Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Recipe: Sun Tea

July 16, 2008

Sun tea harnesses the power of the sun to make a cup of tea. This method is particularly handy if you are not near a stove or want to make iced tea, since the tea will not be as hot as that made with boiling water.  In other words, great for conserving electricity!  And, as I discovered while working in the urban gardens, a handy way to make water more appealing to preteens and teenagers – working outside all day may not convince them to give up their sodas and juices, but if you offer no alternative but sun tea or regular water, you’d be surprised at just how much they’ll drink.

Sun tea can work with regular tea bags, but in this instance we took advantage of the bounty of the garden to furnish the tea.


Sliced lemons

A great heaping variety of herbs.

Combine in a glass jar. Allow to steep in the sun [if you are indoors you may have to move the jar through the day]. Can steep for hours, depending on how thick you like your tea. In our case, we slowly sipped it through the day, but I can see this working beautifully at picnics and outdoor parties as well. As you can see no sugar is necessary, and the youth really did go back for seconds and thirds. Also handy if you grow an herb garden for cooking, and are looking for new ways to use up your herbs.

EDIT:  I’ve since read some reports that warn against letting sun tea “brew” for too long, as the water doesn’t get hot enough to kill off bacteria and can even encourage bacterial growth.  The general guidelines (found at this link) recommend 1) not letting the tea sit out for more than a couple hours (which we didn’t in the gardens, as the program was over by then), 2) refrigerate if you’d like it to last longer, 3) don’t drink if it gets thick and gooey.