If you are a tea drinker, hot or cold, and you like flavored tea, you can make your own from fresh produce or herbs by using a dehydrator.
Do you love the taste of lemon, lime, orange or peach in your tea? Try dehydrating your own fresh fruit to have these flavors at your fingertips.
Choose fruit that is ripe and not over ripe or rotten. Wash all fruit before cutting. Cut off any blemished piece of the fruit. Slice about ¼ inch or a little thicker. If you have a dehydrator with several layers, you can do several of each kind. When it is done, it will be soft without moisture. These will take at least a day and will need rotation from top to bottom. Once they are dry put in a sealed container like a glass jar with a tight lid. Watch them for a few days and make sure no moisture forms in the jar. If there is any sign of moisture they should be put back in the dehydrator. For flavor, just drop one dried slice of orange, lemon or lime in your hot or cold tea and it will begin to flavor it. Don’t forget blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry. These are easy fruits to dry. You can slice the strawberries but leave the other smaller fruits whole when drying.
Herbs you can dry for tea flavoring:
You can use any herb from the mint family. This includes spearmint and peppermint. You can grow these herbs in your garden and pick them as much as you want to dry and have on hand. Mint will grow wild if you let it. You should cut herbs for drying in the early evening. You can use the flowers and the leaves without the stems.
Lemon balm can be grown and dried to use for flavoring in your tea. You can plant this herb in your garden from March until October. The leaves have the lemony flavoring. Most herbs can be dried in a day or less.
You shouldn’t crush the leaves or flowers after they are dried. Leave them whole and crush them before you use them. Keep them in glass jars and you can store them for at least a year. If you choose to purchase herbs rather than growing them, consider buying organic herbs. You will benefit in many ways by using herbs in your tea as there are many health benefits as well.