Banana, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

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This recipe is gluten-free & perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. It’s also sugar-free:

  • 2 large overripe bananas , peeled, sliced and frozen*
  • 1 cup soy milk or almond milk (or more to thin as desired)
  • 3/4 cup ice
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve in a tall glass. For a sugar hit, sprinkle with grated chocolate or add a dollop of honey for a natural sweetener.

Source: https://www.cookingclassy.com

 

How to make Mango Iced tea – Indian style

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2 mangoes

3 black tea bags

4 cups water

¾ tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Sugar to taste

Mint leaves to garnish

Step1: Peel & chop the mangoes, and put them in a blender. Make a puree and refrigerate

Step 2: Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Remover from the heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 7 minutes

Step 3: Cool the tea in the fridge

Step 4: Pour the tea, mango puree, lemon juice and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth

Step 4: Pour into a tall glass, garnish with mint leaves and a mango or lemon slice

 

Strawberry Iced Tea

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1 kg fresh strawberries

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

2 lemons

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary

Ice cubes

1 litre club soda

In a large saucepan combine fresh or frozen strawberries, brown sugar, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of peel from lemons; juice the lemons (should have 1/2 cup). Add strips of lemon peel, lemon juice, and rosemary to mixture in saucepan. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover; cool to room temperature.

Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids. To serve, fill glass with ice. To each glass add 1/2 cup Iced Tea and syrup to taste (about 1/2 cup). Garnish with fresh strawberries. Makes about eight servings.

Gin & Tonic with Cucumber & Mint

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Summer is almost here, and you can be prepared for the first day of unbearable heat simply by having a cucumber and a bunch of mint on hand. Here’s our recipe for the best-ever G&T, served up in seconds:

  • 6 thin slices cucumber
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ lime
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • 4 ounces tonic water

Fill a glass 1/2 full with ice. Squeeze the cucumber and mint leaves in a citrus press  and drizzle the juice over the ice. Throw  the squished cucumber and mint into the glass as well. Squeeze the lime over the glass and toss that in tool. Pour in the gin, then pour in the tonic, and give a quick stir. Serve it up.

 

Stirred, not shaken

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Is it kosher to stir your pot of tea during the brewing process to release the flavour? The answer is definitely yes. Ignore tea snobs who sneer at you for poking a chopstick into the teapot and giving the tea-leaves a good couple of twirls. Gentle agitation of the tea-leaves definitely helps to loosen the flavours and aromas and will definitely lead to a stronger, tastier tea. If you’re using an infuser basket, lift it up and down a few times to achieve a better brew.

 

5 Hacks to help you make the best iced tea on the planet

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  1. Use enough tea bags: You’ll need 2 tea bags for every 3 cups of iced tea. Any less and your tea will be tasteless. We recommend using strong tea as well – Darjeeling or Jasmine


     2. Don’t oversteep: If you prefer your tea stronger, use more tea bags rather than lengthening the steeping time. If you leave the tea bags to brew for too long, your iced tea will acquire a bitter taste.


    3. Add sugar to hot water: Dissolve sugar in boiling hot water first, then add it to your iced tea mix.

    4. Cool before refrigerating: Putting hot tea into a cold fridge will make your tea cloudy. Allow your tea to cool before you refrigerate.  

   5. Keep it real: Don’t use artificial lemon juice. Only use real fresh squeezed lemon juice from fresh lemons for the very best flavour.     

The story behind…. Matcha

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What makes matcha tea different from other Japanese green teas is that it is grown entirely in the shade, which gives the leaves a higher chlorophyll content than normal teas. After harvesting, the leaves are dried and then ground into a fine powder. Matcha powder is mixed with boiling water with a whisk to achieve a light, fluffy tea with a cloudy appearance and a sweet taste. The health benefits of matcha are amplified because when you drink this tea, you’re ingesting the whole tea leaf. It is rich in anti-oxidants and fibre, and contains a relaxant called L-theanine, making it a favorite with Buddhist monks, many of whom drink matcha to enhance meditation.

Why does my coffee taste bitter?

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There appear to be 4 main reasons behind bitter coffee. Here’s a summary:

  1. You have ground your coffee beans too finely. The increased surface area of the coffee, when it’s finely ground, means that more bitterness will leach out once you add hot water.
  2. You’ve over-brewed it. Coffee made in a French press is particularly susceptible to bitterness. Once you’ve brewed your plunger coffee, pour it out into a thermos so that it stops steeping. Problem solved!
  3. The water’s too hot. Ideally, use water that’s heated to between 90 and 96 degrees celsius
  4. Did you clean your coffee equipment thoroughly? If there are traces of yesterday’s coffee in your coffee machine, there’s a good chance your brew will taste bitter.

 

Chai Iced Tea

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Here’s our favorite recipe for Chai Iced Tea:

2 cloves

4 tea bags(such as Darjeeling or orange pekoe)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 ginger root

2 cardamom pods, broken

1/4 teaspoon aniseed

In large heatproof measure or bowl, steep tea bags in 8 cups (2 L) boiling water for 4 minutes. Discard tea bags.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, bring sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, aniseed and 1 cup (250 mL) water to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until clear and spices infuse, about 5 minutes. Add to tea; let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve into pitcher. Serve with ice cubes.

Makes 8 cups

When should you grind your coffee?

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The simple answer to this question is: 3 or 4 minutes before you intend drinking it. Coffee beans have a protective seal against humidity, but once you have ground a coffee bean into small particles, it will quickly go stale. We strongly advise against buying ground coffee – much better to buy fresh coffee beans and grind a handful just before you use them.

Inside story: What is Darjeeling tea?

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Darjeeling tea, AKA the “Champagne of Teas” refers to tea grown in a tiny patch of land in West Bengal, in the foothills of the Himalayas. There are just 87 Darjeeling tea gardens in existence and they all produce a special black tea with a muscatel flavour. In recent years, some of these estates have started to produce Darjeeling oolong and green teas as well. It is thought that over 70% of teas that are marketed as “Darjeeling” are not in fact sourced from this district, so choose your brand carefully. Another issue to consider when you buy Darjeeling tea is the treatment of the tea pickers in the region. Most of the labourers on the Darjeeling tea estates are from the Nepali-speaking Gorkha ethnic minority. For decades, the industry has been plagued by claims that workers are paid a pittance, while the tea is sold for a king’s ransom.