Mulled Wine

This recipe is very similar to glogg, a traditional Scandinavian drink and the perfect way to start a winter party.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bottle of medium or full-bodied red wine, such as Merlot
1/2 cup mulling spice blend
1/4 cup sugar
6 crushed cardamom pods (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup blanched almonds

METHOD:

In a large pot, combine wine, spices, sugar, raisins and cardamom pods. Cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover the pot and and reduce to low heat, occasionally stirring. Simmer for at least 20 minutes until the wine is infused with the spices.

Strain wine through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve warm in mugs.

Makes 4 servings.

Kefir “Orange Julius” Smoothie

Kefir adds a healthy dose of probiotics to your breakfast smoothie. Homemade kefir contains a much wider spectrum of live probiotics than yogurt or store-bought kefir.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup kefir, well shaken
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 very ripe banana
1 tablespoon honey or sugar (more or less, depending on your personal taste)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Handful of ice cubes

METHOD:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth and frothy.

VARIATIONS:

Add other fresh or frozen fruits, such as peaches, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries to this basic smoothie. Adjust sweetness to your personal taste.

Jujube Tea

Jujubes (or red Chinese dates) are available from KT Farms. Jujubes make a great fruit infusion or “tea” that is warming and delicious, great for cooler fall or winter evenings.

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound of halved jujubes
2 Asian pears (quartered, not peeled)
3 cinnamon sticks
2 inches ginger root (scrubbed, sliced, not peeled)
1 gallon filtered drinking water

METHOD:
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, and immediately turn down heat and let it simmer slowly for 3 hours. Add more water as needed. Strain and serve warm.

How to Make Fresh Lemonade

Citrus lemonade

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sugar
2 cups drinking water
6-7 lemons
6 cups cold drinking water
1 cup drinking water
Reserved lemon rinds
Optional: Fresh mint sprigs

METHOD:

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup drinking water in small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Squeeze juice from lemons into a bowl, reserving lemon rinds. Strain lemon juice into a large pitcher. Stir in cooled sugar-water mixture and 6 cups cold drinking water and chill.

Bring 1cup drinking water to the boil. Place lemon rinds in a bowl and add boiling water. Let stand until water is cold. Discard rinds. Add water to pitcher and stir well.

Refrigerate until well chilled.

VARIATION: For a refreshing lemon-mint flavor, add small bunch of mint to the lemon rinds, then pour over boiling water. After mixture has cooled, strain and add to lemon juice mixture. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

YIELD: 2-1/2 quarts

Mocha Almond Kefir Smoothie

This smoothie will not only wake you up, it also contains powerful antioxidants and probiotics!

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup kefir, well shaken
1/2 cup cold brew coffee
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 very ripe banana
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (use premium dark chocolate)
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Handful of ice cubs
2 teaspoons cacao nibs, optional garnish

METHOD:
Place all ingredients in blender, except cacao nibs. Blend until smooth and frothy. Garnish with cacao nibs, if desired.

Hibiscus Cooler

Hibiscus Cooler

This recipe makes a large batch of hibiscus cooler (1 gallon). Plan on making this beverage the night before planning to serve — it will be extra “juicy” and delicious with the longer brewing time.

INGREDIENTS:
1 gallon fresh filtered water (+ 1 cup more water)
1 1/4 cup Hibiscus Cooler tisane
1 1/2 cups sugar, or more to taste*
Ice, mint and lemon slices, if desired

METHOD:
In a stockpot, bring water to a boil. Stir in tisane and remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to stand until cool, then decant mixture into a large pitcher — do NOT strain! Refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, strain mixture into serving container using fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids gently to extract liquid. Discard solids — throw them in the garden, if you have one.

Taste for sweetness. Hibiscus flowers are extremely tart—add a little simple syrup to adjust sweetness, if needed.

Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint sprigs, if desired.

TIP:
Make a simple syrup (1 part sugar : 1 part water) to keep on hand for sweetening. Once the beverage is cooled, added sugar will not dissolve. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, boil one minute, and allow to cool. Decant into small pitcher.

VARIATIONS:

  • Split whole vanilla bean, scrape out seeds into warm tisane, and toss in the whole bean.
  • In a glass filled with ice, fill halfway with hibiscus cooler. Top with sparkling water and stir.

Beet Kvass

Beetroot JuiceKvass is an earthy healthy elixir of fermented beet juice that originated in the Ukraine. Use beet kvass to add a little zing to salad dressings (use like vinegar), sauces or soups like Borscht — its ruby color is spectacular.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large organic beets, peeled and chopped coarsely (do NOT grate!)
1/4 cup kefir whey or juice from sauerkraut
1 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
Filtered, non-chlorinated water
Half gallon glass jar

METHOD:

Place chopped beets in bottom of half gallon jar. Add whey or sauerkraut juice and salt.

Fill jar with filtered water and stir.

Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and leave on the counter at room temperature for two days to ferment. Transfer to fridge.

To start the second batch of kvass, save at least a cup of the first batch as an innoculent.

Consume as desired — we enjoy 3-4 ounces each morning and evening.

Watermelon Slushy

Watermelon juice with sliced fruit on white plate

This icy-cold slushy made with sweet watermelon is the perfect refreshment for hot summer days!

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups cubed seedless ripe, sweet watermelon
10 ice cubes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup white sugar
2 small sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed
1/8 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Place watermelon and ice into a blender. Add lime juice, sugar, mint leaves and salt. Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon lemonade

Here’s a refreshing change for a summertime drink that uses icy cold watermelon and limeade concentrate. Allow enough time to freeze the watermelon prior to preparing beverage.

INGREDIENTS:

1 small watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes watermelon (8 cups)
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
1/3 cup water
1 can (6 oz) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

METHOD:

Cut watermelon into cubes, discarding any seeds. Place watermelon cubes in 1-gallon resealable freezer plastic bag and place on small baking sheet. Arrange cubes into one layer and place in freezer. Freeze 8 hours.

When ready to make the beverage, remove frozen watermelon chunks from freezer and allow to stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

In blender, place HALF of each watermelon, ginger ale, water and limeade concentrate. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture into pitcher. Repeat with remaining ingredients and stir into mixture in pitcher. Serve immediately.

Peach Lassi

peach lassi

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup peach pulp (about 3 ripe peaches, seeded and puréed)
1/2 cup sugar
Mint sprigs (optional)
1 ounce Pistachios, ground (optional)
Ground cardamom (optional)

METHOD:

In blender, place yogurt, milk, buttermilk, peach pulp and sugar. Process until well blended. Chill.

To serve, pour over crushed ice. Garnish with sprig of mint. Sprinkle with ground pistachios and dusting of ground cardamom, if desired.

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings.