Guava Juice with Thai Basil Seeds

I love the smell of guavas (guayabas in Spanish), don’t get me wrong, they are very tasty, but there’s something about their sweet tropical smell that I can’t resist… So when my husband brought a container of super ripe, yellow, delicious, smelling guavas I had to make juice with them. There’re also pink guavas, prettier, but these surely made the trick.

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I also added the Thai basil seeds cause when we went to “Bun-ker” A Vietnamese restaurant in Queens and tried their home made limeade, I loved the texture of the basil seeds they added!!! They gel up like chia and flax seeds. Love it!

Super simple, quick recipe! Here is what you’ll need to make 2-3 servings.

4 medium guavas washed and chopped up

2 – 3 cups of water, depending how thick you like your juice

sugar to taste

Thai basil seeds

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Place ingredients using just half of the water in a blender and blend until just liquified (we don’t want to break up the seeds)

Seeds really don’t bother me at all, (as you can see in the pics) but by all means if you don’t like them, like most people, use a strainer and then add remaining water till desired consistency is obtained.

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Guava Thai basil seed juice

Add the seeds, stir and place in refrigerator until cold. Serve chilled and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Licorice Tea

Simple and comforting post for today, even though we are well into spring today it feels like fall… dark, drizzly, humid… Not fun basically since today is my first day off in a looooong time. Bummer!

Two weeks ago we went to Queens to spend the day and I finally got to go to one of my favorite places: A Korean market. I was soooo excited, like my mother used to say: “happier than a kid with new shoes”. I couldn’t get enough, my eyes didn’t know where to look, there were new, unknown and exciting things everywhere!!!

So this is one of the many things I bought: Licorice!!! I love it! Always had.

Licorice root

I always had it in the shape of a stick. We used to chew it and suck all the juice out of it. We even played a trick on the nuns in school, we used to sharpen it like it was a pencil and that way we got away with having it in the middle of our class!!! Pretty neat right?

licorice root

Licorice has been used in food and as medicine for thousands of years. Also known as “sweet root,” licorice root contains a compound that is about 50 times sweeter than sugar. Licorice root has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, ranging from the common cold to liver disease. It acts as a demulcent, a soothing, coating agent, and as an expectorant. It is still used today for several conditions, although not all its uses are supported by scientific evidence.

Licorice Tea

First I rinsed the pieces of root under cold running water and then I boiled them for about 20 minutes. The results: sweet, deep licorice flavor, and since right now I have a bad cold, it was just perfection.

If you ever run into licorice tea or licorice root (even better) give it a try. You’ll love it!

licorice tea

Enjoy!

Vanilla Cinammon Bubble Tea with Almond Milk

I love vanilla, but what a difference it makes when you use the real thing!!! I love fresh vanilla beans… warm, sweet, tropical… and when a good Argentinian friend of mine gave me this lovely Vanilla Comodoro Harney and Sons tea I was a little skeptical about it being decaffeinated, but anyway I love tea and vanilla so I knew I was going to like this wonderful dessert tea. The tea leaves, liquor and  flavor are a little lighter due to the decaffeination process, it’s lovely mild and delicate. While I was looking for my cinnamon sticks I found some tapioca pearls (boba) and I decided to make this tea a bubble tea.

Vanilla Cinnamon Bubble tea

You will need:

1/4 cup boba tapioca pearls per person

1-2 Comodoro Vanilla Tea bags

Half a vanilla bean cut in half, seeds scraped

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Almond milk

 First I cooked the tapioca pearls according to package instructions, If you cannot read them because the whole package is written in Chinese LOL, do the following: measure 2 cups of water for every 1/4 cup of boba into a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the boba and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water.

Turn the heat to medium and cook the pearls for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and let the pearls sit for another 12-15 minutes.

 While they are cooking, make a simple sugar syrup to sweeten and preserve them once they are done. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil over high heat. Remove and stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Vanilla Cinnamon Bubble tea

You can prepare your tea either while the boba are cooking or ahead of time. Allow enough time for the tea to cool completely before making the bubble tea. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bag, vanilla seeds and cinnamon stick. Use one tea bag for regular-strength bubble tea or two for a stronger tea flavor. Let steep for 15 minutes and chill.

Once the tapioca pearls are done cooking, drain them from the water and transfer them to a small bowl. Pour the sugar syrup over top until they are submerged. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use. They are better when used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated for several days. They will get hard and crunchy as they sit.

Vanilla Cinnamon Bubble Tea

 Now that you have everything you need, simply pour the vanilla tea into a tall glass and add the pearls. Add the almond milk for a creamy and nutty bubble tea. Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup.

Enjoy!

Vanilla Cinnamon Bubble Tea

Spicy Vanilla Chai Latte

This is a simple yet amazing recipe, I mean… who doesn’t like Chai? hehe. Well… you don’t have to run to Starbucks anymore you can make this insanely delicious drink in a matter of minutes, although there’re a few ingredients that you must have at hand.
Spicy Vanilla Chai Mix
 
10 teaspoons of black tea leaves
1 vanilla bean seeds scraped (or vanilla extract)
3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 star anise seeds
1 teaspoon ginger powder
a few black peppercorns (you can skip this, but I really love the spice they add)
1/8 ground ground clove
Store all these ingredients in an air tight container to keep at hand.
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Spicy Vanilla Chai Latte
I like to use my french coffee press to make this recipe, it just makes everything so easy.
3 teaspoons Spicy Vanilla Chai Mix
3/4 cup boiled water
1/4 milk
Spicy Vanilla Chai Latte
Put the Chai Mix in the French press carafe, add the boiling water and let steep for 3-4 minutes. Heat the milk and froth it if desired. Pour strained chai tea into milk and sweeten to taste.
I topped my with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg… mmmm!
Enjoy!
Spicy Vanilla Chai Latte