Localicious – Hot Tea: The Earthy Remedy

While Christmas is gone, winter has just begun. The weather is chilly, and little noses are turning red in the morning wait for the bus. Moms are reminding their children to wear coats as they go outside. The fear of getting sick looms in every parent’s mind. Runny noses and sore throats seem to be on the prowl. What can be done to stay ahead of the winter weather?

John Lansdale of TeaSmiths shares his secret for fighting off cold and flu season. “We recommend Elderberry Immunitea for the winter cold and flu season. Elderberry is a super antioxidant and the other ingredients are all good cold and flu fighters: echinacea, orange peel, spearmint, and licorice root. This is a great tasting tea with a purpose – all organic loose-leaf ingredients. Find us at the Chico Farmer’s Market every Saturday.”

Hot tea is known to aid in a wide variety of health ailments. Because January is National Tea Month, it’s the perfect time to talk teas. There are four categories of tea:  black, white, oolong and green. Other flavors are variations or “infusions” of these four categories. Herbal teas are known as such “infusions” and can be a combination of plants. Sarah Leydon of Saltea (www.saltea.com) explains how to decide which tea is right for you. “Choosing your favorite tea is like choosing what you want to wear for the day. There are so many options; you really have to ask yourself how you are feeling. Do you need something gentle, are you feeling like you need a big energy boost, is your sweet tooth calling and do you need something fruity? Tea is healing, tea is tasty, tea is home.” Saltea is in the town of Orland in Glenn County.

Some people prefer black tea to coffee. This less caffeinated choice has been thought by many scientists to reduce risks of cancer. Other benefits of drinking tea include antioxidants, weight loss and just plain relaxation. I can remember my grandma insisting on tea time daily. We planned around tea time and did our best to make sure it happened as often as any other meal. Life stops for just a moment to talk and enjoy one another’s company.

Tea is also fun for kids. A great alternative to sodas or sugary juices, tea can be turned into an entire afternoon of fun. Tea parties are a great way to fuel creativity and spark imaginations. Cheryl Glasser, from Children’s Discovery Center in Paradise, enjoys hosting tea parties for children at her center. “Stuffed animals join the fun with our tea party alongside china tea sets, delicious treats and a wonderful place to play and use their imaginations. A stage and runway are provided for princesses wanting to showcase their dresses.” Find out how to book your child’s next tea party by going to http://www.childrensdiscoveryplayhouse.com.

Looking for a fun treat to accompany your cup of tea? Try these Easy Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies. You know what’s nice? No chilling! That’s right, no need to chill the dough before cutting into shapes. Frost them ahead of time or let that be part of the fun! 

Easy Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar (for a healthier sugar option, try substituting 3/4 cup honey)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a cookie tray with coconut spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Add in the flours slowly, being careful not to over mix. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Sprinkle some arrowroot flour onto a clean surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thick. Don’t make it too thin. Cut your shapes out and transfer them to the cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Localicious is a monthly column celebrating food in the North State. If you would like to suggest a food-related business or organization, email us at  localicious@northstateparent.com.

Mandi Metzger
About Mandi Metzger

Mandi Metzger and her family enjoy sharing their “Sweetest Lemonade” perspective with others through real food recipes. When Mandi isn’t writing a new recipe, she can be found riding bikes or hiking with her three kids, ages 9, 5 and 2. Find more recipes at www.sweetestlemonade.com.

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