It is that time of the year again – winter in the southern hemisphere. It is cold, and it has been particularly so in many parts of South Africa over the past couple of weeks. Although I am an avid coffee drinker – as anyone who knows me can attest – I love drinking tea in winter! I have a favourite as well. It is a healthy combination too, and it is also good for your budget, of course.

It is a simple combination – honey, lemon and ginger. I love the Fresh Pak Rooibos tea – my absolute favourite. Then I add: at least two slices of lemon, one teaspoon of honey and a bit of freshly grated ginger. I sip it slowly, while it is still hot. It warms my soul, and it warms my body on a cold winter’s day – my favourite frugal tea in winter.

The lemons cost us practically nothing. It is particularly at this time of year that I love, love, love our lemon tree. The lemons are ripe, fleshy, and plentiful. There are many benefits to growing fruit trees in your garden, especially lemons.   

Ginger also does not cost much, and each piece lasts me quite a while. Several months ago, we planted a ginger plant, which is growing nicely, and propagating, but we do not have a harvest yet.

And tea is highly affordable. It is cheaper per cup than ground coffee, which is incidentally one of the most expensive items on my monthly shopping list! I usually drink two cups of coffee per day, sometimes three, but I am trying to cut that down, and drink more tea, especially Rooibos.

Rooibos tea hardly needs introduction, but it is caffeine free, exceptionally low in tanins and rich in antioxidants. It may help keep our blood sugar levels at a normal level, and according to a 2011 study it may provide some cardiovascular benefits as well.

Rooibos tea

Lemons are not only a good source of Vitamin C, which is essential for our health, but they also contain antioxidants and help keep us hydrated. Ginger contains gingerol, with a range of medicinal properties. It may reduce nausea, muscle pain and soreness. It can help lower blood sugar levels, and treat chronic indigestion, among other benefits.

Honey contains not only nutrients but also antioxidants. Yes, it is still sweet, and it contains sugar and calories, but it is delicious! I do not always have honey in my cup though. Sometimes I just add a bit of sugar, which makes it a bit cheaper per cup, though not necessarily healthier or tastier!

Do you have a favourite cuppa in winter?

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