5 simple summer rose tea recipes

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Rose is one of the most beautiful edible flowers with a nice fragrance and many health benefits.  People have used roses for the decorations, food, and cosmetics for more than 2000 years. If you can find the clean rose without pesticide and be able to consume, let’s make some rose teas. If you don’t have fresh roses you also use dried roses instead. Dried roses have a stronger fragrance and are very easy to use. I love making a cup of fresh roses or dried roses in the morning or evening. Roses can relax your mind and reduce the stress. Today I will share with you some of my favourite rose tea recipes. They are all very simple and don’t take so much time to make. One cup of warm rose tea can relax your mind, reduce stress, and also give you many health benefits.

What we can do with roses?

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Rose petals are very rich in vitamins and have a regenerative effect on the skin. That is a reason why rose water works very well as the natural lotion. Roses can also fight colds and flues, as well as for digestive problems, freeing the body of toxins. Rose has the anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, soothing, healing and diuretic properties .People use only the rose petals in many rose tea recipes but it is quite wasteful. I like to use the whole rose buds including petals and all other parts. From May to October I collect, then dry or freeze small rose buds for the winter. Dried roses have a stronger smell than the frozen roses and are very easy to keep. Frozen roses have fresher fragrance and might still keep some vitamins. 

In September when rose hips are ready I can make rose hips to make wine then use the rose hips pulp to make light dessert. Rose hips contain a high amount of vitamin C and are the second best fruit to make wine behind the grapes. How to make rose teas

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Rose tea recipes

In this post I use the forest rose (Rosa majalis) and half wild rose (Rosa acicularis) grow in Finland.   

White rose steaming with rock sugar

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In Vietnam people can steam the fresh white rose petal with rock sugar or honey to reduce cough in the children.

Petals of 5 – 6 white roses

1 tsp of sugar or honey

Put all into a small cup and steam it for 5 minutes. This is very old folk medicine in Vietnam to reduce the cough for the kids. As rose petal and honey have anti-inflammation and antibacterial qualities. You can try to use it for the kid maybe older than 3 if you do not want to use medicine.

Simple rose tea with honey

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Rose tea with honey is a very simple tea recipe. You can use morning rose and brew with fresh boiling water. Wait for 8 minutes and serve it with honey. If you don’t like honey you can drink the rose tea alone. I always drink this tea without honey but you can add honey if you want. You can use both fresh and dried rose to brew the tea. dried roses have a deeper and calmer fragrance. Fresh rose has a lighter fragrance but more vitamin and nutrition.

1 tsp of dried rose buds/4 or 5 fresh roses

250ml boiling water

Brew the rose for 8 minutes then served with honey.

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Rose tea with Sage

Rose tea with Sage is the Mediterranean tea recipe. You can use both dried and fresh rose and sage to make this tea. With the dried flower I use dried sage and rose tea
1 tsp Sage
2 Tbsp dried petals
This is another simple tea recipe too. You can boil roses with salvia and wait for 8 minutes before serving it.

Chamomile and roses infusion

Serves 4
1 tsp chamomile
2 tbsp dried petals of wild fragrant roses
5  cups of water
Boil the water then 
Bring to the boil 5 cups of water. Leave until the infusion has stopped boiling for 4 minutes. Spoon in the leaves and cover the container. 
2 strain the drink 8 minutes later and serve immediately

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Mixed rose with nettle leaves and ginger

This might be a very different rose tea but you will be surprised by the tasty and healthy of the tea. I use this tea as a detox tea for the morning. Ginger and nettle are rich  in antioxidants and minerals. Roses smooth the tea and make you feel very relaxed. 

I made this drink in the winter time so I do not have fresh rose and nettle so I use the dried one.

– 1 tsp dried or fresh nettle

– 4 dried rose buds

– 1 slice of ginger (depend on your taste)

Brew all ingredients with 250 ml/ 1 cup of boiling water for 8 minutes. You can add more fresh nettle if you want but then the nettle will overwhelm the tea. However it will be very healthy tea and smell like medicine :D. I also eat the nettle after brewing the tea because with me nettle is some kind of vegetable.

Some notices when collecting roses

  1. May is the best time to collect roses, and the season can last until October in Finland. I usually collect the dog rose I can find in the forest or near the harbour.
  2. The best time to collect roses is in the morning hours when they are fresh and remain most fragrant. I usually collect rose buds before they are blooming and always in a small size. The worst time to collect roses may be after the rain. After the rain water can destroy the rose petals and reduce the rose fragrance. Take a notice for the bug inside the roses.
  3. Many bugs love rose buds and always be there on the hot summer days.  May is the best month for collecting roses for the winter times. I can dry roses buds for winter times. Many people also make rosewater, and marmalades or mix petals with vinegar. I do not make rose water because it uses a lot of flowers and in the shop they sell quite good organic rose water already.
  4. You can check if the rose you collect is faraway from the roads 50metters or not. That is a recommended distance to collect wild ingredients in Finland.

These are 5 very simple rose tea recipes that you can make at home. I hope you can find something valuable and let me know what you think about these recipes? Leave your comment and let me know what is your favourite rose tea.


Low Sugar Candied Orange Peels

Oranges are one of the most consumed and favorite fruits. Everybody love orange juice, fresh oranges but we always throw away orange peels. But the truth is orange peels are good to your health and eatable. The peels contains high amount of vitamin C, insoluble fiber and many essential minerals. One hundred gram of orange peels can offer you 10.6 gram of fiber, 1,5 gram of protein, 25 gram of carbohydrate. Besides, orange peels consist over 60 flavonoids and 170 different phytonutrients. Researchers found the flavonoids and phytonutrient can retard the growth of cancer cells. And Flavonoid may protect against lung cancer, hesperidin, and help lower cholesterol levels. Since eating entire orange peels may not sound all that appetizing, you can make low sugar candied orange peel. This recipe is easy to make but it consume about 2 to 4 days to finish. Is that too long? Don’t worry, I will show you how to shorten the cooking time one day. In this recipe I reduce the amount of sugar as low as I can and still taste good. 

I am not sure that after all time of cooking the candied orange peels can remain high amount of flavonoid or phytonutrients. But I am sure that candied orange peels are taste good and worth for making it. What do I need to make candied orange peels?

  • 500 gr of oranges peel (4 – 5 oranges)
  • 200 gr of sugar
  • 150 ml honey

Now let’s start to do it.

Step 1: Cut oranges into 4 parts and remove orange peels.  Cut the peel into small pieces length 1 or 1,5 cm and length 5 – 7 cm. If you have special knife to make a zigzag or wave your orange peels will look better.

Step 2: Put all orange peel into cold tap water and boil it. Cook until boiling then reduce the heat and keep it for 5 minutes. You should boil it for 2 or three times to remove the bitter and soften the orange peel. I do step one and two in the morning and they take me 45-60 minutes to finish.

Step 3: After boiling orange peel for twice or three times you keep it into cold tap water. Put 1-2 tsp. of salt depend on the water you put in and keep it for 8 hours. You can make it into the night then in the morning you can start to cook it again. If you don’t like to wait 8 hours you can start to cook it right after you boiling and cleaning orange peels. I would prefer to keep it for 8 hours and this step finishes in the evening.

Step 4: Remove oranges peel from cold water with salt and clean it with cold water. Put all oranges peel into a big bowl then put sugar and honey together. Then again keep all ingredients in a cool room for 8 hours. In the evening I do this step and keep it overnight, so that I don’t have to wait.

Note: You can skip steps 3, 4 and 5 if you don’t have time. At the step 3 you don’t keep the orange peels into water for 8 hours and then 8 hours shimmed orange peels in sugar and honey. Instead of that after step 2 you start to cook orange peels. First you put water, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil over high heat. Bring the syrup to 238 degrees and add the orange peels.

Step 5: In the morning, I put 300 -400 ml of cold tap water into orange peels and cook until it boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low around 105 – 110, and simmer until the peels are translucent and soft. This step might take you 100 – 120 minutes to dry all the water and soften the oranges peels. You can gently stir the orange peels when cooking it and try not to burn the orange peels in the bottom of saucepan. After this step you can cover your orange peels over sugar to make sugar coat but I did not do it. I want to make low sugar candied orange peels.

Step 6: Dry the orange peels in the clean panel or cooking paper. There are two way to dry the orange peels. Firstly you can keep candied orange peels in dry room for two days or keep it into fridge too. The second one is you can put into oven at 100 – 110 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes. Check it often if you don’t want your candied orange peels is too hard. You can add chocolate flavor to the orange peel after dry it. Orange peels and chocolate are good combination.

This recipe takes me 3 days to finish but you also can make it within 1 day too. 
With me I prefer long time recipe because my orange peels are soft and I still can taste the honey in candied orange peels. All the steps of this recipe are easy to make. Here is my candied orange peel, they look quite messy but don’t worry they taste good.

You can eat it along with green tea, or hot drink in winter time or whenever you want. This candied orange peel is good to reduce the cough, keep you warmth or just healthy home-made snack. Let’s try to make this healthy low sugar candied orange peels this weekend. I promise you will not regret when you taste it. Remember to make little more orange peels than you thought. You will eat it faster than you can imagine. Let’s me know what do you think about my recipes, I would love to hearing from you.  

Healthy Orange Jam with Low Sugar and High Fiber

Happy New Year 2015!!!!!
A new year has come with happiness and many new things waiting. Let’s cook something healthy and taste good for celebrate a new year. Today I make orange jam with a Greek recipe with low sugar and high fiber to celebrate 2015. This recipe is quite the same with marmalade by using oranges and oranges peel in the jam. However, this recipe is faster, tasty, and easy to make with low sugar and high fiber. I learnt this recipe from the television in Greek cooking program. I changed the original recipe by reducing sugar and removing chili. The original recipe have little chili, you can add it if you want a different taste. I like this Greek orange jam recipe as it is easy to make, tasty and healthy.
The ingredients you need to make orange jam are: 
  • 1,2 kg of oranges
  • 300 gr of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
And here we go
Step 1: Clean the orange carefully and keep it dry. Zest all oranges and keep it separate while you are making the jam.

Step 2: Remove the pith oranges (the white part of peel) and cut it like this. By cutting not straight you can remove core of orange easy. 

This is how your jam look like before you cook it.

Step 3: Put the orange pieces, salt, sugar into a pan and start to cook orange jam. Turn the heat up and boil rapidly until the jam reaches setting point about 104 oC. 
  • If you want your jam more jelly like, you can add some orange pith (the white part of the orange peels). As orange pith contain high amount of the natural pectin (30% of the citrus peel).
  • Reduce the heat and cook it for 1 hour or whenever you see your jam is little dry. You can check it by putting a teaspoonful of the jam on to a cold saucer and put in the fridge for a minute or so. If it crinkles when you run a finger through it, and your finger leaves a clear line in the preserve, it’s ready. If not, check it every five minutes or so.
Step 4: When you feel your jam is ready you can pour the orange zest into the pan.  Cook the jam with low heat about 10-15 minutes. The zest will bring the bitter taste to the jam. If you don’t like that, you can cook it little bit longer until the oranges zest is clear. Don’t cook the oranges’ zest for too long to keep the vitamin and nutrient in the zest. Orange peels consist of over 60 flavonoids and 170 different phytonutrients. Flavonoids can protect us from certain types of cancer and lower cholesterol levels.

Step 5: Cool down the jam and put it into clean jars. You can keep the jam in fridge for 2 or 3 weeks. If you want to keep it longer you can check the more detailed in my other post  How to make low sugar and no pectinRaspberry jam.   

Here is how I make my orange jam for a new year 2015. This jam is a good idea to start a day with a slice of bread. Do you love orange jam? What is your favorite recipe and flavor? Can you share with me or add anything to make this recipe better? 
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3 Watermelon Smoothies for Hot Summer

Now is summer and great time in Finland. After half year of waiting in cold weather, it’s so nice to enjoy hot summer day with fresh and cold watermelon smoothies. Watermelon is one of the cheapest and most common fruit we buy in the summer time. Even in Finland, I can find it easy with a suitable price. As you might know, watermelon contains 92% of water and rich sources of Lycopene, minerals and vitamins. This summer fruit has excellent levels of vitamin A, C and B6. Vitamin A found in water melon can boost our immune systems. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 helps the immune system to produce antibodies to fight diseases. Vitamin C works to enhance immune systems to against infection and free radical. Besides, watermelon also contains rich sources of minerals. We can take a daily required potassium levels by having a two-cup serving (280g) of water melon.

That is some main information about watermelon. And now it’s time to make 3 most basic watermelon smoothies. All smoothies are easy to make and tasty.

Watermelon and Yogurt Smoothies


– 1 medium watermelon
– 125 ml or 4fl of plain live yoghurt

Yogurt contain high amount of calcium and live bacteria that are beneficial to the digestion. Live bacteria in yogurt can protect against harmful gut bacterial which cause food poisoning. By making this smoothie, you can have the double benefit of watermelon and yogurt.

How I do it:

– Keep watermelon in fridge for at least half an hour before blending to be colder.
– Peel the watermelon and remove the seeds. If you have a very high powered blender you don’t have to worry about removing the seeds
– Cut into chunks
– Blend in a blender or food processor with yogurt

If you like cold smoothie you can add some ice. Put some mint or sprig of mint and cherry to decorate it. I think my smoothie look quite nice.

Watermelon and light coconut milk smoothie

Ingredients for 2-4 cups

– 900g or 2lb watermelon
– 125 ml or 4 fl oz light coconut milk
– 2 sprig of fresh mint

Coconut milk has unique flavors and reminders the tropical lands and summer. Besides, it provides calcium, magnesium and potassium.

How I do it:

– Peel and cut the watermelon.
– Put into a blender with the coconut milk
– Blend until smooth
– Serve with fresh mint on a top

If you think the coconut milk can make the smoothie so rich taste, you can add a little yogurt and a sprig of fresh mint for garnish.

Watermelon and Lemon Smoothie

The third watermelon smoothie I make today is watermelon and lemon smoothie.


– 900g or 2lb watermelon
– ½ fresh lemons
– 2 sprig of fresh mint
– Honey or some salt and pepper

Lemon has rich sources of Vitamin C and other minerals which good to your health. If you like, you can read more about lemon’s health benefits in my previous.

How I make it

– Peel, and cut the watermelon.
– Squeeze lemon and remove seeds
– Put into a blender with the lemon water
– Blend until smooth
– Pour the smoothies into strainer and strain the smoothies.
– It is much easier to make this drink with juicer. Just put lemon juice and watermelon and juice it.
– Serve with fresh mint and slice of lemon on top

If you like sweet taste you can put 1 or 2 spoons into watermelon and lemon smoothies. And here is my watermelon and lemon smoothie.
Do you want to try something a little bit different? You can add some salt and pepper into that mixture too.  I think this drink is quite fun. And add some Vodka if you like a little alcohol in your drink. But I use only salt and pepper to make drink. Or you can make it in small amount, if you like it you can make it more. Believe me; it tastes good and absolutely unique. 

What do you think about my list of three most popular watermelon smoothies? Do you like it? Or you want to share with me your favorite watermelon smoothies. Let me know about it. Enjoy summer time.  

Grapefruit benefits and Special Cautions

As you may already know, grapefruits are good to our health with high vitamin C content, fiber and potassium. This citrus fruit also has a lot of minerals and components which can protect our cells from damage and reduce the cholesterol. But is that all the information you need to know about grapefruit? As what I knew and read about grapefruit, there are many concerns and cautions and side effects when using grapefruit.

Grapefruit Nutrition

In the below figures are some key essential nutrition in grapefruit. Figures are based on a 1/2 serving of grapefruit as well as how much percent does it account for daily values (DV).

½ of grapefruit (123g)     % DV
Carbon hydrate
         13g       (4%)
        1 g
Vitamin A
1415 IU                                        (28%)
Vitamin C
38.4 mg                                       (64%)
Vitamin E
0.2 mg                                         (1%)
16.0 mcg                                      (4%)
Vitamin B6
0.1 mg                                          (3%)
Pantothenic Acid
0.3 mg                                         (3%)
27.1 mg                                        (3%)
0.1 mg                                          (1%)
11.1 mg                                         (3%)
22.1 mg                                        (2%)
166 mg                                         (5%)

What I can do with grapefruit?

  • Healthy food: Cut grapefruit horizontally and scooping out sections of the halves with a spoon. To reduce the bitter of grapefruit you can put some olive oil in a surface. Grapefruits can also be peeled like oranges with your hands or with a knife. 
  • Grapefruit Juice: Squeeze grapefruit to make a fresh fruit juice. You can put some sugar or salt to reduce the bitterness. But with me I prefer using salt than sugar. The salt can reduce the bitterness and bring a little sweet feeling to grapefruit juice. And more important, you can reduce the amount of sugar you consume in a day.
  • Grapefruit salad: Making tropical salad by combining grapefruit with cooked shrimp, avocado and lettuce. 

What are benefits of grapefruit?

1. Rich sources of Vitamin and mineral:

Grapefruit have rich sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other minerals. A half of grapefruit can give you 64% of the Vitamin C and 28% of Vitamin A which your body needs in a day. Besides, grapefruit can give you rich sources of iron, calcium, magnesium.  

2. Grapefruit and weight loss

Grapefruit contained the largest proportion of lower molecular weight pectin. Naringenin (NRG), the aglycone flavonoid present in grapefruits. This pectin possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-lipid peroxidation and hepato-protective effects. But it is poorly soluble in water and exhibits slow dissolution after oral ingestion.

3. Reduce heart diseases

Vitamin E in grapefruit can be healthy and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Besides grapefruit pectin supplementation may inhibit high cholesterol. There are promising evidences to support the use of grapefruit pectin in the prevention of heart disease. But more studies are needed in this area. 
4. Rich sources of Antioxidant ingredient.

5. Prevent cancers

Red and pink grapefruit contain rich sources of lyconpene. Lycopene has been considered as a potential agent to prevent some types of cancers, particularly prostate cancer. However, this area of research is still insufficient of evidence.

What are side effects of grapefruit?

Grapefruit has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the United States. There are rarely cases of adverse effects from grapefruit juice when using it without medicines. 
But if you eat too much grapefruit you might have tooth surface loss, development of kidney stones. Grapefruit overdose might increase the potassium clearance, lowered elevated hematocrits and Liddle’s syndrome.

  • Be careful when having grapefruit and drinking red wine at the same time. Red wine might combine with grapefruit and cause an additive inhibitory  on the way liver breaks down some agents. 
  • Patients who drink tonic water or smoke should also be careful with grapefruit too.
  • Ask doctor for advice before using grapefruit if you have history with liver cirrhosis, at risk for kidney stones and undergone gastric bypass surgery. 

Special Precautions and Warning when using grapefruit:

Normally grapefruit is safe when you use it as food with who are not on current drug therapy. But, in these special cases, people should be serious caution or stop using grapefruit. 

1. Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Grapefruit is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of scientific evidences.  

2. Breast cancer 

Grapefruit juice might increase estrogen levels in the body and decrease the broken down of estrogen. Besides, grapefruit can interact with cancer drugs and leads to dead. Avoid grapefruit juice if you have breast cancer and at higher risk for developing breast cancer. 

3. Grapefruit and medication interaction

More than 20 years ago, doctors discovered that grapefruit makes some medicines dangerously strong. According to Dr. David Bailey, a researcher at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London said there are 85 medicines can interact with grapefruit and causes serious side effects. Dr. David Bailey also said, ‘One tablet with a glass of grapefruit juice can be like taking five or ten tablets with a glass of water’. 

One we take medicine along with grapefruit juice, the chemical called furanocoumarins in grapefruit will interfere with cytochrome P450 3A4 in our intestines. The Cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme controls the amount of drugs that enters the bloodstream. Once furanocoumarins are present in the intestine, they stop cytochrome P450 3A4 from working. This is a reason why grapefruit juice might increase the drug’s concentration in the blood three-fold. As a result, more of the drug gets into the bloodstream and a patient is at risk of an overdose.

The effects of mixing medicine and grapefruit can be dramatic and some can be deadly. This side-effect can happen even if patients consume grapefruit hours before taking medicine. People who eat lots of the fruit over a long period of time appear to be at even higher risk. Here are some main groups of medicines can interact with grapefruit:

  • Group of lower cholesterol medicine statins: simvastatin, lovastatin and atorvastatin.  Overdose of statin drug can lead to muscle pain, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea and breakdown of muscle tissues.
  • The antibiotic erythromycin used to treat skin and urinary infections. Drinking these drugs with grapefruit might cause nasty symptoms including stomach upsets. 
  • The blood-thinning drugs lopidogrel used after heart attacks, strokes or angina. Unusually it doesn’t become more potent with grapefruit, but can stop working completely. Overdose of blood-thinning drugs such as apixaban and rivaroxaban can cause stomach bleeding. 
  • Anti-cancer drugs:  Overdosing anti-cancer drugs can weaken immune systems, irregular heart rhythms and even sudden death.
  • Estrogens pills such as Premarin, ethinyl estradiol, estradiol (Climara, Vivelle, Estring), and others. Grapefruit juice might decrease the body breaks down estrogen and increase absorbing estrogen. High level of estrogen can lead to serious sickness such as breast cancer.
  • Anti-infective drug: Including treatment for HIV, malaria and antibiotic medicines.
  • Central nervous systems drugs: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, pain killer.

You can read more detail about medicines which interacts with grapefruit in Webmd and CBC news.

4. Interactions with Herbs 

The herbs, processed by liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system, might interact with grapefruit. Grapefruit can increase the levels of other herbs or supplements in the blood too high than usual. Here are some cases of herbs can interact with grapefruit:

  • A mixing of grapefruit and green tea can increase caffeine levels in the body. High level of caffeine can gain risks of cardiovascular, central nervous system stimulative effects.
  • Grapefruit juice may increase the concentration of digitalis (foxglove) and vitamin C levels.
  • Risks of bleeding might increase when using herbs and supplements with grapefruit juice. There are some reported cases of bleeding by mixing grapefruit with Ginkgo biloba, garlic and saw palmetto. 
  • If both licorice and grapefruit are taken together, you might have the risk of high blood pressure.
  • You should be caution when using xanthine-containing herbs with grapefruit. They may interact with each other.

Here are some main information about health benefits and side effects of grapefruit. I like grapefruit because of valuable health benefits but I also do concern about grapefruit’s side effect. Always consider about the grapefruit’s side effects. Ask your doctor for advice if you are in therapy and have sickness history before using it.


About Me

Hi, Welcome to About Healthy Drinks blog.

My name is An Tran and I am about 30’s. I come from Vietnam but now I am living in Finland. I started a blog About Healthy Drinks because I have a big love with healthy drinks and their benefits.
In my blog, I would love to share with you the different kind of healthy drinks and how to make them. All the healthy drinks and drink’s recipes introducing in my blog will be easy to make and find ingredients like lemon, honey and ginger or whatever I got in my small kitchen.

Another part of blog will introduce you how to use drinks effectively and make use of healthy drink’s benefits. In every post, I will try to collect useful information and give you some main notices, do and don’t when making healthy drinks. 

Do remember that information in my blog and in internet based on tradition, scientific theories or limited research. The information often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven.  In some case simple healthy drink or herb might be harmful or potentially serious if it is used in wrong way. So that you should always be aware and double check information about your drinks. If you have medical treatment history, ask your doctor the best advice.

I know that the knowledge about healthy drink is wide and unlimited. For that reason, I highly appreciated if you let me know your opinion about my works. Your ideas will be valuable resources for me to measure my works. I do hope through this blog I can know more about you and learn more about healthy drinks.