Refreshing winter melon tea is a delicious, sweet Chinese drink. It’s vegan, paleo, and heart-healthy, and known for both literally and figuratively keeping you looking and feeling cool.
Winter melon fun facts
- Despite its name, winter melon is actually a large vegetable with a thick pale green skin (similar to watermelon) and white fuzzy flesh.
- In Chinese medicine, winter melon is used to treat mild urinary tract and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Winter melon is very popular in Taiwan and used in beverages, soups, stews, and other dishes.
- When stored in a cool, dry, place, it can keep for months without a refrigerator.
What’s in winter melon tea?
Only 3 simple ingredients:
- Winter melon
- Coconut sugar
That’s it! Simply boil them together for about an hour, and voilà, winter melon tea.
Watch How To Make Winter Melon Tea
Q: Is winter melon tea healthy?
Winter melon is very nutritious and high in vitamin B, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It’s also known as a “cooling vegetable”, meaning it has cooling properties that helps you lower heat.
When combined with coconut sugar, winter melon tea is refined sugar-free, but as with all sugars, it’s still a good idea to consume in moderation. You can always dilute your “tea” with more water as you’d like, to decrease the amount of sugar.
Q: Which other sweeteners can I substitute with coconut sugar?
If you’re paleo, coconut sugar is your best bet, but you can also try maple sugar (more expensive). If you’re vegan, you can substitute brown sugar or rock sugar for coconut sugar – both are commonly used sugars in traditional Chinese recipes.
Winter Melon Tea
- Sieve (mesh strainer)
- 900 g winter melon about 2 lbs
- 225 g coconut sugar about 2 cups
- 1 cup water
- Rinse winter melon, scoop out seeds, and dice into 1/4" chunks (leave skin on).
- In a large bowl, toss winter melon chunks with 1.5 cups of the coconut sugar. Let it sweat until there’s liquid at the bottom, for about 1 hour.
- Pour everything into a large pot. Add water and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Simmer on low heat for 1 hour. You should smell the caramelized goodness about 15 minutes through. Mix every 15 mins to prevent sticking.
- Get a bowl and place a sieve over it. Pour winter melon tea into sieve, and press out the juices from the winter melon bits.
- Transfer winter melon tea into a sealed pitcher. Cool, then pour into glasses and enjoy! For 1 cup of winter melon tea, use 1/4 cup of winter melon base and 3/4 cup of water (adjust to taste).
- The ratio of winter melon to sugar is about 4:1.
- Makes 2 cups of winter melon tea base.
- To make 1 cup of winter melon tea, use 1/4 cup of the winter melon base and add 3/4 cup of water (adjust to taste).
- Winter melon tea base should last for about 7-10 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
Serving Size 1 cup
Servings Per Container 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 128 Calories from Fat 1.8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 27.9g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g 14%
Protein 0g 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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