Sunday, 23 September 2012

MYO Iced Tea

Coming in to the warmer months, it is comforting to know you can still enjoy the benefits of herbal tea while cooling down. Tea or tisanes are a flavoursome way to hydrate the body while obtaining the therapeutic benefits depending on the ingredients.

Prepared iced teas from the shop are full of sugar often with less than 1% actual tea extract! the benefits of such drinks are questionable however they taste sweet and are enjoyable.. Just think of the amount of sugar you are consuming by downing one of these. Wouldn't it be better and far more beneficial to make your own and add some honey or stevia extract when needed?

Herbal tea from dried components can be prepared in a coffee plunger or teapot and kept in the refrigerator to which you can add fruit, ice or fresh herbs. 

Some beneficial combinations include:

-Lemongrass and ginger: great for circulation, digestion and invigorating to a tired body.

-Rosehip berries and hibiscus flowers: fruity and full of antioxidants, great for lowering blood pressure and providing a pleasant berry taste without added sugar.

- Green or white tea: although slightly bitter when steeped, they are high in antioxidants and very cooling to the body, they go well with citrus flavours. Fresh lemon will enhance the antioxidant activity.

-Lemon and peppermint: a great digestive tonic for abdominal cramping or indigestion. Adding fresh mint leaves will uplift the taste experience.

-Chai tea with vanilla beans: great for circulation and the cinnamon fixes a sweet craving due to the blood sugar stabilising effect, add a small amount of almond or rice milk for a milkier version.

-Nettle, peppermint and lemongrass: Nettles are a fantastic diuretic for swollen feet, premenstrual fluid retention and help reduce allergies. The peppermint and lemongrass help to enhance the flavour.

-Fennel seeds: a fantastic anti-bloating tea that also helps to ward off sugar cravings

I found Celestial Seasonings brand of fruit based teas an excellent and convenient way to make iced tea - just throw a couple of bags into a plunger, fill with hot water and leave in the refrigerator. The red zinger and fruit sampler are my favourites.

Loose herbs can be found in most health food grocers or tea shops, it's just about exerimenting with your combinations but they really do make a great alternative to cordial, soft drink and supermarket iced teas.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Pre-workout energy cookies

Complex carbohydrates are a great source of energy and are ideally suited before exercise, allow enough time for your body to digest the meal before getting into training. These cookies contain a great mixture of complex carbohydrates, fibre and oats are naturally high in glutamine which can help to repair muscle tissue. There is no added refined sugar to this recipe and a gluten-free option is available if you would like to add quinoa flakes instead of oats and omit the wheat flour.

Energy cookies

(ensure ingredients are organically sourced where possible and non GMO)

3/4 dried dates, chopped finely
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped glace ginger (optional)
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup stoneground wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup ricebran or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 180C, line a tray with baking paper.

Soak the dates in a small amount of boiling water (just covering) for 10 mins then mash with a fork.

Combine the dried ingredients together, add the mashed dates and all the wet ingredients.

Shape the mix into golf-ball sized balls and place on tray, slightly flatten with a fork.

Bake for around 10-15 mins, they are cooked when they are slightly golden brown.

Allow to cook before trying to move them as they are quite crumbly.