One of the best parts of summer is the bright and energetic colors and flavors. In the culinary world, we can’t wait to re-incorporate the flavors of refreshing watermelon, sweet peaches, and juicy berries into our food and drink. However, if we cast aside soothing winter fruits and herbs for ones that are more refreshing, we lose out on many of the health-supporting properties they provide.
Below, you’ll learn how to incorporate two of these healthful berries into a refreshing glass of iced tea to reap their benefits through the summer months. Both elderberries and schisandra berries have a rich history and remarkable properties. Plus, their use in herbal blends creates refreshing summer iced teas containing a beautiful array of flavors.
Elderberries grow from the blossoms of a small tree/shrub and are known to be one of the world’s most used medicinal plants. The unripe berries are mildly poisonous, but when ripe are edible.
Historically, elderberries were used to aid in pain relief and inflammation. However, now elderberries are more commonly used in supplements made for treating cold and flu symptoms. They are prized for being low in calories and high in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C, dietary fiber, phenolic acids, flavanols, and anthocyanins. Learn more about the benefits of elderberry at Healthline.
Used after cooking, elderberries have a deep burgundy color and a rich, lightly tart flavor. One of their most common uses in the culinary world is as a syrup for cocktails and beverages. They’re also common in jams/jellies, as well as in sauces, pies, wine, juice, teas, and more.
Elderberries are the featured ingredient in a new blend in our herbal tea offerings, Elderberry Fortress. This crimson tea highlights the immune-boosting elderberry, along with other wellness champions like ginger, echinacea, and goji berry. Brew this tea double-strength to make a concentrate, then add enough ice until thoroughly chilled. The apple and hibiscus add even more sweetness and fresh fruit aroma, making this iced herbal tea a refreshing summer infusion – packed with the benefits of elderberry!
Schisandra berries are grown on a vine native to China, Russia, and Korea. Also known as the “five flavor berry,” due to its incorporation of five tastes: sweet, salty, pungent, butter, and sour. Schisandra is gaining popularity in Western culture for is use as an adaptogen – an herb or plant which is considered to aid in the body’s resistance to stressors.
Adaptogens are important to the wellness conscious – as they’re known for helping the body resist the effects of anxiety and stress, as well as bolstering the body’s defenses against disease. Learn more about adaptogenic herbs here.
Schisandra is not typically used for food but is preferred for medicinal means. It can be purchased as dried whole berries, juice, or in multiple supplement forms such as powdered, pill, extracts, or liquid. It can also be used to make a tincture, tonic, wine, or tea.
Schisandra berries are a key ingredient in the organic herbal tea blend, Ginseng Hippie. It also contains several other key ingredients, known for their detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties. This blend makes a refreshing herbal iced tea for summer, as the ginseng, mint, and schisandra berry adds a cooling, finish when served over ice. Simply brew this tea double-strength to make a tea concentrate, then add enough ice until thoroughly chilled.
Which iced herbal tea will be your top pick for the summer? Do you seek out teas with wellness properties or ones with a certain flavor? Make sure to comment with what makes your perfect summer iced tea!