many drinks and cold snacks that consist mostly of artificially flavored sugar water. The best part is that they are easy to make.
Begin by making the herbal tea. This can be done by using store bought herbal tea that comes in tea bags, or by using a tea ball filled with bulk dried, or better still, fresh herbs. Many herbs can even be grown in the garden or collected in the wild, cutting costs significantly.
You can vary the strength of the tea to taste, but the general rule when using fresh herbs is 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs per cup of boiling water. If you want it sweeter, try using honey. You can use corn syrup for sweetening, which is still better than table sugar because of the high quantity of fructose (fruit sugar), but honey is superior and better for you.
Pour the boiling water over the tea and cover the cup. Covering it helps keep the healthy volatile oils and flavors in the water. You may want to make several cups at a time, or even a whole tea pot full. Resist the urge to make several kinds, though, because once the tea is frozen, it will be difficult to tell which is which.
Allow the tea to sit for about a half hour or until it cools to room temperature. Then either pour the tea into popsicle forms that are available at many large department stores, or pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze. Note that trying to freeze it before it has cooled can have the effect of causing other things in the freezer to thaw.
While not technically popsicles, ice cubes made in this way are wonderful additions to iced tea or julep, or they can just be eaten or sucked on. This especially good in the heat of summer. Toothpicks can be put in each cube before they are frozen, to act as a convenient handle.
Kinds of herbs that are especially good for making the popsicles or ice cubes include chamomile, mint, catnip, basil, and sage. Medicinal herbs can even be made and taken this way. Blends also work well. The next time you have lemon flavored iced tea, using regular tea or instant mix, try putting several of the mint tea ice cubes in the tea for a good refreshing and cooling drink. The mint accents the lemon.
To keep track of the different flavors, place the cubes in labeled paper bags. The paper also helps keep the cubes from sticking together, and the label will let you know what kind of herb tea it is.
Not only will you probably enjoy these treats, you can rest assured that you know the ingredients since you are in control of the process, so you’ll know how healthy they are for you. They also have a far better flavor than the sort of popsicles that can be purchased at the store. You’ll probably need to make a lot of them, though, because they will probably be a hit with the whole family.
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