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Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

As soon as the first crisp days of autumn arrive, I subconsciously, and rather rapidly, begin to shift my diet to match the shifting environment that surrounds me. Outside my window, I admire the many shades of orange spreading across the sky. Then soon after, near as many orange hues start appearing on my kitchen counters.

Squash of every variety, and sweet potatoes too, fill up my empty wooden baskets, my ceramic plates, and now my mason jars, too.

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

When Williams Sonoma kicked off this week with the theme of “Not Your Average Smoothie”, naturally I knew I needed to throw some squash into my blender.

I’m all about going outside the traditional smoothie box, and I’m also all about squash, so it seemed like a perfect platform for experimentation.

I turned on my oven, said bottoms up, and began getting to work.

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

I decided upon butternut, loving its creaminess in soups that I often create with apples. I figured, why wouldn’t that be delicious iced and turned into a smoothie, too?

After testing out this smoothie several times, I finally came up with a recipe that’s a little weird, a little wild, yet totally straw-worthy and insanely refreshing.

Through my testing, I learned to save the oven for the squash soup, and stick to steaming for the smoothie. Steaming enables the squash to stay juicer and not as dense so you end up with a shake that has a nice light, whipped consistency. Along with some spirited spice – curry powder and a kick of cayenne (ow ow!) – this smoothie embodies some of fall’s best warming qualities while remaining refreshing till the last sip.

Feel free to try swapping the butternut with sweet potato, or even pumpkin. Just be mindful of possibly needing to adjust the liquid. If you want to step further out of the box, add some spinach. I did this to one batch, and the results were great (even if it sounds a little weird). To get a little wilder, top your smoothie with toasted walnuts or pecans. Or an extra kick of that spicy cayenne, if you like it hot.

Continue Reading…

Mint Tea Recipe

There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a glass of iced mint tea.  Luckily, mint prospers all throughout the summer, and as any herb gardener knows, it often takes over the garden as it grows.  While mint can add a refreshing quality to anything in which it’s added, my favorite way to utilize it when I have it growing in my summer’s garden and available in quantity is in tea.  The following recipe is more than easy, so don’t worry about breaking a sweat on these hot, steamy days.

If mint isn’t growing nearby and the quantity called for in this recipe isn’t available, consider halving the recipe.  It may seem like quite a bit of mint, but try not to skimp on the tea’s star ingredient.  Poured over ice, the powerful minty flavor is needed.

Mint Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • Simply Mint Tea
  • -40-50 12-inch mint sprigs, about 2 cups of leaves, tightly packed
  • -Water, 7 cups
  • -Honey, if desired (The tea is so delicious all on it's own, it really doesn't need sweetener. But, if you're accustomed to a little sugar in your tea, feel free to add in some honey.)

Instructions

  1. Strip mint leaves off stems. Wash leaves. In a 2 quart kettle, add 6 cups of water. Place kettle on high heat and bring water to boil. Turn off heat and add mint leaves, using a spoon to submerge leaves. (Add honey to taste, if using.) Recover kettle, and let steep at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
  2. Pour tea through strainer into a pitcher. Serve in a glass over ice. Relax and enjoy.
http://foodfitnessfreshair.com/2010/06/27/mint-tea-recipe/
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