Why was it such a tough decision? I love food and I love giving gifts, so with the theme Adding Merriment to Mixes I was very excited. The guidance we received was to "share the recipe for how you package up a little shelf-stable love from your kitchen!" With cold temperatures here in Saskatchewan (silly wind chill!) and my love of mindfulness and creating healthy habits, I figured a nice hot cup of holiday cheer was the way to go. There are so many high calorie, high sugar, and high fat beverages to tempt you this time of year, so here is a way to enjoy festive flavours at home while saving calories for that special appetizer or dessert. Plus it's a great way to warm up after being active outside.
Merry Mulling Spices
Makes 4 pouches for individual servings
6 cardamom pods
1 anise star
4 whole cloves
2-3" cinnamon stick
1 dehydrated orange slice (optional)
4 loose leaf tea bags (I used David's Tea ones)
Combine ingredients in a mortar and smash with the pestel to release the aromas and flavours. Divide into 4 loose tea leaf bags or use cheese cloth and tie to secure.
Place the mulling spice bag and your favourite black tea in a mug, add boiled water, and steep for 3-5 minutes (or longer for more flavour). Serve with a splash of milk and/or dash of sugar as desired.
*You can use a variety of spices to give this a personal touch. I started to dehydrate the oranges at room temperature and then put them on a baking sheet on parchment paper and into the oven for about 1 hour at 200F to finish the drying process. You could also use dried orange zest instead.
Depending on how much festive flavour you want to add, you can double up and make tea for two (instead of 4). This makes a great gift with a box of black tea bags, a holiday mug, and some may even want to gift it with a bottle of wine. I have not tried these exact spices with wine for a mulled wine, but you would at least double the recipe for 1 bottle and simmer 15-20 minutes to infuse the spices into the beverage. The mulling spice bag can also be placed in water on the stove to simmer and provide a great fragrance to your home or combined with hot apple cider.
Enjoy hosting or spoiling your host(s)!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching