A medicinal standby in Philippine folk medicine, banaba leaves have been traditionally prescribed to diabetics and to relieve stomach ailments, kidney problems, and asthma. Instead of the usual hot tea, here’s a cold, refreshing version enhanced with the lovely flavors of lemongrass and calamansi.
Makes 6 to 8 glasses
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes
2 liters water
6 stalks lemongrass, cleaned,
cut 3 inches from the bulb
4 sachets banaba tea
3/4 to 1 cup coconut sugar
or muscovado sugar
1/4 cup calamansi juice
1 In a stainless pan, combine water and lemongrass and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
2 Add banaba tea and stir in sugar; steep tea for about 5 minutes. Remove sachets and let cool to room temperature.
3 Add calamansi juice and refrigerate. Best served cold.
Tea-mixing tip: Do not mix calamansi juice in hot liquid as heat partially destroys vitamin C. It is advisable to train one's taste buds to appreciate drinks with low sugar content. This can be achieved by gradually decreasing the sugar content in recipes.
Photography by At Maculangan | Recipe by Jacqueline Haessig Alleje of Rizal Dairy Farms | Styling by Rachelle Santos | Props from Rustan's Department Store
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