Fresh Vanilla Mint Iced Tea

Why hello there tea friends. I have an iced tea recipe for you today.

First, I want to stress how easy it is to make iced tea at home and what a great alternative it is to Slurpies, soda pops and Arizonas.  Any of your teas at home can be made into an iced tea.  Whatever flavour you’re in the mood for, simply double steep the tea you want to drink and pour it over ice and voila! Iced tea!

However, there are many other ways to infuse iced tea at home. I like to get a little creative every time and try something different.  Recently I have been brewing chaga mushroom tea and chilling it in the refrigerator.  After some chill time, a couple of hours or so, the chaga will be cool enough to pour over a glass of ice and enjoyed as a refreshingly earthy beverage on a hot summer day.  The chilled chaga can also be added to any of your iced tea blends, adding an earthy, full-bodied, almost vanilla-y taste to your tea.

I am still discovering places in Toronto to purchase chaga, but I found a small little shop where I can get chaga finely ground or in chunks by the pound.  House of Energy is located in Kensington Market and has everything from loose tea, crystals, handmade jewellery to mushrooms.  If you’re curious to know more about this magical mushroom, stop by House of Energy and the ladies there will let you in on the secrets of chaga.

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And finally, here is an iced tea recipe I created on the fly one afternoon while cooling down from a mid-day cooking extravaganza.

1 cup of steeped Vanilla Orchid and Spearmint tea (use about a teaspoon of tea to steep each)

a few fresh mint leaves from the garden

1 cup of chilled steeped chaga mushroom

1/2 teaspoon of agave (optional for those sweet teeth out there)

So I steeped the Vanilla Orchid with Spearmint, poured it over iced and added the mint and chilled chaga altogether in a glass.  Cool down with this fresh vanilla chaga mint iced tea (that was a mouthful), it will be the healthiest thing you do that day!

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Top 5 Tea Resolutions 2013

There are so many things that I want to accomplish in my life that a single New Years resolution cannot wrap around my aspirations for 2013.  I want to embrace opportunities in my current and future job, empower my body through yoga and healthy recipes while expressing and accepting the love around me fearlessly.  I also want to progress in my tea-ventures and I hope those of you reading become a part of this tea journey as I make a list of Top 5 Tea Resolutions for 2013!

Top 5 Tea Resolutions 2013:

  1. Try a new tea or tea shop every month
  2. Find a good tea documentary to watch, any recommendations?
  3. Go to the Toronto Tea Festival February 2nd
  4. Have many tea experiences with new and old friends
  5. Explore different tea infused recipes in the kitchen

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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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