Easy Herbal Iced Tea , 1 Comment

Nothing conjures up the sensation of American summer quite like a tall, cool glass of iced tea on a hot evening. But one can become accustomed to, even tired of, the ubiquitous pitcher of flavored black or green tea. The game-changer? Opt for a caffeine-free (but still incredibly delectable) alternative, in the form of an herb that isn't all that popular here in the States: the linden flower. 

Not only does linden flower tea have a delicate, slightly-floral taste that never becomes overpowering (we have all experienced the tannin-laden piquancy of a cup of black tea that's been allowed to steep for too long!), but it also has health benefits that will take you to the next level of relaxation. Linden flowers are high in antioxidants called flavonoids, which means that they help combat free radicals in your body. In addition to that, herbal medicine practices have shown that linden flower tea is useful in warding off anxiety and nervous tension. So if you really need to unwind after a long day, consider this your god-send!

To make a pitcher of subtly-perfumed linden flower iced tea, simple fill up a kettle with as much water as needed (this will vary, based on the size of the pitcher you're using) and set it to boil. As soon as it starts to whistle, remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Attach your tea bags to the handle of the pitcher (I loop them in a rubber band and then use the band to anchor the bags to the handle). For every 14 ounces of water, use one bag of linden flowers. Once the water in the kettle has cooled for the aforementioned 5 minutes, pour it over the tea bags and into the pitcher. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, uncovered, then remove the bags and stir in some raw honey for sweetness. Pop it into the fridge for at least an hour, and then enjoy al fresco! 

- Maria Vasylivna