Falling for Pumpkin

Yellows, oranges, leaves, pie, scarves, sweaters, cinnamon, apples and pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin! Fall is coming!  Are you excited?

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A sweater is always needed just in case, scarves are coming out to warm those exposed necks and tea is essential for keeping those hands warm when you refuse to wear your mittens until there is snow on the ground. My favourite flavours that get me ready for fall are pumpkin…and cinnamon.  Fall is also my favourite time to drink tea because it is getting a little bit chillier and you need that extra liquid to keep your insides warm and toasty.  New flavours of tea including mint, chocolate, cinnamon and pumpkin are coming out of hiding to join the scarf-wearing fall frenzy.  It is so exciting!  I’m all warm inside just thinking about it, mmmm mmm!

I was walking around the mall the other day itching for a drink of some sorts and I came across a great sign next to Second Cup.  PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE, PUMPKIN SPICE CHILLER and PUMPKIN ROOIBOS TEA.  I bet you can guess which one I ordered when I walked into the store.

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It was really tasty!  I am not a frequent Second Cup visitor as it is not usually my first choice for beverages.  I am also strictly a tea drinker and don’t usually stray over to the coffee side very often and I always think of strange coffee drinks when I see Second Cup.  But I was drawn in with the promise of pumpkin in my cup, so how could I resist?

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And rooibos!  Who knew Second Cup would carry a rooibos tea? It was lovely and the perfect pumpkin piquant if you’re not feeling anything caffeinated because rooibos is completely caffeine free!  Enjoy this tea with any pumpkin infused pastry, muffin or scone, I had a delicious pumpkin scone from Starbucks today! mmm pumpkin!

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Hemp Milk-Tea Infused Smoothie

Today I have to say that I made the most delicious pre volleyball smoothie.  It of course included tea.  I was inspired by the lack of food in my kitchen and the recent non-tea smoothies I’ve been making.  This summer my boyfriend and I had dinner at this Vegan spot called Raw Aura in Port Credit and ordered a hemp milk chocolate smoothie after our meal.  It was amazing because it was such a different flavour and was the perfect thing to top off our deceptively delicious dinner.

I’ve been making my own hemp milk infused smoothies for the past week or so because I found out how amazing hemp milk is for you and I had a great tasting experience when I had that smoothie.  Initially I started looking for hemp milk in just a regular grocery store but found nothing but almond milk. I’m pretty sure that you can purchase it at Whole Foods, but I also ended up finding it at Bulk Barn.  Hemp milk is very high in omega-3, has all 10 essential amino acids and contains 26-31% pure protein which is great for a vegetarian like me!  Also, it helps promote healthy menstruation!  There are many other uses of hemp that are beneficial to the body, those are just to name a few.  I also put hemp seeds on my cereal in the morning for extra goodness!

Hemp milk has sort of a nutty flavour to it, I’ve been making these smoothies for about a week now and today I decided to add some tea and it is even better!  This smoothie is for those chocolate banana lovers out there and I find the hemp flavour adds to the perfect combination of chocolate banana nuttiness!

How to make a Hemp Milk-Tea Infused Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup of chocolate hemp milk

1-2 frozen bananas

a handful of fresh dates without the seeds (I used dried dates and it did not work as well)

1 tsp of cocoa powder (for extra chocolate flavour!)

2 tsp of your favourite Mate tea (I went with my go-t0 Mattechino tea)

4-5 ice cubes (more ice cubes if banana isn’t frozen)

First, you must steep your tea for the appropriate amount of time (in this case 4-7 minutes).  I always use The Magic Steeper when I’m making some sort of creative tea recipe to eliminate extra dishes.  Once the tea has steeped, go ahead and pour it in the blender along with the other ingredients and blend it on high until everything looks all mixed up!  If the smoothie doesn’t seem cold enough add more ice cubes or let it sit in the fridge for a bit until you’re ready to drink it.  When all the ingredients have been mixed well together, pour into a glass and ENJOY!

Don’t worry about being too precise with this recipe as I just added a little bit of this and little bit of that here and there until I get the taste that I want.  You’ll love this smoothie in the morning as it will give you lots of good nutrients and the energy to start off your day!

Happy Hemping!

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Tee Law Tay

Today has been a very productive day and its not even 4pm yet.  What woke me up this morning to get me ready for the day you might ask… well I have this awesome tea from Teaopia called Mattechino.  It sounds like some sort of coffee drink… Cappucino, Cafe Mocha, Latte this Latte that.  I used to drink all those fancy coffees before I found out how great a cup of tea can be.  How great a cup of tea can be! I like that, it has a nice ring to it! How great a cup of tea can be if you just put it on your knee!

Anyway, this morning I made myself a tea latte!  I’ve always gotten those coffee lattes and recently I’ve been trying some tea lattes but I’ve never really made a good one myself at home in my own kitchen.  So without a milk frothier or any sort of fancy latte thing, I created the Nicole latte! Actually, it wasn’t all that hard and I didn’t add anything special to it (yet!) but we can still call it The Nicole Latte for now.

Step 1: Steep double the amount of tea you would normally use for a cup for yourself.  I used Mattechino from Teaopia because it has a Mate base (energy booster!) and a little bit of a chocolatey flavour, just how I like my lattes!  I would recommend a chocolatey or cinnamon or coffee bean tea or any one that you feel will go well with milk, those are just my suggestions.  Also, don’t fill the cup with hot water all the way because you need to leave room for the milk!  Today I used the Magic Steeper to steep my tea so I could make more than one latte.

Step 2: While the tea is steeping, pour about half a cup of milk into a small pot and put it on medium heat on the stove.  Today I used 2%, but I find soy milk froths wonderfully and tastes delicious in coffee and tea.

Step 3: Once the milk starts bubbling, grab a whisk and whisk that milk like crazy for about a minute or two.

Step 4: When the milk is all bubbly and frothy and warm, you’re ready to go!  Pour the milk into about half a cup of tea and drink up!  If you used a Magic Steeper than make sure you pour the rest of the tea out of the steeper into a separate cup and store it in the fridge.  That way you don’t over steep the rest of your tea and you can always make a second cup for when you want another yummy latte or even an iced latte! For an iced latte follow the same steps, just make sure you pour the tea and the milk over a large cup of ice.

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My morning latte cup, one of my favourite mugs because it, well it tells me I’m gorgeous!

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Add some frothy milk and you’ll see how great a cup of tea can be!

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