TEA INFUSED VINEGARS By Tea Master, Daniela Cubelic
What can boost vitality, aid digestion, aid weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, prevent aging and improve your complexion? A surprising answer and ancient Asian remedy and elixir – it’s vinegar infused with tea and certain herbs. In fact, from ancient times, throughout Europe and in Asia, vinegars made from rice, wine and apple cider have been associated with powerful curative powers, from assisting digestion, to boosting the immune system, helping improve your complexion and soothing skin ailments, to reducing inflammation and even helping you live longer. In Asia, various herbs and teas were added to amplify the benefits of the vinegar. This ancient perspective on the valuable health benefits of vinegar is being backed up by modern research. If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to boost the nutrient value in your food, and gain benefits for your overall health, tea infused vinegar is a great dietary habit. By infusing tea into vinegars, it makes them taste better, while adding nutritional value because the vinegar is extracting healthful properties from the tea. The acidity in the vinegar helps you digest those antioxidants more readily so it enhances your ability to absorb them.
COLD INFUSION METHOD for every cup (250ml/8oz) of vinegar, use 1 tbsp. of our fresh, organic loose tea*
*you are using dry, loose tea leaves – do not brew them in water first
Use a sterile glass jar with a tight fitting lid (mason jars are ideal). Place loose tea and vinegar in jar. Stir gently with a stainless steel spoon about 5 rotations clockwise (but don’t over mix). Screw lid onto jar. Let sit for 24 hours at room temperature- away from exposure to sunlight or heat, then strain using a fine mesh stainless steel strainer.
Store in the same jar, or use a new, sterilized glass jar. Keep in a dark, cool cupboard, avoiding exposure to light or heat.
For maximum health benefits, use within a month. After that time it will still taste good, but the healthful properties diminish.
While it’s possible to heat vinegar with herbs or tea to extract flavor, I don’t recommend it because heating vinegar can cause a loss of some valuable benefits. Our cold infusion method tastes delicious too! Do not infuse tea leaves in vinegar for longer than 24 hours, as it may alter the healthful properties of the combination if you infuse longer than that time.
TEA & VINEGAR COMBINATIONS
Use any of the teas listed below with good quality, unfiltered vinegar (which is often cloudy) because it contains added enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants. Unfiltered vinegar is usually available in apple cider, white or red wine, or rice wine – any of which can be used in these recipes. Good quality malt vinegar can also be used, but if you wish to avoid gluten, read the labels or ask questions as malt vinegars may contain gluten. Avoid processed and low quality vinegars – read the labels to ensure they don’t contain sugar or any additives (avoid artificial flavours, colours and preservatives).
So far, most studies indicate that apple cider and red wine vinegar may have the highest health benefits, although that may also be because the most studies have been conducted on these types of vinegar. If you have allergies, use caution with red wine vinegar, as it is likelier to cause allergic reactions.
Select one of any of the teas listed below by their benefit. If you have multiple benefits you are trying to achieve, select a choice that assists both of those concerns. Or, make one to two types of vinegar, and use them daily but at different times of day for 2-3 weeks, then rotate to other types. While it can be tempting to mix different types of teas into one blend, to maximize the healthful properties of the tea and vinegar it’s best to stick to one type of tea per vinegar. Our teas are expertly formulated to optimize the healthful properties of tea. While each formula individually is designed to work as combination, adding other ingredients to it, or mixing teas with each other can negate the effects of the other.
for skincare: BeauTEAful
FOR FLAVOURS IN COOKING
Many teas make excellent vinegars, which add a nutritive benefit to food, while enhancing the taste of your meals. The vinegars made with these teas also have many healthful properties and taste delicious. Add to salad dressings, cocktails, moctkails and more. For a lighter vinaigrettes and fruity flavours, use white wine vinegar as it allows the taste of the tea to come through better. For heartier, richer teas, heavier red wine can be lovely.
SMOKY Lapsang Souchong
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR TEA INFUSED VINEGAR
Tea infused vinegars can be added to water and sipped for a refreshing, thirst-quenching daily health tonic. Place 1 tsp in 1 cup water. Drink before meals to improve digestion, as well as to enhance your metabolism’s ability to manage carbohydrate rich foods. Sip after exercise to replenish and rehydrate your system.
Tea Infused Vinegars make a fantastic ingredient in cocktails and mocktails – add 1 tsp. per cup of other liquids to add a zesty, refreshing note to drinks. Add to iced tea or mix with a splash of cranberry, grapefruit, lemon or other fruit juice.
Tea Infused Vinegars make delicious low-calorie salad dressings or marinades that enhance meals. Combine with healthy oils such as cold pressed olive, and drizzle over soup, steamed vegetables or grains. Dip your bread in olive oil and tea infused vinegar or add it to pasta dishes. Add it as a finishing touch or drizzle to foods immediately before serving. Don’t heat your Tea Infused Vinegar if you want to maximize the vinegar’s healthful properties.
FAST, SIMPLE RECIPE FOR TEA SALAD DRESSING & VINAIGRETTE
This low calorie vinaigrette is easy and quick to make, and requires very few ingredients. Use good quality, cold-pressed olive oil, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, hemp, flaxseed or other good quality vegetable or nut oil – these will enhance the healthful properties of your dressing, as they bring a wealth of antioxidants and healthy fats. Avoid oils that are stale as they no longer have the same nutritive value. Remember that heating the vegetable or nut oil or Tea Infused Vinegar will also cause a decline in nutrient value. It’s fine to drizzle it over warm grains or salads, but avoid cooking with or heating the dressing.
For a classic style dressing: 1 part Tea Infused Vinegar + 3 parts cold pressed oil
For a zestier, tangier style dressing increase the proportion of vinegar: 1 part Tea Infused Vinegar + 2 parts cold pressed oil
Place the oil and vinegar in a bowl and whisk thoroughly for the two ingredients to emulsify. This is important because it ensures the two ingredients combine together very nicely and that changes how they coat food better, which makes it taste more delicious.
Vinegar is naturally zesty and salty so the dressing shouldn’t require salt. As the vinegar is flavoured with tea, it doesn’t require the addition of any other items.
If you like a bit of sweetness to your dressing, add 1 tsp. maple syrup or honey per every cup of dressing you make – but try to enjoy it without the sweetener if you can. All of the processed grains and foods we eat nowadays are so full of sugar or high in carbohydrates, that we are getting far more sugar in our diets than we need. Try to develop a taste for foods without added sweeteners, to help your entire system function better.
- Vinegars have many healthful properties which are further amplified by the addition of fresh, organic teas.
- Drizzle Tea Infused Vinegar over foods rich in carbohydrates, or drink diluted vinegar in water before meals rich in carbohydrates, or drizzle it over carb-rich foods to slow the rate of blood sugar rising. Studies indicate vinegar can improve blood sugar levels, which can assist with weight loss and managing blood sugar levels for pre-diabetes and diabetes. High blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of many diseases including cancer. The combination of antioxidants and lowering blood sugar may be why incorporating healthy vinegar into your diet is associated with long life, and lots of energy and vitality in many cultures throughout the world.
- Vinegar has a zesty, tangy flavour and for that reason can be used as a substitute for salt, which is great for cardiovascular health and high blood pressure.
- Make healthy salad dressings with tea infused vinegar and healthy cold pressed oils like olive oil. They are very flavourful but are low calorie. Use them in place of store bought dressings and condiments, to get great benefits while reducing calories.
- Vinegar can aid digestion by improving the stomach’s healthy acidity (which is required for good digestion) while also providing probiotic benefits, which are enhanced by the addition of fresh, organic, tea. The stomach’s digestive acids weaken as we age, which can lead to poor digestion, and a variety of digestive problems including bloating.
- A healthy digestion, and lots of antioxidants in our system, as well as healthy blood sugar levels may be linked to healthy skin and better immune response, which includes a reduction in allergies, arthritis and auto-immune issues.
- Good quality, unrefined vinegars contain enzymes and valuable minerals including potassium and magnesium which encourage cellular renewal, aid cardiovascular health, reduce stress and can help us feel more energized.
- Apple Cider vinegar is associated with many particularly healthful properties, but that may be because it’s had the most health benefits studies done with it. Wine based vinegars may be very helpful in promoting heart health, preventing stroke and reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.