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Ginger Lemongrass Spiced Tea

Ginger Lemongrass Spiced Tea by SeasonWithSpice.com

Learn enough about the health benefits of ginger, and you’ll start eating the spice raw.

Initially being repulsed by the very pungent, spicy bite of fresh ginger – only enjoying ginger in ground form sprinkled into cookie batter or in the mostly artificial flavor of ginger ale – I am now completely addicted to the crunchy, fibrous rhizome.

how to slice fresh ginger for making spiced tea

That’s because of the active compound in ginger called gingerol, which puts that burn on your tongue.  If you try eating ginger raw, you’ll taste that burn, that gingerol, at its highest potency.  The compound can benefit the body in some amazing ways, from potentially suppressing cancer cells to strengthening the GI tract to lowering cholesterol.  But it is ginger’s more common, flu-fighting health benefits - proven in both Western and Chinese medicine - that suddenly made me crave its powerful flavor.

If you’re suffering from a cold or flu, ginger is the spice for you.  Ginger may soothe a sore throat and suppress a cough, settle an upset stomach, clear sinus and chest congestion, and reduce nausea.  The effects are immediate, and it won’t make you drowsy.

Ginger may even prevent an oncoming cold or flu by strengthening your immune system.  Every year, it has become a tradition that I experience a long-lasting cold that hits me in late fall, but this year when the symptoms began, I took a few servings of ginger and the cold was gone in a day.  One of the many reasons I now have a taste for the spice.

Ginger Lemongrass Spiced Tea by SeasonWithSpice.com

To make raw ginger palatable, and to still reap its many health benefits, ginger is usually served in the form of hot tea.  The raw ginger is first peeled and then steeped to extract the gingerol.  To neutralize the spiciness and make the tea more appetizing, a sweetener and a flavor are added, such as honey and lemon.  Honey has many of its own heath properties, and we all know that lemon is packed with Vitamin C.  But for the ultimate cold remedy, I replaced the lemon with Lemongrass (an amazing spice that will be discussed soon on Season with Spice).

sliced lemongrass spice for making ginger tea recipe

Ginger tea is a popular drink, and traditional cold remedy, throughout Asia.

In Indonesia, where ginger tea is called Wedang Jahe, the drink is normally sweetened with either coconut, palm, or rock sugar (or honey), and flavored with pandan leaves.  A recipe shared by Ira in Bali, who recalls her mother preparing it for her as a young girl to soothe her anxiety about the coming of the monsoon season. 

indonesian ginger tea recipe with pandan and honey

And by Pepy from Java, who prepares the drink with the addition of her favorite spice cinnamon, whenever she feels the initial symptoms of a cold.

indonesian cinnamon ginger spiced tea recipe

For the Indonesian ginger tea recipes, visit Ira at Cooking Tackle and Pepy at Indonesia Eats.

Lemongrass Ginger Tea recipe by Season with Spice
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 knob of fresh ginger - peeled and sliced
3 cups of water
2 stalks of lemongrass, white inner part only - crush the bulb end of the stalks with the blunt edge of your knife and slice thinly
Honey or stevia to sweeten (optional)

Process:
1. Add water, ginger, and lemongrass to a small pot, and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
2. Strain out lemongrass and ginger pieces (you can eat the ginger pieces if you’re up for a little burn). Add sweetener to two cups, and pour in tea.

Notes:
- Try ginger tea steeped with lemon, lime, or orange peel, or different spices and herbs. If you can find Chinese Brown Sugar at an Asian grocery store, try mixing the rich, caramel-like sugar into your ginger tea (a traditional Chinese cold remedy).
- The outer green stalk of lemongrass is bitter compared to the sweet, fragrant inner white part, so it best left out when making tea (but okay as a garnish)

how ginger tea helps fight a cold or flu

20 comments:

BiteMyCake said...

What a lovely drink, this is health in a glass :) I've never tried lemongrass, there's none on our market.

Ginny said...

Just what i needed now. Was googling for this recipe yesterday!

Ira Rodrigues said...

Thank you for featuring Indonesian way of ginger tea drink :)
Love your lemongrass and ginger tea recipe! i have similar to your drink, its only have another additional of cinnamon and pandan leaves:) i called it "Wedang pokak" *funny name right lol

Indonesia Eats said...

Thank you for featuring Indonesian ginger tea :)
Love this for winter season

Indonesia Eats said...

Ira, my wedang jahe has cinnamon and pandan leaves as well :)
I just found out through another Indonesian foodie that the difference between wedang pokak and my wedang jahe was the star anise adding :D

Kankana said...

I love ginger tea but i usually drink it with milk .. Indian style. This sounds so refreshing with lemon grass flavor. Must buy some lemon grass soon!

Edith said...

Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked!

seasonwithspice said...

No lemongrass in Croatia? That's too bad, Tamara. You will have to start growing it at the Bee Farm.

seasonwithspice said...

I read your mind, Ginny. All that raw ginger I've been eating has given me superpowers.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe, Ira. Wow, so many different ginger tea recipes in Indonesia!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks for sharing this warming tea recipe, Pepy. I think you may need to share it with everyone in Winnipeg - one of the few places actually colder than Minnesota!

seasonwithspice said...

One of our favorite drinks in Penang's Little India is ginger tea with milk. It has a real bite to it.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Edith. A must drink for the soon to come hazy season in Singapore...

57bebe said...

Yum... ginger tea with milk. I think I'll try it with cream or coconut milk as I seem unable to digest pasteurized milk anymore. (Alas, finding someone who raises their milk cows as nature intended is difficult where I live so I have given up... for the moment!)

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I like ginger so much that I really enjoyed reading about ginger drink. I always put it in my chai. When I was pregnant I had bad morning sickness and I used to drink ginger tea every day... it was strong but I think it helped. :-)

seasonwithspice said...

Hi Nami, it's an addicting drink once you start. It really does make you feel better no matter what ails you.

Vicky said...

Sounds delicious. I absolutely love ginger and lemongrass. I've had lemongrass tea before (using dried lemongrass) to which I added a couple cloves and it made for a delicious tea. And I'm sure lemongrass + ginger is also a great tea combination!

seasonwithspice said...

Great idea, Vicky. Clove would work well too. So many spicy combinations to try!

Alison said...

Oh my. I am currently drinking a cup of this beautiful tea. Was feeling sick all day and I'm thinking that this is JUST what the naturopath ordered.
Thanks! Simple and delicious.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Alison, hope you're feeling better!

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