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Product Review: Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler

When I was pregnant, the thought of drinking water repulsed me. I craved flavours, generally sweet and fruity. When I stumbled across Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler, it was as if my prayers had been answered. This caffeine free, natural herbal tea was exactly what the doctor ordered and today, three years later, I still enjoying them as a secret daily obsession.

Freshness sealed

The sampler box contains 5 flavours; Raspberry Zinger, Country Peach Passion, Wild Berry Zinger, True Blueberry and Black Cherry Berry. Each sample is enclosed in their own freshness packet and the number of bags per flavour varies; 4 tea bags each for blueberry, wild berry and cherry while there are 3 bags for peach and raspberry.

Stall at the Sydney Good Food and Wine Festival (Photo: Celestial Seasonings.)

While I was at the Sydney Good Food and Wine Festival a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon, the Ambassador for Celestial. We had a lovely chit-chat, and I confided in her how much I adore the Fruit Tea Sampler. Black Cherry, predictably, is my utter favourite!

So, I decided to share with you guys how I make and enjoy this heavenly fruit iced tea.

  1. In a 2 litre jug, I add two teabags and about 1 litre of hot water. To this I add 2 – 3 stevia tablets (the equivalence of 3 teaspoons of sugar). Allow to steep for 10 minutes before topping up with cool water to make up 2 litres.
  2. Store in the fridge until ice-cold and enjoy over ice for a fruity iced tea treat!

Allow the tea time to infuse for a stronger flavour. This is a Wild Berry infusion!

Observations

  • When I was pregnant, I would pour some of the chilled fruit tea into icy pole moulds for a frozen iced treat that was perfectly guilt free!
  • Being caffeine free, this is a perfect tea substitute for pregnant women, and is really divine during summer to beat the heat.
  • During summer, I can drink 2 litres a day and never get bored with the flavour. Its fresh, fruity flavour is light and refreshing.
  • Celestial Seasonings have quite an extensive range of teas, all natural. The Lemon Zinger is refreshing and Tension Tamer is a must have for study periods. I can also recommend Sleepy Time (Vanilla) as being just what the doctor ordered before bed. And finally, peppermint tea – ahh peppermint, my winter staple!
  • The benefits of using stevia are well documented throughout medical literature. It is suggested that diabetics and people suffering obesity or high blood pressure would benefit from substituting stevia in place of sugar. It is a low carbohydrate sugar substitute that has zero effect on your blood glucose levels.

Peach would be a favourite in anyone’s language!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Product Review

 

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French Toast

I do love it when our dear friend Kat comes to visit. She comes once every two weeks for a night of delightful food, fine wine, great company and the odd Disney cartoon. I may have mentioned previously that Kat is a professional chef, and is an awesome source of inspiration. This mornings breakfast is a classic example. We had just come home after an hours walk along the water and was trying to decide what to have to eat. Kat suggested French toast to use up left over sourdough bread from last nights chicken cacciatore dinner. As I was not familiar with the process of making French toast, I let Kat do the work… for educational reasons, of course…

[  SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 30 MIN  |  COST: <$3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4/5  |  MY RATING:  4/5 |  KatS RATING: 4/5  ]

Ingredients

½ Sourdough Loaf  (Vienna Style, cut thickly)
3 free range eggs
200 ml skim or low-fat milk
Sprinkle of Nutmeg

Method

  • Mix the eggs, milk and nutmeg with a whisk. Soak the bread in the mixture until absorbed – approximately 5 minutes
  • Place the bread in a well oiled hot pan. Cook for four minutes per side, ensuring it doesn’t stick.
  • Serve once the bread is firm to touch and cooked evenly both sides.

Observations

  • Can this woman cook, or what?
  • You can top these little delights with your choice of toppings. I opted for the fruit version you see above while Joe ate his with tomato sauce and Kat had hers on a more savoury side with just salt and pepper.
  • Diabetic Note: This whole dish is heavy on the carbs, but kept us all full for several hours. Diabetics can technically eat this dish, but watch your serve sizes and of course what toppings you use. For me, banana always sets my blood glucose levels off, but oh my goodness… it was worth it!
  • Ethical Note: French toast is also known as pain perdu which literally means “lost bread” or day old bread. It is a way of using older slightly stale bread, rather than wasting it. More food is wasted in this world then eaten, so do your best to reduce food wastage.
 

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Wholemeal Pancakes with Yoghurt

Don’t you just love a good hearty breakfast? If I don’t have something substantial for breakfast, my entire day suffers. And do you know when it’s even most important to have a good hearty breakfast? The morning after a night of awesome food, brilliant company and general beverage (over) consumption. The lovely Kat came to visit us last night for our customary fortnightly catchup. Joe wined and dined us and I wish I had of gotten photos of his spectacular efforts, but alas, the thought didn’t occur to me until we had consumed every last mouthful! You will just have to take my word for it – his spaghetti meatballs with wholemeal pasta dish was satisfyingly tasty and his berries with Chantilly cream dessert was heaven sent! But I digress…

It would be rude of me to send anyone from this house with an empty belly. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to feed people. Its how I express myself and to me, preparing a delicious meal is the ultimate expression of caring. It’s always a little scary serving Kat with samples of my kitchen creativity though, as she is a chef. I adore teasing some cooking tips from her though and she never fails to impress. This morning I teased this amazing gem from her… *queue heavenly music and rays of sunshine* Yoghurt in your pancake batter.

[  SERVES: 4  |  TIME: 20 MIN  |  COST: <$5  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4/5  |  MY RATING:  4/5 |  BRITTANYS’ RATING:  ?/5]

Ingredients

2½ cups wholemeal flour
1+ cups yoghurt
1+ cups soy milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder

Method

  1. Bash Stir all ingredients with a stick spoon until dead thoroughly mixed.
  2. Warm some oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Using a large spoon, put some batter into your pan. Use the back of the spoon to spread out.
  3. Turn after a few minutes or when the edges are golden brown. Remove from the pan once cooked on second side.
  4. Serve in a stack of two with all kinds of divine manna of the gods: fruits, cream, ice cream, maple syrup….

Observations

  • I used some low far berry flavoured pot set yoghurt and the flavour and sweetness of the yoghurt could be tasted with each bite of pancake. It actually added a fantastic dimension to an old family favourite. I cant imagine yoghurt-less pancakes any more!
  • This batter was a little thicker than I had intended, as I was going by feel rather than a recipe. In hindsight, I should have added more yoghurt and soy milk to thin it out a little.
  • The pancakes were a little quite dense. A little more baking powder would have done the trick. Next time, Id double the amount. Just the same, the heaviness of them gave them quite a rustic feeling.
  • Diabetic Note: I wouldn’t class this meal as Diabetic friendly as it would be quite heavy in carbohydrates, although, with a little alteration it could definitely fit the bill. Diabetics should not have more than two pancakes, and definately should skip the syrup, ice cream and cream. Otherwise, I think it would be fine. I have to admit that I stayed full for a very long time from just two pancakes with fruit, and skipped morning tea as a result. Ultimately, maybe it could work on a 24 hour scale, but check with your dietitian.
  • Ethical Note: I have switched to using wholemeal (also called whole wheat) or blended flour where possible. Not only is it healthier for you, but it is better for the environment. Wholemeal utilises all of the grain as opposed to white flour which discards the germ and bran. Wholemeal has no additives and is not produced using the heat and bleach treatments that white flour does. By contrast, white flour requires refortifying, having killed available nutrients through such processing techniques where wholemeal does not. Additionally, many brands available on supermarket shelves boast being produced from 100% Australian Flour, lowering the carbon miles of the product!
 

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