Rooibos Tea-Unique and Versatile South African Cooking Ingredient
The wonderful flavor and startling versatility make Rooibos worth the praise it has received, a mainstay for the converted and a must-try for the not-yet enlightened.”Chris Cason, Tea Muse , May 2004
What Makes Rooibos Tea so Unique?
One of the few cooking ingredients that are indigenous to the Western Cape, South Africa is Rooibos tea. Yes, Rooibos tea is not just a tea but is a versatile cooking ingredient that’s uses go far beyond any other tea.
- Introducing Rooibos tea to any dish will not only enhance the flavour and appearance of the food but at the same time it will increase its nutritional value.
- Rooibos Tea is a natural tenderiser and is ideal for marinades or for bases when making stews and casseroles.
- To add color and flavour to your favourite baking recipe replace the milk or water with Rooibos Tea. Cakes baked with Rooibos tea are moister and keep fresh longer.
- If Rooibos tea is stored in an airtight container it will keep both its taste and color for long periods of time.
- It can be served either as a hot beverage or chilled as iced tea.
Rooibos as a Herb
What makes Rooibos So Healthy?
- Firstly Rooibos tea has no additives, preservatives or colorants and is caffeine free. This means that it is both pure and natural.
- It is low in tannin so it does not interfere with the body’s absorption of iron and protein and can be safely consumed in unlimited quantities.
- Rooibos tea is recommended for people following a calorie restricted diet as it contains natural calorie free sweeteners.
- The strong antioxidants present in Rooibos tea fight the free radicals which are known to cause ageing and the breaking down of the immunity system.
- The soothing effect of Rooibos tea makes it ideal for people suffering from irritability, insomnia and mild hypertension or depression.
- Rooibos tea has natural anti-spasmodic properties making it a healthy and natural way to help ease colic and stomach cramps in babies.
- It is an ideal substitute for milk if baby is lactose intolerant. Its uses are not confined to baby’s diet as it is ideal for relieving skin irritations and nappy rash when applied to the affected area.
- Rooibos tea is an excellent source of manganese, fluoride and calcium which are essential for strong bones and teeth in growing children.
- It also contains the minerals potassium, copper and iron which are vital for various metabolic functions. Rooibos also promotes a healthy nervous system as it contains magnesium and at the same time the zinc and alpha hydroxy acid found in Rooibos promotes healthy skin
Cooking with Tea
Rooibos Ice Cream
1 Litre Milk
10 Egg Yolks
250g Castor Sugar
400ml Softly Whipped Cream
3 Rooibos Teabags
- Mix the milk, egg yolks and castor sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture has thickened to the consistency of thick pouring cream remove from heat.
- Add the rooibos tea bags to the mixture and allow to cool.
- Once the mixture has cooled down remove the rooibos tea bags and add the softly whipped cream.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Once thoroughly chilled beat the mixture for two minutes and freeze.
For a smoother ice-cream repeat the beating process at half hour intervals twice before leaving the ice cream to settle.
Serve chilled - delicious on its own – or add fruit of choice for garnish
Rooibos - Not Just For South Africans
Rooibos as a Herbal Tea
Rooibos Tea Cupcakes
400g Cake flour
300g Castor sugar
250g Butter, Room Temperature
250ml Strong Rooibos Tea
2tbsn Honey( mixed into Rooibos Tea)
4 Large eggs
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
24 Paper Muffin Cups
- Preheat the oven to 180°.
- Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer combine all the ingredients and beat until smooth.
- Place the muffin cups in a muffin baking tin.
- Fill the muffin cups 2/3 cups full.
- Bake for between 12 and 16 minutes until golden brown (test with a toothpick which when inserted into cake should come out clean)
- Remove and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Rooibos Tea Icing
250g Soft Butter
600g Icing sugar
20 Rooibos tea bags
- Bring the Rooibos teabags, honey and cream to the boil.
- Reduce heat and allow the syrup to simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and darkened in color.
- Allow this mixture to cool completely.
- Add the softened butter to the rooibos mixture and beat on high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Sift the Icing sugar and add to the mixture beating until creamy. (Add milk if the icing mixture becomes too thick).
- Ice the cupcakes and decorate with any cake decorations (vermicelli, hundreds & thousands)
Switch to Rooibos - You'll be Pleasantly Surprised
I hope you enjoyed this hub and that you may be tempted to introduce Rooibos Tea into your home, not only as a health drink but for the versatile cooking ingredient that it is.
If I could not persuade you to use Rooibos Tea in your cooking maybe the following tips will convince you of its versatility:-
- Rooibos is an excellent skin freshener and can be used to clean your face instead of water.
- Acne can be treated with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 teaspoons of Gluten-free flour added to a cup of warm Rooibos Tea. Allow to stand until lukewarm and apply to face. Leave the Rooibos Mixture on the face for 15 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm tea. Pat dry.
- A face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos will relieve tired and sensitive eyes.
- Dark-haired people can use Rooibos to give their hair a beautiful healthy shine by adding Rooibos to the final rinse water.
- Pot Plants thrive on cold left-over Rooibos Tea leaves.
- Rooibos Tea helps relieve irritated skin and is ideal for rinsing your dog after bathing
And last, but not least, if you are tired of struggling to get your campfire burning dip dried Rooibos Teabags in spirits or paraffin and use them as firelighters.
Have you ever used Rooibos Tea in Your Home?
More Facts About Rooibos Tea
- Fact File
The official South Africa Rooibos Council Website
Freshpak Rooibos Tea
Although there are various different brands of Rooibos Tea available on the market the one brand that I can personally recommend is Freshpak. It is the most popular Rooibos Tea in its home country, South Africa and the brand of Rooibos Tea that I have been using daily for many many years. I was pleasantly surprised and absolutely delighted when I discovered that it was available from Amazon.