May 27, 2015

Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea 生地綠豆甘草茶

Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea 生地綠豆甘草茶

Cold, di huang, Green Bean, Herbal, itchy, Licorice, Prickly Heat, recipe, Soup, tea, Tonic, 甘草, 生地, 綠豆, 茶, 薏仁
By Published: 2015-05-27
Do you ever think about how much beverage we buy and lug home to drink?  Water, juices, sodas, etc.  Heavy to lug home, liquid in bottles is heavy, amiright?  We buy beverages too, but it's been humming in the back of my mind for a while that there must be a better option.  What, for example, did people used do for everyday for cool and refreshing drinks in the days before the invention of modern packaging?  They made their own drinks, of course!  So recently when my little girl's eczema flared up again due to the already humid weather descending over Hong Kong, I decided to cook up a big ol' pot of Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea, or 生地綠豆甘草茶.  A cool, inexpensive, refreshing sweet Chinese beverage that makes a great everyday drink and soothes itchy skin and prickly heat. 

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁

The essential ingredient for this herbal tea  is the humble little green bean, or 綠豆, also known as mung bean.  The green bean cools body heat, detoxifies, and is packed with nutritional punch. We have used it before for our Green Bean Dessert Soup 綠豆沙, a classic Chinese after dinner sweet dessert.  The green bean cooks down to a sweet nutty melting tenderness which is great either hot or cold.  My favorite is when it is chilled, green bean is so super delicious cold!

These green beans are very common and can always be found at your local asian supermarket.

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁

The other four ingredients for this prickly heat herbal tea can be found at your local Chinese medicine herb shop.  The first one is dried Job's Tears, or 薏仁 , also known as Chinese Pearl Barley or Coixseed, a slighty sweet, nutty cereal.  Job's Tears is used in Chinese traditional medicine to remove dampness and dispel heat.

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁

This is Di Huang, or 生地, also known as Sheng Di Huang, the dried root of the Chinese Foxglove.  Though it looks like a dark mess, it is actually smells okay and the taste is slightly sweet and slightly bitter.  The Di Huang clears heat and cools the blood, again a boost to keeping the body from itching.    

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁


Now for one of my favorites, the licorice root!  This lovely root of the licorice plant,  or 甘草, we have used before in our Chinese Hua Gua Pickles 花瓜 recipe to a lovely, distinct flavor effect.  Actually, my 老公 tells me that his grandfather used to chew on these dried root slices to freshen his mouth.  I've tried this myself and it's very pleasant, sweet and just delightfully slightly bitter, or甘甘地 !  I believe that folks used to chew on these roots to clean their teeth.  (Before the invention of the toothbrush, that is!)  But don't chew too many pieces, one or two a day is about right.  The licorice root is a detoxifier and helps to clear heat from the body.

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁

The last ingredient is the dried honey date, or 金黄蜜枣, which is commonly used in Chinese tonics, teas and soups to add sweetness and flavor.  I always like to toss these dates into herbal teas to add a touch of natural sweetness but this is optional.  You can also use the dried red dates, or 紅棗, if you can't find the honey dates.

Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁
Throw all in big pot
Green Bean, di huang, Licorice,  Prickly Heat, itchy, Herbal, Tea, soup, tonic, cold, recipe, 生地, 綠豆, 甘草, 茶, 薏仁
Snack on the strained out beans
So easy-peasy, just throw everything in and brew up a big 'ol pot of Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea.  You might not think it from looking at all these strange Chinese herbs but this herbal tea turns out to be quite delicious.  Nutty, sweet, slightly grassy with the delightful hint of licorice.  Very cooling feeling when you drink it.  And it passed my personal taste tester: my little girl likes it!

Once your herbal tea is cooled down just stick it in your fridge and TA-DA!  A cool and refreshing drink ready anytime in your fridge.   Better tasting than a lot of the drinks you could buy, healthy for you, homemade, and cheap to make.  Just grab and pour out a tall, refreshing, healthy bowlful that will cool you down, quench your thirst, and soothe that hot day itch!
What are your choices for healthy homemade drinks?
(For another homemade drink that helps with ezcema and itch, see our Homemade Rice Vinegar Health Drink recipe.)


Green Bean Licorice Prickly Heat Herbal Tea  生地綠豆甘草茶
(makes approx. 7 cups tea or 1.5liters)


Ingredients:

1 oz Di Huang 生地, 24g
1/4 cup dried green beans 綠豆, 40g
1/4 cup dried Job's Tears 薏仁, 40g
3-4 slices dried licorice root 甘草, 6g
4 dried honey dates 金黄蜜枣 (optional)
10 cups water
1/3-1/2 cup raw sugar, to taste

Directions:

Rinse all ingredients under running water.  Put everything into a big pot and add 10 cups water.  Cover and boil over high heat for 15 minutes.  Mash the dates a bit if using.  then lower heat to medium low and simmer for another 30 mins.  Turn off heat, add in sugar to taste and stir until melted.  Strain tea into clean bowl, pressing lightly on beans to extract all the tea.  Let the herbal tea cool down to room temperature.  Pour into a glass pitcher with a lid and chill in the fridge before drinking.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Tip:  You can eat the cooked down beans as a snack, it's real yummy!  Just toss out the Di Huang and licorice roots, grab a spoon and enjoy.  The honey dates are especially tasty, just remember there are seeds inside.




More Cooling Treats for Hot Times at The Hong Kong Cookery:

acv, apple cider vinegar, health benefits, Health Drink, homemade, recipe, Rice Vinegar, vinegar mother, 健康, 米醋, 飲品Homemade Rice Vinegar Health Drink 健康米醋飲品

hong kong lychee popsicleLychee Popsicle 荔枝冰棒

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