Herbal Teas Everyone Should Have!

Ah! It’s Fall! How glorious is that? I’m so ready for some colder temperatures, if only because it means I can cozy up with some warm tea in bed with a good book. If you know me, you will know that I’ve been on a tea-buying ban for two years now because my tea collection has gotten out of hand. Yeah. I haven’t bought any tea in two years, and I’d say I still have enough for 3 maybe 4 years… My tea collection has warranted comissioning my boyfriend for a special tea shelf to save room for food and plates in our cupboards. Seriously, if I don’t open up my own tea room someday, I’ll be shocked!

herbal tea

The only exception to my tea-buying ban has been herbal teas. Free of caffeine, I drink these every day as a gentle healing ritual. Medicinal herbal teas are very potent for small, daily aches, and so they don’t really count as tea, right?

I usually prepare a tea pot mixing a few herbs and spices. I love adding crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves or peppercorns as these spices help me stay warm in the colder months. Over the years, I’ve come to know what I like, and so I gravitate around the same herbs, but really, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few of my most favourite herbal teas.

  1. Oatstraw: Yes, I know. Not only do I have a slight addiction to my morning oatmeal, I also drink oatstraw! Well, what can I say? This plant is wonderful! I like to drink oatstraw herbal tea because it is soothing and calming. Perfect if you are feeling like a buzzball! As it has a very mild taste, it’s a perfect base for all of your herbal tea mixes.
  2. Holy Basil or Tulsi: Another great one if you feel like you need to be more grounded, holy basil supports the nervous system and helps releave stress and anxiety. Plus, it is really yummy!
  3. Nettle: Super rich in nutrients and minerals, stingy nettle is delicious! It has a really “green” taste, and I think it’s one of the best plants for anyone, but especially for women and vegans who are always on the hunt for extra nutrients! Extra points to this one to help releave seasonal allergy symptoms!
  4. Rasberry leaves: Girls, if you have any, and I mean any, issue with your periods, this is the BOMB! It releaves PMS (crazy peach alert, be gone!), cramps, bloathing, heavy flow, and even the length of the period. It’s seriously a magical plant. It’s also very astringent, so I suppose it’s good for everyone, but really a must-have for all women.
  5. Calendula flowers: This one is so pretty! Bright yellow or explosive orange, I love adding these to my teapots as it makes everything more beautiful! These flowers are also very soothing and healing for the digestive track.
  6. Lavender buds: One of my favourite plants ever, lavender buds are so relaxing! I love how they add a touch of Provence to my teas. Plus, they are also great for your immune system. Be careful with this one: a little goes a long way!
  7. Thyme: A stapple in my house since I’ve been a kid, thyme is great for your immune system. Mix in a bit of honey or maple syrup, and you are in business!
  8. Verbena: A classic for a reason, this beautiful herb is lemony and fresh. Also a great one to drink to relax before going to bed or after a heavy meal to aid diggestion.

I hope this will encourage you to explore the facinating world of herbal teas! I easily find my herbs in health food stores and at my local herbalist (I’m very grateful to have such a good one so close by!), but you can also find them online. Be sure to by organic teas! A great option is also to grow them yourself! Calendula are super easy, and so is thyme. Have fun mixing and matching the different herbs and spices to create your own perfect cup of tea! Let me know what your favourites are and if you’d like me to share my favourite mixes!

Thank you for reading my post! I’m currently doing a kickstarter campaign for a planner, the LEAFY planner, I created! It would be great if you checked it out!

Remember that I’m not a doctor or a healthcare specialist. Please consult a doctor before adding these herbal teas into your life if you have any concerns or conditions.

 

Mini Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yesterday I attempted aquafaba macarons again. Now, I have experimented with these multiple times, but there’s always something wrong: they melt in the oven, they are hollow, they taste weird, the meringue does not get stiff… But, I keep on trying! Well, the batch I made yesterday is the best so far. Chewy and tender, they don’t have feet, but at least, they did not melt! I’ll consider this one a success!

mini-chocolate-raspberry-ice-cream-sandwich

As it is supposed to reach 40C today, I really didn’t feel like making a creamy filling. So I went with raspberry quick ice cream. Basically just frozen raspberry, this filling was a great addition to my chocolate cookies. It is tart and fresh and goes really well with the chewy and sweet chocolate!

mici-ice-cream-sandwich

Oh, you might be wondering what aquafaba is. Well, it’s the liquid that’s left after you have cooked beans, or the liquid you usually drain out when using canned beans. You might have noticed that this liquid is sticky and egg-like. Well, it can replace eggs in many recipe, including when making meringue! Extraordinary! What I usually do is keep this liquid in my freezer and just take it out when I feel like using it.

chocolate-raspberry-ice-cream-sandwich

Here is what you need:

  • 200 mL aquafaba (about the amount you can find in one can of beans; I used the liquid from kidney beans.)
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar.
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • splash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Here is what you do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the aquafaba to a simmer and let reduce until you have about 100mL (a little less than 1/2 cup). Remove from the heat and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. Pour the aquafaba in a large mixing bowl and use your electric mixer to whisk up until you have stiff peaks. This will take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes, so hang in there!
  3. Once the meringue is thick, add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to help it stay stiff. Add the vanilla extract. Whisk a little bit more, until the liquid is all mixed in.
  4. Put the sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder in a sieve and add that little by little to the meringue. Fold in the meringue using a spatula. Be gentle with the meringue: you don’t want all the air to leave, but you want all the dry ingredients to be well mixed in.
  5. Using a piping bag, pipe a dime size amount of batter on a line cookie sheet. Keep the bag perpendicular with the cookie sheet to have round cookies. Or go crazy!
  6. Preheat your oven to 250F and place the cookie sheet on the top rack. Bake for 30 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let sit the cookie sheet in the oven for 30 more minutes without peeking.
  7. Take out the cookies and let cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet. Set aside.
  8. For the ice cream, place the frozen raspberry and maple syrup in your food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.
  9. Scoop some raspberry ice cream on one cookie bottom and top off with another cookie to make super cute miniature ice cream sandwiches! Place in the freezer to set and enjoy!

chocolate-raspberry-mini-ice-cream-sandwich

I have to say that the no-peeking-in-the-oven is really hard for me because our oven does not have a window: it’s always a complete surprise! I was really happy to see that these little cookies were nice and not puddle-like!

chocolate-ice-cream-sandwich

I love that they are bite size because they make for the perfect no-mess ice cream sandwiches. And, they are adorable! Let me know if you try them out!

 

 

Chocolate- Raspberry Tart

For part two of my pie adventure, I made a shiny and smooth chocolate ganache that I covered with fresh raspberries and pear sauce. Perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness and tartness: this tart is a real treat!

chocolate-tart2

Here is what you need:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 250g dark chocolate chips (check to make sure they are vegan)
  • 25 ml (1 cup) of almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 2 cups raspberry
  • 1 very ripe pear

Here is what you do:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk on medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, place your corn starch. Once  warm, take a few tablespoons of milk and dilute the corn starch.
  3. Remove the milk from the heat, and whisk in the corn starch mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl and pour over the warm milk. Mix quickly with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is completely melted.
  5. Pour the chocolate ganache in your pie crust. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
  6. If you want to add a touch of sweetness to your tart, peel a very ripe pear and place the flesh in your blender. Blend until you obtain a nice sauce that you can pour over your tart.
  7. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

chocolate-tart1

This tart is pure pleasure! Sweet, sour, smooth and crumbly; there is something for everyone! Using dark chocolate will ensure that your tart is not too sweet.

chocolate-tart4

This would also be very cute if prepared in individual tartelettes. Yum! Let me know if you try it out!