Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Nourishing Soups and Teas - Post #3 : Red Dates and Aloe Vera Tea

My final post in this "Nourishing Soups and Teas" series is this Aloe Vera and Red Dates Tea.  A friend of mine gave me an aloe vera plant some months ago.  It is the US variety (the huge ones).  I was delighted, because I've always wanted to grow some aloe. 

We are big fans of all things dessert that has aloe vera.  I've always wanted to try making some sort of aloe based dessert or drink but never did because it is not easy to find nice aloe leaves in the supermarkets.

Until  now.  I was transferring the plant into a bigger pot, but accidentally broke two of the leaves, so i saved the leaves and took the opportunity to make this tea. 

Aloe Vera is well know for its anti inflammatory properties.  If you have a burn wound or cut, snip off a small part of the leaf and dab the cool mucus onto the wound.  The anti septic (specifically anti fungal and anti bacterial) properties in the mucus would aid in the wound healing.  In addition, the aloe mucus also contained magnesium lactate, an anti-itching agent, which makes it a great remedy for insect bites and skin allergies.

Anymore more benefits? You bet!  Aloe vera is also very rich in vitamin B12, C, amino acids and enzymes.  All these nutrients help in skin related problems, digestion, constipation and even heartburn. 

If you have never cut an aloe leaf before, there are a few steps you need to be aware of. The following link provides an excellent photo tutorial on how to fillet an aloe leaf to obtain the gel. 

Red Dates and Aloe Vera Tea

  • 1 large aloe leaf
  • 8 medium size red dates, pitted
  • 4 medium size honey dates
  • 1 medium piece of rock sugar / honeycomb sugar / cane sugar 
  • 500ml water

1. Fillet the leaf to obtain the aloe gel. Cut the gel into small cubes and rinse under running water thoroughly a few times to get rid of the mucus. 

2. Put the red dates and honey dates with the water to boil, turn down the fire and let simmer for half an hour to 45 min. By now the dates would be sufficiently soft, use the back of a ladle to flatten the dates to release more sweetness into the liquid.

3. Add the sugar and aloe cubes and continue to simmer for another 10 min. Adjust the sweetness to your preference. Turn off the fire and let the liquid steep for another 20 min. Serve warm.

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