Homemade tea blend with citrus, berries, apples, roses and white tea is an invigorating infusion of sweet fruity flavors and the lively taste of antioxidant rich white tea.
Just as amazing as our Saffron Tea.
Homemade Tea with Fruits and Herbs
The idea of this tea actually comes from my husband, who is an ardent aficionado of all kinds of tea. A while back he had made a great concoction using fruits dried in our food dehydrator and combined with some white tea, dried herbs and flowers.
It was so soothing and refreshing. So, I wanted to recreate that. And if you have been following this blog, you may remember another easy treat made with chocolate and dried fruit (oranges).
There are many varieties of commercially available teas of this kind. But if you have a food dehydrator at home, you can easily make your own copycat teavana tea creations - all for a fraction of the cost and it is so much fun.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- It is important to choose fruits that are in the peak of the season. This will optimize the flavor and sweetness you can derive from the fruits. So pick fresh, ripe and sweet fruits.
- Make sure to not let the fruits over-dehydrate. Otherwise they may turn dark and have more of a caramelized flavor, rather than a fresh fruity flavor.
- If you do not have a dehydrator, here is a resource for drying fruits in the oven (but I have not tried it myself).
- Try to choose fruit, floral and herb flavors that will blend well together.
- When using white tea, you can use more of it in the blend as it is much milder and it can also be be steeped longer. But you could also try green tea.
The best thing about this is that you will not need to use added sugar, as the dried fruits will release their sweetness during the tea infusion. Besides, that perception of sweetness is further heightened due to the sweet fruit flavors.
Have you tried white tea? It is much lighter in taste and color than black or green tea. Rather it results in a beverage that is pale yellow in color.
White teas are typically made from young or minimally processed leaves of the plant. It comes mostly from China and some parts of northern India. So, during my trips to India, I make sure to bring back some of it!
Is White Tea Good for You?
- White tea is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant properties. In fact, some research suggests that it may have more antioxidant potential than even green tea!
- It has been lauded for its anti-aging benefits and role in disease prevention. Some studies have shown that it may be beneficial in lowering blood pressure as well.
- Drinking white tea regularly has also been associated with greater bone density, healthier teeth and skin. And the good thing is that white tea will not stain the teeth like the darker teas!
Enjoy This Tea With:
- Samosa Pastry Rolls
- Cardamom Chickpea Cookies
- Maamoul (Date Filled Cookies)
- German Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prick the eggplants with a fork in couple spots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the skin turns darker and shrinks. Check foot notes for grilling, broiling or stove top options.
- The eggplants should be cooked through completely in the center. To check, press the back of a fork on the eggplant. It should compress easily all the way into the center without any resistance.
- Cut through the eggplant skin and scoop out the soft cooked flesh and mash it with a fork and set aside.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding some seeds if you wish. See note below for peeled and deseeded tomatoes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan at medium setting. Add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne or chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are softened, stirring in between, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the mashed eggplants and cilantro. Continue to cook over low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, mashing it if needed, into a thick but slightly textured dip like consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt. Adjust as per taste, let it cool and transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate it overnight before serving.
- Take the zaalouk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes if you prefer.
- Chunky Zaalouk: To make a chunkier but less traditional zaalouk, insert garlic cloves into eggplant and roast it in the oven at 400˚F, along with the tomatoes. Chop the eggplants and tomatoes. Add the spices, herbs, half the olive oil, salt and mash it up to desired consistency. Drizzle olive oil and serve.
- Cooking Eggplants:
- Grill: Roast eggplants on charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them slowly in between, until skin turns darker and shrinks.
- Broil: Cut eggplants lengthwise into halves and place the cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Place on the second rack and broil until skin turns darker and shrinks, about 20 minutes.
- Stovetop: Peel the eggplants completely, only some stripes or leave the skin on if you don’t mind it. Cut the eggplants into small pieces. Steam on high heat until soft or cook in a pan with some water until soft and mushy.
- Easy Zaalouk: Combine all ingredients with ⅓ cup of water and cook it over stove top until softened. Mash it up well and drizzle olive oil.
- Peeled and deseeded tomatoes: If you prefer, you can blanch the tomatoes. Cut a small cross on the surface of tomatoes and dump them in hot boiling water. After a minute, pick out the tomatoes and peel the skin, cut them into halves and deseed. Chop them into small pieces.
- Use more tomatoes if you want the dip to be saucy. You may even try using a little bit of tomato paste to give it thickness.
- Leftovers: Can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. You can freeze zaalouk for couple months. Thaw and reheat. Adjust the consistency, evaporating or adding water as needed. Check the seasoning as well.
- Nutrition facts not including any added salt.
- For other variations, tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Homemade Tea with Rose and Dried Fruit
- 1 ½ lbs each fresh fruit (apples, oranges, strawberry) for dehydrating and save the rest
- 1 ½ cups orange dried, organic
- 1 ½ cups apple dried, organic
- 1 ½ cups strawberry dried, organic
- 1 ½ cups rose petals dried, organic
- 2 cups white tea
- ½ cup dried herbs optional, absinthium or wormwood, mint or your choice
DRIED FRUIT PREPARATION
- Scrub the surface of the oranges and apples with a vegetable brush and rinse well. Rinse the strawberries very well and drain. Wipe the fruit surface dry using a paper towel.
- Slice the fruits crosswise using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife. Retain the peel and cut fruit into uniform ¼-inch thick slices. Discard the end slices.
- Next, let the fruit slices dehydrate until the fruit center is dry. Depending on the number of trays stacked, this may take six to eight hours or more.
- To allow uniform drying of the slices, do remember to switch the order of the trays.
- Once the fruit slices are dried well and crisp, break them into smaller pieces.
HOMEMADE TEA PREPARATION AND INFUSION
- Using the suggested ratio, combine the dried fruits with the white tea and dried roses. You may add some dried herbs if you prefer.
- Use hot water (but not boiling) as the tea may turn bitter due to the longer steeping time.
- You may use two tbsp of the homemade tea blend per 1 cup hot water. Adjust as per your taste.
- White tea can be steeped longer than black tea. It is recommended to steep the tea for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Do check out my homemade tea preparation tips above.
- You can buy dried roses (culinary grade) from Persian/ middle eastern/other ethnic grocery stores or online.
- Here is a detailed tutorial for white tea preparation.
- Nutrition Facts: The calories are an approximation based on similar commercial tea preparations, as it is difficult to estimate the amount of calories from the fruit sugars released. Nevertheless, they are minimal.