Christmas in a Jar: Fun and Fruity Homemade Teas

Christmas in a Jar: Fun and Fruity Homemade Teas

Strawberry and lime, lemon and ginger, apple and vanilla…sounds like I’m listing candies doesn’t it!

They are in actual fact some of the flavour combinations I have tried out in this ‘Homemade Tea’ post. This number two in my Christmas in a Jar project. We have moved away from the bathroom and homemade bath salts, back to the kitchen!

My sister in law is the inspiration for this post. She loves tea. She’s the one that taught me you should never pour boiling water over your tea as it can burn the ingredients. Makes sense and it’s one of the tips I am going to pass on to you guys: if you make any of these teas, let your freshly boiled water sit for 5 minutes before pouring over the tea!

Once the water has been poured, let it steep for 5-10 minutes to really get out the flavours.

I used my dehydrator to dry all the ingredients but you can use an oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. I love these fruity flavours* I have come up with here and when you open the jars it literally does smell like candy!

*You can totally eat the fruit pieces in the tea mixes. It can be like a tea version of the Pimms cocktail!

F.Y.I, dehydrated strawberries taste AH-mazing!

homemade teas

All recipes listed below make 1 small jar of tea.

Lemon Balm, Lemon and Ginger Tea    

 Ingredients
2 cups fresh lemon balm leaves
Peeled zest of 1 lemon
10 cm ginger, peeled into thin slices

Honey to sweeten

Instructions

In a dehydrator or an oven (set to 60 degrees Celsius,) dry the lemon balm, lemon zest and ginger until they are completely dry. All the ingredients will take between 2-3 hours to dry depending on the size of the pieces.
When the lemon balm is dry, crumble it your fingers, into small pieces. Break the pieces of lemon zest into small pieces and crumble the ginger slices.
Combine everything in a jar and seal.
As long as everything was sufficiently dried, this will last months in a cool dark place.

To serve, add one heaped tablespoon per cup and leave to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add honey to taste. 

Apple, Vanilla and Strawberry Tea with and Earl Grey Base

Ingredients

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
2 apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces. Keep the peel too
1 fresh vanilla pod
4 tablespoons loose leaf Earl Grey

Instructions

In a dehydrator or an oven (set to 60 degrees Celsius,) dry the strawberries and apple pieces and apple peel until they completely dry, about 5-6 hours depending on the size of the pieces.
When they are dry, put in a jar.
Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the jar, as well as the empty pod.
Tear open the tea bags and add in too. Seal the jar.

As long as everything was sufficiently dried, this will last months in a cool dark place.

To serve, add one heaped tablespoon per cup and leave to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add honey to taste. 

Strawberry, Lime and Mint Tea

Ingredients

2 cups fresh mint leaves
Peeled zest of 2 limes
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped.

Instructions

In a dehydrator or an oven (set to 60 degrees Celsius,) dry the mint leaves, lime zest and strawberries until they are completely dry. The mint leaves and lime will take 1-2 hours and the strawberries between 5-6 hours depending on the size of the pieces.
When the mint is dry, crumble it your fingers, into small pieces. Break the pieces of lime zest into small pieces.
Combine all ingredients in a jar and seal.

As long as everything was sufficiently dried, this will last months in a cool dark place

To serve, add one heaped tablespoon per cup and leave to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add honey to taste. 

Apple, Star anise and Fennel Tea

This one may sound a bit strange but the licoricey taste of the fennel and star anise work well with the sweetness of the apple.

Ingredients

3 apples, chopped, no need to peel
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, smashed a bit in a mortar and pestle
2 star anise, crushed into smaller pieces.
4 tablespoons loose leaf green tea

Instructions

In a dehydrator or an oven (set to 60 degrees Celsius,) dry the apple pieces until completely dry, around 5-6 hours depending on the size of the pieces.
Add the dried apple to a jar along with the fennel and star anise and seal.

As long as the apple was sufficiently dried, this will last months in a cool dark place.

To serve, add one heaped tablespoon per cup and leave to steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add honey to taste. 

Have fun and experiment! Make your own flavours! This is such a fun way to put some real thought and love into a homemade Christmas gift. ❤️ A little tag can be attached to show the ingredients used. 

Happy brewing!

Christmas in a Jar: Homemade Bath Salts

Christmas in a Jar: Homemade Bath Salts

Is it too early to start talking about Christmas? Maybe but I’m going to do so anyway.

This year I want to make some homemade Christmas presents. We live in such a consumerism orientated world. We have everything we need and then come Christmas we buy each other all sorts of junk that often ends up in the rubbish pile. A few years ago I bought my father in law novelty skull ice cube moulds, because of course, everyone needs those.

To do my bit to step out of this cycle of buying and throwing away, I am making my own presents. I’ve decided to write down a few and share what I am making, starting with this post: Homemade bath salts.

Homemade bath salts

Who doesn’t love a relaxing bath with deliciously scented, soothing water.

Bath salts are ridiculously easy to make and you can make them unique with your own choices of colours and scents. Since it’s Christmas I did a batch of minty candy cane salts, as well as a classic lavender.

Homemade bath salts

It’s a blend of muscle relaxing Epsom salts, cleansing salt, nourishing coconut oil and delicious scents. . Presented in a recycled jam jar, a strip of ribbon and a cute name tag. Voila! A perfect wee gift for your loved ones to enjoy.

Homemade Bath Salts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Epsom salts
  • 1 cup rock salt or 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp of food colouring (optional)
  • 10-15 drops pure essential oil of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a metal or glass bowl, combine the Epsom salts, salt and baking soda and coconut oil. Stir well to combine.
  2. Add in the food colouring, slowly, mixing after each drop until it is your desired colour.
  3. Add in the essential oil and mix in well, taking care not to spill any pure oil on your skin.
  4. Pour into jars. I layered different colours for a visual effect.
https://homegrownhappiness.co.nz/homemade-bath-salts/

I’m going to be posting more homemade gifts in the next couple of days. Are you making gifts this year? If so, what are you making?

Happy crafting!

Easy Broad Bean Pesto

Easy Broad Bean Pesto

If you’ve planted broad beans this year, you’ll soon be overwhelmed with a plethora of little green gems. They take a while to start producing but once those bees get in there and pollinate…Broad bean central!

Podding and shelling will become your new norm and I thought I’d chime in with a recipe* to help distribute the load.

*Bonus: This recipe doesn’t require you to shell the beans so that’s one step less. Yay!broad bean pesto

This recipe contains some of the usual pesto suspects, parmesan, garlic, basil, olive oil. I also added some toasted almonds for texture and a hint of mint.

It’s fresh and vibrant and a great accompaniment to any meals. Try it with pasta, or on bruschetta!

broad bean pesto

Broad Bean Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh, podded broad beans
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add in the broad beans and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Drain and allow to cool.
  3. In a blender, add in all the ingredients except the oil.
  4. Turn on the blender and drizzle in the oil until it is your desired consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
https://homegrownhappiness.co.nz/broad-bean-pesto/

May in the Garden- Blueberries, Rhubarb and Pie, Oh my!

May in the Garden- Blueberries, Rhubarb and Pie, Oh my!

Winter came knocking on the door this week and it’s been freezing! Definitely the kind of weather where you want to stay snuggled inside, preferably with something hot and delicious as sustenance. Something like…pie!

This is a rhubarb and blueberry pie to be specific. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you would have seen that I went slightly over board in rhubarb picking a few weeks ago. My freezer is well stocked and this weather seemed like a perfect time to relieve it of excess rhubarb.

Look how pretty. 👇👇

Blueberries, Rhubarb and Pie

I may have used homegrown rhubarb in this recipe but unfortunately my two tiny blueberry bushes did not provide enough this year for a pie. The month of May however, is a great time to plant more blueberry bushes for next years pie. Read More

April in the Garden- The Quintessential Quince

April in the Garden- The Quintessential Quince

My in laws live in Martinborough, a town in the beautiful Wairarapa region. They live in an idylic setting, their cottage style house surrounded by fruit trees and an olive grove in their back yard. My husband and I got married there and will always be a special place for me.April in the Garden- The Quintessential QuinceTheir driveway is lined with huge, well established quince trees that welcome in spring with stunning blossoms and in summer and autumn are always heavily laden with fruit.April in the Garden- The Quintessential QuinceQuinces are delicious and can be cooked and prepared in many ways. Sort of a like a really hard and slightly fuzzy pear. The down side of a quince is that it is way too hard and sour to eat raw so it has to be cooked. The upside? Quince crumble, baked quince, poached quince, quince jelly, quince paste… Read More

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)