Monday, July 26, 2010

Any Fellow Tea Drinkers?

I have always loved drinking tea. I know there have been debates over the year with tea versus coffee, the caffeine content, the fluoride content, and so forth.  I have always enjoyed tea as a source of warm comfort, and it tastes wonderful with these maple cookies that one of my friends makes. (By the way I will post the recipe for those cookies at the bottom, they are to die for with or without tea...hehe, health and nutrition blog, huh.)

The health component to tea, which is highly attractive, are the polyphenols, naturally occurring antioxidants. Recently a good friend of mine asked what exactly antioxidants are so I figured some other wonderful people might be wondering the same thing. Antioxidants protect our over all health by fighting those pesky free radicals.

Specifically antioxidants are nutrients in our foods that can fight and ward off damage from something called oxidation. Basically, when we breathe in oxygen, which of course we need, it is also used by our cells. Unfortunately,  nasty by-products of this process are called free radicals.  These free radicals are what cause cancers, macular degeneration, and other diseases.  So on the level, antioxidants are like superheroes for our bodies.

Back to tea, I really enjoy it.  I used to love chai, but I don't really consume black teas anymore. I will occasionally reach for green ones. I love honey bush and passion herbal teas. I also enjoy chamomile. When I am sick I reach for echinacea and tulsi.

What are your favorites?

Here is the cookies recipe:

I wish that I could say this was my own concoction, but it is another one of the wonderful Dreena Burton.

Maple Walnut Cookies

1 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup whole spelt flour
2 tbsp maple syrup or rapadura
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract (alcohol free if possible) or vanilla powder
1 tsp maple, almond, or more vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic expeller pressed coconut oil
1/2 walnuts broken or crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease baking stone with coconut oil

Combine and mix dry ingredients with a bamboo spoon in a stainless steel bowl
Dump in the wet ingredients
Mix altogether, the batter/cookie dough should be a little dry
Use stainless steel spoon to scoop of cookie dough
Roll in palm of hand
Then gently flaten just a bit
Bake for 11 minutes

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