Pomegranate & Herbal Sparkling Tea

Pomegranate teaYesterday afternoon I was so tempted to make cocktails for clients, but it was only 3:30 pm and I knew that they would not start drinking that early, sooooo I wanted to come up with something that still felt as special as a cocktail without the alcohol. This sparkling tea was the perfect compromise. It felt special, refreshing, not too sweet and wonderfully balanced between floral and herbal flavors. pomegranate tea 4I highly recommend making a big pitcher of this for any occasion. If you are having a party, this is a fabulous non-alcoholic drink to add to the mix and so much better than just offering your guest a glass of plain water.pomegranate tea 3

Pomegranate & Herbal Sparkling Tea: makes about 12 cups of tea

Ingredients:

8 Flowering Honeybush tea bags from Tazo or Numi brand. I found mine at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, use another floral/fruity tea that you like.

4 cups boiling hot water

1/4 cup agave + more to taste

8 cups cold sparkling water

1 bunch fresh mint, washed and dried

6 sprigs fresh rosemary washed and dried + more for decorating if you want.

1 cucumber, washed and sliced thin + save a few slices to decorate the glasses if you want.

2 limes, washed, cut the skin off and set aside and save. Then slice the limes.

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds + more for decorating glasses if you want. I buy the seeds already prepped and cleaned from Trader Joe’s or another grocery store to save on time and mess.

Directions:

1. In a medium heat-proof pitcher, steep the tea bags for at least 10 minutes in the boiling hot water. Then take the tea bags out and throw them away. Add agave to the steeped tea and stir well. Add about 10 ice cubes to cool down. Set aside.

2. In a large pitcher, layer 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, the cucumber slices, lime slices+ lime skins, mint and rosemary. Pour the cold sparkling water over this mixture and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

3. Pour the cooled down tea into the large pitcher of sparkling water and stir well. Add ice and agave as desired. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

4. I decorate each glass with a sprig of rosemary in the glass, a few ice cubes, a few pomegranate seeds and a slice of cucumber on the rim.


In My Kitchen: Superfood Smoothie

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI have given you Chocolate Stout Brownies and Rosemary Focaccia lately, so to even it out, I am giving you this smoothie recipe I have been making at work. I put it on the menu as “Superfood Smoothie”, but one client has renamed it to “Life-Giving Smoothie”! Whatever you call it, it is healthy, filling and starts your day off right. I make this as an individual serving, but it is easily doubled or tripled!

Superfood Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 frozen banana, cut into chunks (you can use an unfrozen banana if you don’t have frozen. Frozen bananas have a creamier texture, so I like to keep a bunch in the freezer.)

1 heaping Tbs of hemp, cacao and maca powder blend (such as Navitas Superfood blend) *this should only be 1 Tbs TOTAL of the combined powder

2 tsp of unsweetened raw cacao powder

1 small handful raw cashews

1 tsp agave

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Put milk in blender first.

2. Add frozen banana, superfood blend, raw cacao, raw cashews, agave and ice.

3. Blend well. The cashews and banana should be fully blended into the smoothie.


Green Tea Smoothie

green tea smoothie 2My fridge was bare this weekend. I opened it on Saturday morning looking for something for breakfast and found a very sad and mostly empty fridge. The few items I was staring at were: almond milk, cold green tea, bananas that needed to be used that day, peanut butter and spinach. So I thought why not throw it all into a blender because I am desperate for food and can’t fathom going out of the house yet. Imagine my surprise when it actually tasted good! I have already made this smoothie two more times, so I think it is worth sharing. You might find it odd and you might want to omit the peanut butter and that’s ok.

Green Tea Smoothie: serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk

3/4 cup cold green tea (I used Trader Joe’s brewed unsweetened green tea)

1 banana cut into chunks (preferably frozen)

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use pea protein powder)

1 big handful spinach

1 tbs natural peanut butter (optional)

few drops stevia liquid or 1 tsp of honey

2 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Throw everything in blender and blend well (at least 1 minute).


Strawberry Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

jacqui_smoothie001The first thing my sister said when I told her about the flavors of this smoothie, “strawberry and peanut butter together? hmmmm…. how strange”. I’m convinced she still has issues from growing up being a very picky eater. Come on, anyone who ate PB&J’s growing up knows that strawberry and peanut butter love each other.

Anyways, I needed to break up my workout routine, so I signed up for this 30-day Pilates challenge for June and I am loving it so far! I started making this protein smoothie as a post-workout breakfast or snack. Hope you like it! And if you have any fun fitness challenges you do, let me know!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie: serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 frozen banana

splash of vanilla extract (1/4 tsp roughly)

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla pea protein that I got from Whole Foods)

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Directions:

Throw everything into the blender and blend for 1 minute. You might have to stop the blender and shake it around a bit or add a little bit more milk.

 

 


Ginger Chamomile Sparkler

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIt is HOT outside. Like WOAH. 100 degree weather should not make an appearance this early in the year :/. It is undeniable that we have to say goodbye to certain traditions we have in cold weather times and drinking hot tea is one of them for me. A cup of hot tea in this weather is no longer comforting it just sounds unbearable. So in an effort to still enjoy my tea and feel refreshed, I have been working on a sparkling water and tea combination. Do any of you already do this? I think it is going to be my go-to for the summer! Definitely play around with the recipe and types of tea you use, I think there is great potential for unlimited combinations! And tell me  your delicious creations 🙂

Ginger Chamomile Sparkler- makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:

2 ginger tea bags ( I used ginger lemon)

2 chamomile tea bags

2 cups boiling hot water

2 tablespoons honey

At least 16 ice cubes

4 cups cold sparkling water

1 bunch mint or basil, washed and patted dried

Directions:

1. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, gently press the tea bags and take them out of the liquid. Add the honey and stir well.

2. Pour the tea into a large pitcher that can hold more than 48 oz. Add the ice cubes and stir to cool down the tea. Next add the sparkling water and stir. If you desire, add the mint and/or basil leaves and stir. Taste and adjust. Maybe add a little more honey or fresh herbs!

Enjoy!