Apple Tonic – Whip It UP!
By Tan Mui Lan
Build up your immune system with this Chinese tonic. Given the high levels of ascorbic acid and antioxidants in apples, dried jujube, Chinese honey dates and lemongrass, the combined nutritional benefits aid in fighting a cold, cough and flu. Best of all, there’s no added sugar! Dates and goji berries are ideal as natural sweeteners. Lemongrass which has anti-inflammatory properties to inhibit infection lends this refreshing beverage a citrusy aroma.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 persons
A: Main Ingredients
5 red or green apples
4 red dates, pitted or honey dates
20g goji berries
1 litre water
5 lemongrass, white portion only, bruised
1. Wash apples with brine. Peel, core and quarter apples.
2. Meanwhile, bring water in a large saucepan to a rolling boil over high heat.
3. Gently add apples, followed by dates. For green apples, add honey dates. If red apples are preferred, pair it with dried red dates. See notes.
4. Add lemongrass. Lower heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
5. Add goji berries. These red berries are good for liver health, which in turn, helps improve eyesight.
6. Boil for another 10 minutes. Enjoy it piping hot or chilled!
BUYING TIPS: Crisp juicy red apple cultivars such as Ambroisa, Envy, Fuji, Jazz, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious are suitable for this recipe. Green apples (Granny Smith cultivar) are popularly known as the cooking apple as it has less sugar. Apples being rich in photochemicals and flavonoids, are said to be beneficial for treating asthma and lung cancer.
NOTES: Jujube or dried red dates, currently trending as a superfood, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It contains adaptogen which helps to reduce stress. Honey dates (on the left below) which are larger and sweeter has cleansing properties that aids in rejuvenation.
TECHNIQUE: Why cook apple? Pectin which occurs naturally in raw apple is more pronounced when cooked, and is good for gut health and digestion.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee