Pitcher of Arnold Palmers (Lemonade-Iced Tea)

1LemonCook’s notes: Inspired the claim that “A true Arnold Palmer isn’t made with equal parts iced tea and lemonade; in fact, it’s three parts iced tea to one part lemonade” (link). The lemonade in this recipe is made with reduced sugar.

Combine the following in a 2-quart pitcher:

  • 6 cups strong tea, brewed with 6 tea bags in 6 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar dissolved in 1.5 cups hot water

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Milk

pumpkin-vintage-color-1475656833nqoCook’s notes: Used plant-based milk and cut the sugar. Use any kind of milk you like: 2% cow, whole milk, almond milk, etc. Makes a wonderful holiday drink.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Milk

  • 1 cup coconut milk (in a carton, not canned)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)

Heat the milk in a mug (60 – 90 seconds in microwave). Stir in sugar and spices. Blend well and serve warm.

Pumpkin Pie Spice from Dessert for Two. Blend together and keep in a small jar:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Adapted from Kid-Friendly Chai Tea | Horizon

Infused Mint Water

IMG_0740Cook’s notes: I had a small package of mint from the grocery store and found a drinkable way to use it. Very refreshing on a hot day. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

Add 1 package (~18g) mint leaves, diced and stems removed, to a jar. Cover with water.

Refrigerate water mixture, stirring once per day, until flavors have infused, about 2 to 3 days. Strain before drinking.

Chocolate Earl Grey Tea

IMG_0326

A hint of chocolate in your morning tea

Cook’s notes: The floral notes of Earl Grey (shown here: Stash Double Bergamot) blend well with the dark chocolate. Lighter than hot chocolate, and more decadent than a regular cuppa.

1 cup strongly brewed Earl Grey tea
1 Tablespoon (0.4 oz / 9 g) shaved dark chocolate
Creamer to taste

Brew the tea. Stir in the chocolate until it melts. Add creamer (or milk and sugar) to taste.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

IMG_2199Cook’s notes: I posted a version of this recipe several years ago that used two kinds of syrup (Peppermint Hot Cocoa, Syrup Version). This version includes two kinds of chocolate. The maple syrup seems to intensify the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have maple syrup, use either 1 Tablespoon honey or 4 teaspoons white sugar (you need to use 1/3 more sugar than maple syrup). Guittard does not add milk to their chips, but if you need certified vegan chips, I recommend the Enjoy Life brand.

1 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Droste Dutch Processed Cocoa)
1.5 Tablespoons extra dark chocolate chips (such as Guittard)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Microwave the almond milk in a glass measuring cup for 2 minutes on High.

Place the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and salt in a mug. Add a splash of  hot almond milk; stir until chocolate chips are melted and the chocolate mixture is thick and smooth.

Add the remaining hot milk, maple syrup, and peppermint extract. Stir to combine.

Top with whipped cream and serve hot.

 

 

Chocolate-covered Pear Smoothie

Dark Chocolate smoothie

Dark Chocolate smoothie

Cook’s notes: I had dark chocolate almond milk on hand but not any bananas. This green smoothie recipe is definitely on the sweet side: you don’t need to add any sugar, and it would be good for a smoothie beginner (you cannot taste the baby spinach at all). The oatmeal thickens the smoothie, and it has a consistency similar to a milkshake.

Makes about 22 oz. The glass shown at right was filled to the top.

5 oz. dark chocolate almond milk
5 oz. plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons rolled (old-fashioned oats)
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
1 teaspoon overflowing vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 cup (30 g) baby spinach
1 ripe pear, cored and wedged (6.5 oz before coring)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries without added sugar

Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from liquids to soft to hard to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on, set to Variable speed 1, and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ingredients into the blades as needed.

Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.

Adapted from today.com


NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts.

Iced Tea with Peach Puree

Cook’s notes: I wanted to make peach iced tea from scratch with less sugar. The typical instant peach iced tea has too much for my taste. You don’t need to peel the peach slices.

Makes 2 quarts.

2 ripe peaches, sliced and pitted
1 cup water
1/4 cup mint syrup
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon (about 1.5 tablespoons juice (0.75 oz; 22 ml)
5 cups of strong black tea (I used 4 PG Tips tea bags steeped in 1 cup water; plus 4 cups water).

Boil the peach slices in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Make the tea; stir in the lemon juice and mint syrup. Let cool.

Puree the sweetened tea and peach slices until blended. Serve over ice.

Family secret: For “special tea”, add Jim Beam Honey Bourbon to taste.

Green Pear Smoothie

Pear, banana, and kale: a beautiful blend

Cook’s notes: Inspired by a smoothie recipe from Terri, which was posted on Buzzfeed. It’s a delicious combination, and we’ve made it 3 times this week already. I found that if you use fresh pear and banana, the smoothie tastes sweeter than if you freeze the fruit first.

10 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 Tablespoons flax seeds
2 Tablespoons raw almonds
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2.3 cups (70 g) baby kale (half of a 5-oz. box)
1 small banana, peeled and chopped
1 Bosc pear, cored and wedged
If the fruit is not frozen, add 1 cup ice
Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from liquids to soft to hard to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.

Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Add a little water to thin, if desired. Serve immediately.


NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts.

Recipe Trio: Mint Syrup, Mint Lemonade, and Mint Lemon Ice

Lemon Italian ice, cooled with mint

Lemon Italian ice, cooled with mint

Cook’s notes: When it is still over 100 degrees, you need something refreshing. The mint syrup elevates the lemonade into a special drink. You can also make Italian ice in your Vitamix with the syrup.

I started buying granulated sugar that is certified vegan — there is no difference in flavor or performance. It is simply processed without using animal bone char. You can read more about vegan sugar on Veg Source. You can, of course, use plain white sugar for this recipe.

Mint Syrup

Yields 10 oz. (1.25 cups)

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup packed mint leaves, roughly chopped

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and add the mint leaves. Let the syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes. Strain out the mint.

Mint Lemonade

The original recipe called for 1 part syrup, 1 part lemon juice, and 2.5 parts water. We prefer our lemonade to have less sugar in it, and not have the amount of sugar equal to the amount of lemon juice.

1 glass: Mix together 1 oz mint syrup, 2 oz lemon juice, and 4 oz water. Pour into a glass filled with ice.

[To try the Simply Recipes ratio, mix 1 oz syrup, 1 oz lemon juice, and 3 oz water. Pour over ice; add more lemon juice if it’s too sweet and more water if it’s too strong.]

1 pitcher: Mix together 1 cup mint syrup, 2 cups lemon juice, and 4 cups water.

Mint Lemon Ice

This is basically 1 part syrup : 3 parts water with a whole lemon added in.

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup mint syrup
1 lemon (peeled and seeded) and its juice [1 lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice (1.5 oz; 45 ml)]
1 teaspoon lemon peel
2 cups ice

Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from water to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.

Blend for about 30 to 60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.


Sources:

Mint Syrup adapted from Michael Symon
Lemon Ice adapted from One Regular Guy

Blueberry-Cherry Spinach Smoothie

Easy smoothie with blueberries and cherries

Easy smoothie with blueberries and cherries

Makes about 20 oz. Similar to the Beginner’s Green Smoothie but with less yogurt and almond milk and two kinds of fruit. This simple smoothie does not have extra oil, flaxseed, or banana in it.
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 Tablespoon chunky peanut butter
1 cup (30 g) baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen dark cherries without added sugar
1/2 cup frozen blueberries without added sugar
Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from liquids to soft to hard to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.

Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.


NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts.