These popsicles, developed by world renowned chef Chris Sayegh, are free of refined sugar and incorporate polyphenol-rich teas for an added antioxidant boost.
Teas makes a large contribution to our daily intake of polyphenols--a group of compounds such as flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic acids which confer protection against diseases of an inflammatory nature such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Polyphenols can help our gut microbiota--the commensal residents of our gastrointestinal tract that serve instrumental roles in detoxification, metabolism, hormonal balance, and immune function--to flourish.
"[Polyphenols] originate only from plant‐based foods and have been termed non‐nutrients, plant secondary metabolites, phytonutrients, ‘antioxidants’, dietary bioactives and protective factors" (Williamson, 2017).
These popsicle recipes developed by The Herbal Chef are a fantastic way to get polyphenol-rich teas into your diet as well as a tasty way to add them into your child's diet.
Popsicles Two Ways
The Passionfruit Strawberry Lemonade pops are a naturally tasty treat combining the tartness of passionfruit with the sweetness of fresh strawberry. The blissful combination can be compared to a strawberry lemonade and is just as refreshing!
For those of you with an exotic palate, the Mango Thai Tea is an incredible frozen treat for you with non-dairy yogurt, almond milk and mango juice.
Keep reading for more information on the health benefits of the teas used in these recipes, or scroll to the end if you're just after the recipes!
My #1 Recommended Tea Brand
The two teas this recipe incorporates are both from Pique Tea, my go-to tea brand which is not only organic but is triple toxicant screened for heavy metals, toxic mold, radioactive isotopes, fluoride, and pesticides to ensure purity. Because tea can concentrate contaminants, it is of the utmost importance to use a brand with independent third party testing and quality control measures in place.
After researching and trying many brands, I settled on Pique Tea due to their high standards as well as their process. They brew organic, freshly harvested, whole-leaf tea at low temperatures for up to 8 hours, never recycling stale tea from previous harvests or using low quality teabag tea. Moreover, they implement a process that gently extracts antioxidants and phytonutrients. This generates teas with more concentrated levels of antioxidants than leading teas, as confirmed by 3rd party testing.
Pique packets can dissolve in cold or hot water, and are easy to travel with. When I'm flying, I throw them in my purse and ask for hot water from Starbuck's at the airport terminals so I can augment my antioxidant defenses while I'm in the air.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus: A Key Ingredient in Passionfruit Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
The Passionfruit Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles contains the caffeine-free Hibiscus Beauty Elixir from Pique Tea, which contains hibiscus with mint and licorice root. Hibiscus is a powerhouse herb rich in polyphenols including anthocyanins, polysaccharides and organic acids.
Purchase the Pique Tea Hibiscus Beauty elixir here.
The Pique Tea Hibiscus Beauty Elixir is named such for its purported beautifying properties. Hibiscus was in fact rumored to be the secret behind Cleopatra’s legendary beauty. It is theoretically plausible that hibiscus could offer benefits for the skin, for example, by mitigating some of the inflammation behind the pathophysiology of acne.
One publication concluded that hibiscus has enormous prospective therapeutic uses due to its rich phytochemistry, and that it may even ameliorate oxidative stress associated with chronic and degenerative diseases due to its ability to quench inflammation.
Oxidative stress indicates a disturbance in the redox state of the cells where the ability of your cells to neutralize inflammation is exceeded by the level of free radicals in the body, which can harm your biomolecules (such as DNA and proteins). In essence, oxidative stress occurs when your body's endogenous antioxidant defense systems become overwhelmed, allowing cellular damage to accrue.
Antioxidants from plant foods, including herbs and spices, can potentially offset the oxidative stress that is at the root of much of the chronic disease epidemic of modernity--and hibiscus is particularly rich in these powerful compounds.
In fact, in vitro and in vivo studies, including some clinical trials suggest that hibiscus may embody the following properties:
Purchase the Pique Tea Hibiscus Elixir here to make our Passionfruit Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles or drink alone for its benefits. You can also find the Hibiscus Beauty Elixir here at a discounted price in two of my favorite Pique Tea bundles, the Gut Health Starter Bundle and Gut Health Ultimate Bundle, starter packs to support diverse gut microflora which contain many teas I drink on a regular basis.
Health Benefits of Rooibos: A Key Ingredient in Mango Thai Tea Popsicles
The Mango Thai Tea Popsicles, on the other hand, contain Pique Tea Rooibos Immunity Elixir, and are an excellent way to get the powerful herb rooibos into your diet. Rooibos is a South African flowering shrub indigenous to the mountains of South Africa’s Western Cape with very low tannin content and no caffeine.
Purchase the Pique Tea Rooibos Immunity Elixir here.
It is thus a good option for those sensitive to tannins, as it is so gentle that South Africans even give it to colicky babies. It has also been used in South Africa to aid sleep, to relieve gastrointestinal ailments, and as a topical remedy for eczema, diaper rash, and skin allergies.
Rooibos is rich in antioxidants, including aspalathin, nothofagin, quercetin, rutin, and luteolin. You may recognize quercetin as a compound that many take as a supplement for its anti-histamine properties.
The polyphenol aspalathin is only found in rooibos, and another antioxidant rooibos contains, nothofagin, is only found in one other plant, the heartwood of the red beech tree. It is unsurprising, then, given its antioxidant richness, that rooibos boasts antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective properties.
Earlier in vitro studies illuminated that fermented rooibos tea reduced the cancerous transformation of mouse cells when they were subjected to X-rays, with the amount of protection conferred being directly related to the dose of rooibos administered. Green tea, on the other hand, demonstrated no detectable effect on the incidence of transformation.
"Oncogenic transformation of mouse C3H10T1/2 cells induced by X-rays was suppressed in the presence of extract of Rooibos tea, Aspalathus linealis. Transformation was reduced with increased concentration of the extract, so that at an extract concentration of 10%, transformation incidence was similar to the spontaneous level" (Komatsu et al., 1994).
Of course, this is simply a preliminary in vitro study, but the results are nonetheless interesting and may testify to the therapeutic potential of rooibos.
Another study published in Food Chemistry is more powerful, as it is a human study. It showed that daily consumption of 6 cups of rooibos tea for 6 weeks significantly improved the lipid profile and redox statuses of adults at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Another study revealed that unfermented and fermented rooibos enhanced plasma total antioxidant capacity in healthy humans.
When 15 healthy volunteers consumed either 500 mL of either water, unfermented or fermented rooibos teas, researchers found that their plasma antioxidant capacity was elevated significantly and reached a peak 1 hour post consumption.
Save on Pique Tea Rooibos
This Pique Tea Rooibos Immunity Elixir has a touch of Madagascar vanilla, and is fragrant, floral and earthy with a naturally sweet flavor. You can buy it alone or find it at a discounted rate here in the Complete Immune Support and Ultimate Immune Support bundles, which contains teas designed to support optimal immune function. It is also in the Gut Health Ultimate Bundle for those who want to focus on gastrointestinal wellness.
Discounts on tea bundles are automatically applied when you shop Pique Tea through my affiliate link here.
When you purchase through my affiliate link, there is no cost passed onto you, but I may earn a small commission from sales. However, I only support and promote products that I use personally, which I have thoroughly vetted, and from which I derive benefit.
Mango Thai Tea Popsicles
2 cups mango juice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla coconut yogurt
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 packets Pique Tea Rooibos Immunity Elixir
Mix mango juice, rooibos tea packets, and vanilla in a large bowl with a whisk or a hand blender.
Add in almond milk and mix well.
Pour mixture into molds, filling each three-fourths of the way full.
Add in yogurt to fill the remaining one-fourth of the molds.
Freeze until solid (preferably overnight).
Passionfruit Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
2 cups passionfruit juice
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup sesame seeds or flaxseeds
2 packets Pique Tea Hibiscus Beauty Elixir
To make the strawberry puree, cut the tops off of washed strawberries. Blend until pureed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Mix passionfruit juice, strawberry puree, and Pique Tea Hibiscus Beauty Elixir packets in a large bowl with a whisk or hand blender.
Add the seeds and mix until homogenous.
Pour into the mold and freeze until solid (preferably overnight).
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American Botanical Council. (2003). Rooibos Tea: Research into Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Properties. Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue59/article2550.html?ts=1593996874&signature=3819fc57c0b916207e1822b1f63144e6
Komatsu, K. et al. (1994). Inhibitory Effects of Rooibos Tea, Aspalathus Linealis, on X-ray-induced C3H10T1/2 Cell Transformation. Cancer Letters, 77(1), 33-38.
Marnewick, J.L. et al. (2010). Effects of Rooibos (Aspalathus Linearis) on Oxidative Stress and Biochemical Parameters in Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Ethnobotanical Medicine, 133(1), 46-52.
Williamson, G. (2017). The role of polyphenols in modern nutrition. Nutrition Bulletin, 42(3), 226–235.
Villano, D. (2010). Unfermented and fermented rooibos teas (Aspalathus linearis) increase plasma total antioxidant capacity in healthy humans