Busy day? Sometimes it helps to pause and have a cup of tea. Tea, you say? Today’s post is dedicated to Indian style ginger tea.
My friend Pam tells me that when you make a social call in India, tea is always offered to welcome you as a guest. It is also a nice way to reset your afternoon when you need a break and don’t want to add a lot of extra calories or sugar from a commercially prepared hot beverage.
I recently had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s largest tea plantations near Munnar, India and learned a lot about the cultivation of this essential plant. For example, I found out that green tea, black tea and white tea all come from the same bush – Camellia Sinensis – but have a different level of processing which gives the teas their distinct characteristics. Green tea is lightly steamed, but not oxidized. Black tea is oxidized using heat and moisture to develop the leaves. White tea is minimally processed.
The amount of caffeine varies among the different varieties but is generally similar regardless of whether it is black, green or white tea. Both black and green tea have been studied for their potential impact on mental alertness, heart disease, and certain types of cancers. Research is ongoing, and like much nutrition research is still in need of clarification.
About the ginger
Some research has shown that ginger can be potentially helpful with symptoms of nausea and vomiting from various causes. Be cautious with using ginger if you take any blood clotting medications such as warfarin (Coumadin). If you are on any medications, be sure to ask your doctor for advice before starting to drink a lot of ginger tea.
We made our ginger tea with milk but no sugar. If you want to add some sugar, that is up to you. However, in the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015 -2020 which were recently released by the USDA, the recommendation is that less than 10% of your calories per day come from added sugars. We’ll talk more about what this means to you as our year gets underway.
Ginger Tea (serves 4)
- 4 ¼ cups water
- 3 tsp. grated fresh ginger (peel and then grate)
- 3 black tea bags
- ½ cup 2 % milk
1. Place water and ginger in a small pot on top of the stove and bring to a boil.
2. Add the tea bags and steep for 3 minutes.
3. Add the milk and return to a boil for approximately 1 minute.
4. Strain into a tea cup and enjoy.
5. You can also make this at home in the morning and then reheat in a microwave safe container later in the day when you are ready for your cup of tea
Nutrition information per cup: 15 calories; 0.5 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 2 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams dietary fiber; 1 gram protein (values are approximate).
Pam Mehta and Barbara Spalding, MA, MS, RDN