Travel Eats

Entries in nonalcoholic (5)


A Skinnier Smoothie

Sophie is a smoothie junkie.  Like a tractor beam, a smoothie on a coffeeshop menu will draw her attention, and she will focus all her efforts on obtaining it.  It may work if she is with Ian, and heaven help us if the two of them are anywhere near a Jamba Juice.  It kills me to spend $5.00 on a sugar-laden version of a potentially healthy snack. 

Why not make your own?  I used to use orange juice but have recently abandoned it in favor of unsweetened almond milk for an even lower sugar beverage.  Bananas are a great anchor for a  smoothie, they thicken it and make it creamy without taking over the flavor profile. 

2 bananas

6 strawberries

1 cup blue berries

2 kiwi

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you could use soy or dairy too)

Put all in blender with 2 scoops ice and blend

You can use any combination of fruits; a great way to use up some ripe fruit all at once. Way cheaper and healthier than Jamba Juice.  This smoothie will make your butt look smaller.  




Banana Chai Smoothie

After a long, hot run nothing refreshes like a smoothie.  You can use banana or any other ripe fruit.  I have used pears in the past. 

1 cup Tazo Chai concentrate

1 cup milk

2 bananas

1 scoop ice cubes

Place all in blender and blend until smooth.

You can also substitute almond or soy milk if you are making this beverage for a vegan.  Just be careful if you have this in your refrigerator at the same time.... 

 Even meat-eaters don't like chicken stock in their smoothies....It was a close call!


Hibiscus Tea with Basil Syrup

If you haven't noticed, refreshing beverages are becoming a theme here in Ginny's Kitchen.  The humidity has been unbearable here this week, and everyone knows--it's not the heat, it's the humidity.  After draining my 1.5 L camelback on my long run today, I was not in the mood for more water.  I like the idea of making a beverage that I can control the sweetness and strength to suit my mood and hydration status.  You can probably find the dried hibiscus flowers in a Latin market.  Since I live in San Antonio, I found them in my local grocery store.

Viva HEB!


Hibiscus Tea

1 cup of hibiscus blossoms, rinsed

2 cups water

Bring water to boil, add hibiscus blossoms and simmer for 5 minutes.  Strain.  This is the base of the tea, you can add water to your preferred dilution but this typically makes ~2 quarts.

Basil Simple Syrup

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

Dissolve sugar and water over medium heat in small saucepan.  Add 3-4 large sprigs of basil.  I used purple ruffle basil this time.

Add syrup to taste and serve over lots of ice.  The hibiscus flowers are naturally tart so you may need more syrup than you anticipate.  Sometimes we add agave nectar if we are in a hurry and don't have any syrup on hand.




the heat is on

After a brief respite from the heat, it's back up to 94% humidity this morning.  Nothing like some watermelon agua fresca to cool things off.  This is a great way to use up that half a watermelon hogging up the fridge space you could be using for beer.

one half seedless watermelon--scoop out flesh

blend.  you might to have to add a little water or lime juice to get things going.  I added a little rose water and lime but feel free to experiment.  You could then strain and serve over ice or top with sparkling water like Maddy did.


Sparkling Pear Ginger Cocktail


Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Sparkling Panakam recipe from Super Natural Everyday  which she describes a as a traditional Indian beverage made during Sri Rama Navami--a Hindi festival.  Hindis probably do not traditionally put Grey Goose Pear Vodka in their festival beverages. 

1/4 cup palm sugar (or turbinado sugar)

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

juice of one lemon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Sparkling water (I used Perrier)

Pear vodka

Mix spices/salt/sugar and lemon juice into a thick paste and slowly add chilled sparkling water--it will foam up quite a bit so pour slowly.  I did this in a large pitcher.  Pour one ounce pear vodka over ice in a tall glass and fill slowly with sparkling lemonade mixture, stir.  Also delicious as an alcohol-free beverage.

I hope this recipe makes me seem cool like someone who has theme cocktails at their dinner parties.