Nutrition Corner: Make Mom a relaxing cup of tea on her special day

May 3rd, 2016 2:12 pm

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms! Mother’s Day is a great time to give a gift of relaxation to a mom. What a better gift to give than a cup of tea?

Young children can be involved in giving the gift of tea by also giving herbs that increase the aroma and feeling of relaxation. Take a trip to the local nursery. Herbs like mint and lemon balm can be kept in container or planted together in a pot for the deck or outdoor window sill.

Tea comes in black, green and white varieties. White tea is unfermented and contains the largest percentage of antioxidants and the least amount of caffeine. Green tea is made with steamed tea leaves and contains a high percentage of antioxidants along with a lower percentage of caffeine. Black tea is the most fermented and contains the highest level of caffeine and a lower percentage of phytochemicals. However, black tea is still lower in caffeine than coffee and many other caffeinated drinks and contains enough antioxidants and other plant chemicals to positively impact health.

Black tea is the most common type in the Western world. Its processing is different from other types in that it is fully oxidized. It is harvested, dried, and well-fermented to create a distinctive flavor. Black teas should be brewed in fully boiling water.

Green teas have undergone less processing and have a much lighter flavor. Since the leaves are not fermented, the taste is pleasantly fresh and herbal. According to the National Institute of Health, “laboratory studies suggest that green tea may help protect against or slow the growth of certain cancers, but studies in people have shown mixed results.” Currently, they are supporting studies to learn more about the effects of green tea on cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For best taste, do not brew green teas in fully boiling water.

The herbs mint and lemon balm are easy to grow and will add flavor to tea without adding sugar. Leaves can be picked, rinsed and added to boiling water along with the tea bag, or they can be dried and packaged for use in the winter months.

Moms, enjoy your day today! Relax and make a cup of tea. Here is a great cookie to make for Mom. One of our readers makes these sugarless cookies and raves about them.

Sugarless Oatmeal Cookie

3 bananas (ripe)

1/3 cup canola oil

2 cups quick-cooking oats (uncooked)

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix really well. Let the mix stand for about 5 minutes, until the oats are wet. Spray cookie sheet with nonfat cooking spray. Drop cookie onto the greased cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute. Makes 15 cookies.

Per cookie: Calories 110, Carbohydrates 17 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Saturated fat 1 g.

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford Counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at