Yellow River Smoothie

Hubby and I were recently on vacation in sunny Central America.  At one of the resorts we stayed at we were introduced to this addictive smoothie!  It’s perfect for those last few days by the pool that Summer will give us.  It’s a nice refreshing treat as a healthy dessert, too!

Yellow River Smoothie

serves 1-2

juice from 1.5 mangoes

1/2 pineapple cut into frozen chunks

1 banana

ice optional

I used all fresh fruit, juicing the mango just before this photo was snapped.  I also cut fresh pineapple and froze it earlier in the day.  I have made this before with mango & pineapple juice with ice and the ice watered it down too much.  Since I didn’t add any extra sugar (the fruit is sugary enough) I didn’t want to fruit to have to compete with ice watering it down.  This time I froze the pineapple and it worked perfectly!

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Since there is not a lot of liquid in this recipe, and I used a regular blender, I had to stop midway through and mix the top chunks in with a wooden spoon then resume blending.  And that’s it!

Enjoy while summer is still here!

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Passion Tea Lemonade

Summer is approaching.  And as hot and humid as Florida days have been lately, summer has arrived.  Lemonade is a trademark drink, and Starbucks has made it’s own twist on an Arnold Palmer by combining lemonade and Passion tea – an herbal tea by Tazo.  Passion tea is officially described as “a magical blend of hibiscus, lemongrass, rose hips, mango & passion fruit flavors.”  It is so fruity and delicious, it pairs nicely with lemonade.  You can order it at Starbucks, or make your own for fewer bucks.

This is a great drink to make when company calls unexpectedly, for a brunch, or just an afternoon treat.

Passion Tea Lemonade

makes 2 quarts

2-3 bags of Tazo Passion tea

10 lemons

Simple syrup (or sugar) to taste

First of all, I highly recommend keeping simple syrup on hand if you are a flavored coffee drinker.  This particular batch I made included the insides of scraped vanilla beans for a vanilla simple syrup.  Simple syrup – or “Classic” syrup as Starbucks calls it – is simply sugar water, but the scientific way in which the sugar breaks down makes the same amount of sugar sweeter when in simple syrup form.  I use a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar and water, bring to a boil on the stove, then drop to low heat and stir until dissolved.  The syrup should be a consistency of just thicker than water.

To start the passion tea lemonade, I brought 1.5 quarts of water to a boil, turned down the temperature, then added 3 tea bags and let sit for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, I started juicing the lemons.  Hubby & I recently become acquainted with Mr. Jack LaLanne.  Love him!

Though I used a juicer, you could hand squeeze or use a citrus juicer to extract the juice of the lemons.  My 10 lemons yielded about 1.5 cups of fresh lemon juice.  Notice the white foam on top of the 1 cup portion – that’s where a ton of nutrition is!  (I am a nerd & learn things from food documentaries.)

Once the tea and lemon juice are ready, it is as simple as letting the tea cool slightly, and mixing it with the lemon juice and simple syrup.  I ended up using 1/2 cup of simple syrup for my liking.

Garnish with some ice (I had frozen cubes of lemon juice on hand) and freshly cut lemon, and you’re set to serve!

If you are not serving it right away, do not put lemon garnish in the tea mixture as the lemons will stain red.  Simply add fresh lemons when ready to serve.