Sunday, May 20, 2012


 Well the heat has hit and I for one am welcoming it with open arms [at least until I get deeper into the third trimester that is!]. Not only does heat mean we get to bum around on Sunday afternoons beach-side, spend long days taking in the open air and sunlight, and treading around barefoot, it also means 'tis the time for sun tea.  My husband can attest to this - I have a weakness when it comes to tea. Every time I see an intriguing new blend I just have to try it. Our pantry is lined with different loose leaf blends.

One of my favorite morning rituals throughout the summer is to peruse my tea shelf and pick the brew a of the day. Nature's timing is perfect - at just about the time, late afternoon-ish, I get a hankering for an ice cold cup of something , my sun-brewed tea started first thing in the morning is ready. I love that the sun's energy comes free! My daughter has recently taken up a love for tea and now asks for it by name. She also likes to crunch down on the melted ice, her newest summer treat. Ahh, summer.

Drinking a variety of herbal teas has many health benefits as well. Herbs are nutrient powerhouses just brimming with vitamins and minerals. They offer a generally safe, natural, and tasty way to take your vitamins each day. The Bulk Herb Store is a site I highly recommend if you are interested in learning more about the power of herbs. There you will find tea blends, bulk herbs, herbal remedies and recipes, book recommendations, fun videos, and a lot of passion. If you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or have recently had a baby I highly recommend their Making Babies Series. I have the book and find that it can stand alone with or without the companion DVDs although I wills say that Shoshanna's videos are typically brimming with additional information and fun to watch. I also love Mountain Rose Herbs but find many of my herbs and teas locally at Global Infusion.

Please Note: These are my opinions alone and I am not receiving any compensation for sharing my feedback on these companies [in fact they most likely have no idea that I am recommending them here]. I am strictly a consumer and want to pass along places that I have found to be incredibly helpful in my health journey.

All of this being said, for as much as I love my sun teas pure [meaning simply on ice or chilled without any sweetening, etc.], I also love to experiment. Recently I have been craving shakes - creamy, sweet, flavorful shakes. The blessing in having food allergies and health awareness is that it prevents me from giving in to those fleeting cravings by swinging through a drive-thru or rushing to the nearest ice cream stop. On the other hand, it can pose quite a frustrating dilemma as the cravings are still real, demanding, and when pregnant, incessant. So, I improvise by either hunting out a new fun recipe or coming up with own based on the craving of the moment. Today's answer: tea shakes!

Here are two of my recent favorite combinations. May you find that you can toast to both health and indulgence!

Caffeine Free

2 c. organic berries [I used blueberries for this one]
1 c. berry-infused tea [I love Hummingbird Nectar. Find it here and here.]
1 1/2 c. non-dairy milk [I used homemade walnut milk]
1/2 - 1 tsp. molasses [start small and work up to your desired taste]
4 dates [or a few fresh stevia leaves]

Place all in blender and blend on high until very smooth. Add more liquid or berries to get your desired consistency.


Caffeine Free; Recipe from Ani's Raw Food Essentials

2 rooibos tea bags [I love the rooibos chai from here]
3 1/4 c. filtered water
1 c. halved, pitted fresh apricots or 1/2 c. dried apricots, soaked optional, with soaking water*
1/2 c. cashews or walnuts, soaked optional**
1/4 c. pitted dates, soaked optional, with soaking water*
1 to 1 1/2 c. ice [more or less per desired consistency]

Make sun tea with tea bags and water by placing tea bags in a quart-sized glass jar, cover with water, and place in sun for 4 - 6 hours. If you run out of time, simply brew tea using boiling water [let steep for at least 10 minutes to get a strong brew] and place in refrigerator or freezer to chill.

Combine tea, soaked apricots and soaking water, nuts, soaked dates and soaking water, and ice. Blend on high until very smooth.

*Soaking the dried fruit is optional but I find it makes a creamier flurry. Place dried fruit in glass cup or jar and cover with water. Add enough water to raise water level 1 inch above the dried fruit. Let soak in the refrigerator over night. For time-saving, cover with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Place in freezer to chill.

**Soaking the nuts is optional but, again, I find it makes for a creamier shake. Place nuts in a glass cup or jar and cover with water. Add enough water to raise water level 1 inch above the nuts. Let soak in the refrigerator over night. Drain water and rinse. For time-saving, cover with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain water and rinse.

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