Nothing beats the smell of mulled wine at Christmas. Filled with medicinal spices, making your own can bring you health benefits, whilst controlling the sugar content without scrimping on the flavour.
5 cardamom cloves, crushed
1 tsp of ground cinnamon or 1 large cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1½ tbsp maple syrup or 3-5 drops of liquid stevia
2 thick slices of a medium orange including the peel
2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 bottle of red wine
2 star anise
1. Put all your ingredients, except the red wine and star anise, into a medium saucepan with a cup of water (more water if your pan is big).
2. Bring to the boil and let it simmer away on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the water has nearly evaporated.
3. Add the wine and the star anise, reduce the heat and let it all warm through for 5 minutes.
4. Strain and enjoy!
Ginger has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. Cardamom is commonly used as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression. Cloves offer many health benefits, some of which include providing aid in digestion, having antimicrobial properties, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system, controlling diabetes, preserving bone quality, and containing anti-mutagenic properties, as well as fighting against oral diseases and headaches. Cinnamon has been proved to help lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors. Star Anise has been used as a healing herb for many years, with its anti fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Red wine tannins, which are what make red wine the colour red, contain procyanidins — known for protecting against heart disease.