Hello, all our fellow Zenful Lifers.
How about a great delicious and incredibly healthy tea recipe we’ve discovered that we now make daily? The flavor goes well with the holidays, but is truly an “anytime” tea.
(Skip to the bottom if you want to go straight to the recipe.)
Peppered Ginger Turmeric Tea
Our custom tea recipe first began about a year ago when we read about the health benefits of both ginger and turmeric spices. We then wondered… Could we use the raw roots of each to make tea?
Yep. You can. And it’s delicious. We often make a batch in the morning, then reuse the same ingredients to make a second batch later in the day.
Then about a month ago, we learned that in order for our bodies to uptake turmeric, black pepper must be present. Hmmm… We soon began peppering our cooked turmeric dishes.
What about steeping peppercorns into our tea?
YES! Turns out steeped peppercorns blended with the tea is amazing! And you’d think the spicy pepper would overpower the tea—but it doesn’t. Even when steeped up to ten minutes, the pepper imparts only a mild peppery flavor, transforming the already tasty beverage into a richer…almost creamier…tea.
Health Benefits of Peppered Ginger Turmeric Tea
Ginger and turmeric have each been used for thousands of years not only in cooking, but in a variety of health remedies, the details of which are outside the scope of this article. Among ginger and turmeric’s many health benefits, they are both purported to be an anti-inflammatory, commonly used by those who suffer with arthritis and joint pain.
At the following link on the website Nutrition-and-You.com, you can find the nutrient profile of ginger, outlining not only more information on the root, but also that it’s high in vitamin C and some B vitamins, as well as potassium and many minerals.
On the same site, they have a page for the nutrient profile of turmeric, which shows it high in iron and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin C and B6, in addition to many other vitamins and minerals.
Nutrition-and-You.com also has a nutrient profile on black pepper, which shows the spice to be well over the RDA of vitamin K, iron, and manganese, as well as another excellent source of many other vitamins and minerals.
Talk about healthy tea! (We consider it a hot liquid anti-inflammatory multi-vitamin.)
A note of caution: We noticed when drinking a lot of the tea, we experienced mild dehydration. Upon further research, we learned that both ginger and turmeric are diuretics. Since then, we’ve upped our intake of water when drinking the tea. Be sure to stay hydrated!
Choosing Ginger, Turmeric, and Peppercorns & How to Store Them
Ginger and turmeric root are fairly similar on both what to look for and the best way to store them: Look for firm plump roots.
We’ve stored our roots in two different ways that make them last the longest. If we’re using within 1-2 weeks, we store them in open mason jars in our refrigerator crisper on the lowest humidity setting. If we want to keep them longer, we store them in glass airtight containers in the refrigerator, which we understand can preserve them without shrivel or mold for 6-8 weeks (we have yet to test the outside of this longer time-parameter.)
In regards to the type of ginger, the zestier ginger and more common form has tan skin. Sometimes you’ll see ginger with a white skin and pink blush toward the ends. It’s called “young ginger” or “spring ginger” because it’s harvested earlier in the life cycle and is less fibrous than its more common counterpart. We use either in our tea—whatever we’re able to find.
The best peppercorns? We’ve read from numerous sources that Tellicherry is the best type of peppercorn. We order whole black Tellicherry peppercorns in bulk from VitaCost.com (along with all of our other kitchen spices and staples). Apparently, properly stored in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container, peppercorns have an indefinite shelf life.
How do we make our Peppered Ginger Turmeric Tea?
Peppered Ginger Turmeric Tea Recipe
6 to 8 cups of filtered water
1 to 2 inch section of fresh ginger root
1 to 2 inch section of fresh turmeric root
1 tbs of dried Tellicherry peppercorns
Pour water into a saucepan and turn on medium-high (7 out of 9 on our stove dial), setting the timer for 11 minutes to bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile rinse under running water your ginger root and turmeric sections, rubbing the surfaces with your fingers. It’s okay to leave whatever skins don’t rub off on. Slice the roots into 6-8 discs apiece. Drop your ginger and turmeric slices into the stovetop water and leave uncovered for the remaining time.
Once the water boils or your timer goes off, turn the heat down to a low/medium-low (2 out of 9 on our stove dial) and cover with lid for another 11 minutes on the timer.
When the timer alerts you, pour the simmered tea, root slices and all, into an 8 to 10 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Put the loose peppercorns into a tea strainer and hang them off the side of the glass if it submerges them. If the liquid is too low (if you’ve halved the recipe, for instance), you can rest the peppercorn in its strainer on the bottom.
Let the peppercorns steep for 5-8 minutes and then remove them.
We leave the ginger and turmeric slices in for the duration of our drinking the tea. Again, using them a second time for another batch, if desired. Refills definitely get zingy-er the longer those slices soak.
Let us know what you think!
Just a couple of Zenful Lifers,
~ Kat & Stone
© 2017 by Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion