I have been obsessed with fresh chamomile flowers lately. I’ve blended it into calming smoothies, soaked it into hot tea and even made a calming lemon mint chamomile iced tea from it. And after all that tea drinking I have found that chamomile tea really does calm the nerves and bring a deep sense of relaxation. That is why I offer this little hint for Mother’s Day – instead of serving mom a nerve tensing cup of espresso – offer her up a nap-inducing brew of fresh flower chamomile tea. And if you can’t find fresh flowers, you can always look for whole flower bagged, dried tea. Here are a couple options and how to serve it..
Isn’t it funny how foods tend to look like their benefit to our bodies? Let me explain.. Walnuts, healthy in omega fatty acids for our brains – look like little brains. Red tomatoes may be good for our hearts. And kidney beans may help heal and maintain kidney function.
And another one.. chamomile flowers, which produce a calming effect have their petals slumped backwards in a chilled our, not-so-perky state. Those flowers look like they just had a spa day.
So if you are in the mood for some relaxation, try these relaxed little buds on for size.
Fresh Flowers - you can find fresh buds at most herb/garden centers or maybe at your Farmer’s Market. Make sure they are organically grown. And you can even grow them yourself! You can use a tea diffuser of simply soak the buds whole and strain out the leaves upon serving. The buds are edible, although they do have a slightly bitter taste.
Dried Tea - you can find chamomile tea in just about every “tea section” at the store. But my favorite dried tea uses the whole flower buds – it is slightly less processed than the dried flaky-looking tea.
Both options work for tea, I’ve noticed that the dried tea changes color much more drastically compared to the fresh buds – and the fresh buds have a slightly bright and grassy flavor or apples and flowers – while the dried tea is a bit more smoky, rustic and mellow in brightness.
Here are a few serving suggestions:
* Minted – add a fresh sprig of mint.
* Chilled Lemon – chill with ice and lemon slices.
* Lemon Sun Tea – place the tea and lemon slices in a pitcher and allow the natural warmth of the sun to diffuse the flavors.
* Sweet tea – add a teaspoon of agave or ample syrup to each glass of chamomile tea.
* Latte – I’m not a big fan of adding milk to my tea. But you can add some foamed soy milk or steamed almond milk for a healthy creamy accent. Some brand of non-dairy milk may curdle slightly – especially fi you are using any lemon.
* Spicy – add a few dashes of cayenne to your tea.
A mug of calming chamomile tea would be a perfect accompaniment to my Blackberry Lime Pie for Mother’s Day!
*health notes. you want to read up on the possible benefits and side effects yourself – and consult your doctor if you have any questions. But since chamomile tea is a flower – those with allergies or taking medication may need to ask a doctor before consuming.
Read more from Kathy on her blog, Healthy. Happy. Life!
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