IMMUNITY & HEALING HONEY HOT TODDY
Serving size: 2
This is the perfect drink to make this time of year — it's reminiscent of an apple cider but packed with several healing (and detoxifying) ingredients that will boost your immune system as the warm summer months wear off and colds usually begin to ramp up in fall. I am ditching the alcohol in my healthy take on a hot toddy and boosting the nutrient profile by using fresh ginger, cloves, lemon juice, and raw manuka honey, each clinically proven to improve our immune response and work as natural detoxifiers.
• 2 cups filtered water
• 1 apple, diced
• 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, zested
• 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 black tea bag
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons raw or manuka honey
You may use any variety of apple you like and you may also use any variety of tea you like. Hot toddy's are most commonly made using black tea but you can get creative and customize the flavor using rooibos, chamomile, ginger, green, mint, earl grey, chai and so on. I personally think it tastes the best with black tea and have been making mine with decaffeinated English Breakfast since I've been making these before bed.
For honey, manuka honey will have more medicinal properties such as higher anti-bacterial, anti-viral, & anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high MGO levels, but it does often times undergo a pasteurization & filtration process. Raw honey, on the other hand, will have more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and pollen since it is never heated. I personally choose to buy the best of both worlds — raw manuka honey.
Note, we are stirring in the honey and lemon juice at the end once the mixture is removed from the heat to avoid destroying their enzymatic activity. You should never add honey into boiling or very hot water as it will kill most of the active enzymes when exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees. Always allow your boiling hot beverage to cool to a warm drink before adding honey.
Begin by adding your 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add your diced apple, zested ginger (use the entire thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger), cinnamon, and cloves. Stir and allow this mixture to simmer for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, turn off the heat and add your desired tea bag. Allow the tea to steep in the mixture for 3 minutes (or longer depending on how strong you'd like it to be).
Strain the contents of the saucepan over a bowl removing all the solid contents from the mixture.
Stir in the 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons honey, then divide between 2 glasses.
Garnish with cinnamon sticks and/or lemon slices and sip!
This is becoming my go-to wellness drink whenever I feel like my body just needs that extra help to stay healthy. I honestly feel it working in a matter of minutes with the subtle heat from the fresh ginger and like I said, have been enjoying this before bed. It's a perfectly light sweet treat to enjoy after dinner and I also wake up feeling noticeably less run-down. This *almost* compares to a classic apple cider but I have my own variation on that coming soon.