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In the Kitchen With Ricky: Honey lemon ginger tea is a cure-all concoction

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for inviting me into your kitchens this past year. I appreciate the following and support and embrace this fresh new start with all four seasons of 2022 ahead.

I look forward to being able to provide you with some more fun, exciting and delicious recipes, and I hope that they can continue to inspire you to expand your culinary horizons in the year ahead.

Let’s start the new year off right with this cure-all tea! The cold weather is here loud and clear. As I was brainstorming about a nice, warming recipe to help heat us up when we come in from the cold, I stumbled upon this oldie but goodie.

I adapted this a while back, but it got me wondering why I hadn’t kept up with it while living in Spokane these past five years. It is a recipe for a honey lemon ginger tea base that is so easy, it makes a great addition to your winter recipes and offers myriad benefits.

Plus, once you make it, you can have it on hand all winter. I’m glad that I remembered it and look forward to returning home and warming up with it. The mix of these three ingredients traces back many years to China, Europe and Arabia and was used as an immune booster.

Not only does this mixture taste great, but it’s also soothing, relaxing and makes for a great tonic to help ease the symptoms from colds, flus and sore throats. It contains the antioxidant vitamin C, which can help heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Other benefits include improved digestion, a natural appetite reducer, nausea and vomiting relief and heart health. This mixture is best when it sits for a few weeks in a fridge to naturally combine and break down but can be enjoyed right away.

It will become marmalade-like in texture; that’s when you know it’s at its best. With honey being a natural preservative, it will keep in your fridge through the winter. In addition to using it as a tea, try it in smoothies, as a starting point for a salad dressing or even as a base for a hot toddy.

Honey Lemon Ginger Tea

1 lemon, quartered and sliced

1 4- to 5-inch knob of ginger, wiped clean, halved and sliced

16 ounce raw and local honey (I used Green Bluff Honey Farm, which can be found in most local markets)

In a sealable pint- to quart-sized jar, pour a few ounces of honey on the base.

Layer the lemons and ginger atop the base layer of honey.

Top with the remaining honey and seal the jar.

Place in the fridge for about three weeks, or until the mixture has combined and the lemon has begun to break down.

Serve by adding a teaspoonful into a mug and topping it with hot water.

Stir, sip and enjoy.

Yield: About 15 mugs of tea

Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.