Lemon-Pepper Tea

I've tried, on and off for several years, to find a blend of herbs or spices that I could use to brew my own special 'tea'. . .without much success.  The key for me is to keep it simple.  One I made a lot, when I lived in Wisconsin, was a combination of dried lemon grass and dried rosemary needles.  Mmmm.  The warm or citrusy ones many people like, have spices that instantly activate heartburn for me.  A citrusy one I keep making, is the Lemon-Cayenne-Honey tea a chiropractor-friend recommended.  It's a wonderful, cleansing, first-thing-in-the-morning drink.  I've varied it over the years, alternating the sweet element between local-organic honey, raw turbinado sugar, pure Maple syrup and interesting jellies - cherry, plum and orange marmalade are my favorites.  When I was at a Farmer's Market last fall, I bought some Dandelion Jelly.  This tastes a lot like mild honey, but has too much pectin added for it to dissolve well.  I tried it today, but I won't use it again for tea.

While lemon juice is acidic, when it combines with our stomach acid, the pH does a 180 - It alkalizes our stomach contents, and ultimately, our bodies!  If you're up for a fascinating read, do a search for books that compare acid and alkaline foods and the consequences of each.  For disease to thrive, it has to have an acid environment.  I was shocked at some of the foods that are extremely acidic. . .BREAD for example!  😲

I've added black pepper berries to the cayenne in this recipe.  Cayenne contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory.  However, our bodies don't absorb this well unless it's taken in combination with piperine, found in black pepper.  Regarding the lemons and limes.  I have opinions.  (you knew I would, right? 😉)  I detest Meyer Lemons and Key Limes!  While most people love both, I find they have a nasty chemical bite to them.

The lemon shown here is a regular lemon.  While most have bumpy textured skin (which is the best for zesting) and are almost oval in shape, with a 'nipple' at the blossom end - I stay away from those.  I've found the smooth-skinned, rounds to be my favorites.  I was on a quest for a less-seedy lemon a couple years ago.  I had cut a bumpy oval shaped one in half to juice, and it contained 29 seeds!!  The one shown here had only 3!

1 lg. lemon - juiced
6-8c hot-steamy water
5-10 black peppercorns
a few shakes of cayenne

Scrub the lemon, cut in half to juice.  Slice up the rind, throwing away the pieces containing the stem and blossom ends.

Combine the rest in a pitcher.  If you're using glass, be sure to put a heavy metal object in the pitcher to absorb some of the heat and keep it from cracking.  Let this 'steep' 10 minutes.  Stir and pour.  Mmmm!  Cheers Everybody!  Refrigerate any leftover, leaving the lemon and peppercorns, which will continue to impart flavor and healing properties.  Make a fresh pitcherful every day, or at least every other day.

This is my new favorite mug.  Do you do Yoga?  If so, I hope you've found a studio that fits well with your personal needs.  I've finally landed in a wonderful multi-faceted studio, about a mile or from my house in, a beautiful OLD school building.  My instructor, Nancy, is the best!  Last night I was class 2 of a 4 class workshop regarding Ayurveda.  We made dinner together and learned some thought behind creating a Saatvic Kitchen.  A very good class, interesting women - and - Molly's IKEA and wood kitchen was wonderful!

We made dinner together which consisted of Carrot-Dal Soup, Steamed Rice and some glorious greens!  Why didn't I take a picture!?!  We also made Ghee (Liquid Sunshine - clarified butter - from which all the milk solids and proteins have been removed, creating a more pure, distilled product.)  This is made using organic, unsalted butter and heat.  The end result is like butter-in-a-whole-new-dimension!  It has a rich-nutty scent and flavor!  SO interesting!  I'll post the recipe and procedure in the future, when I embark upon my first ghee adventure!
Stay warm everyone!  Be Adventurous! — Happy Cooking! .  . . Lin

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