Valentine’s Day Blueberry Beet Black Tea Smoothie

Valentine’s Day has always seemed to me to be a day to celebrate our romantic delusion: all we need to do is find ‘the one,’ and our lives will be perfect; we can finally be happy, whole and complete!

Our family’s Valentine’s Day this year started with an early wake up from our still sick 10-month-old

– definitely not a luxurious start to the day. So we decided to both get up and make a decadent breakfast. A celebration! Of what, we weren’t yet sure. We were still too foggy-brained.

As we nibbled on our syrup-soaked pancakes, sipped our tea and watched the rain come steadily down outside, while simultaneously trying to redirect the now-happy little one from her well-traveled trajectory towards my computer cord, I had a moment of being simply happy – happy at how everything was, just as it was. None of us were completely healthy or sleeping well, but here we were, having breakfast in our pyjamas, and really – what more could we want?  I realized that this was our Valentine’s Day celebration: not cinnamon hearts or dinner out, but a celebration of the beauty and joy of life, even through tired eyes and the awareness of imperfection.

This week’s smoothie is just that: fruity and sweet, earthy and wholesome, slightly astringent. Not trying to be perfect at all, but very much perfectly whole and complete, if you just let it be so.


Blueberry Black Tea Smoothie    

Adapted, based on our fridge’s contents, from Naturally Ella

Serves: 2 smoothies    

  • 1 cup brewed and cooled English breakfast tea (we used Murchie’s 1894 Select Orange Pekoe)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup peeled, cooked, and chopped red beets
  • ½ frozen mango
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  1. Combine
    ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend until smooth and
    add water or ice if desired. Play around with the ingredients and feel free to swap out the mango for banana, or the apple juice for any other juice, depending on what’s in your fridge!

Jasmine Green Tea Cakes

by Lindsay Carmichael of One Bite Too Many


½ Cup Milk

6 Tablespoons Loose Leaf Jasmine
Green Tea

1 ¾ Cups Pastry Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup White Sugar

½ Cup Butter

3 Eggs

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract

1 Drop Green Food Colouring Gel, if


1. Preheat the oven
to 350°F.  Grease and flour or line two
8” round cake pans.

2. In a small
saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 2 Tbsp of
the tea.  Steep for 3-4 minutes, then
strain and set the milk aside.

3. Sift the flour,
baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.

4. Using a coffee
grinder or mini chopper, pulse the remaining tea into very fine pieces. Gently whisk into the flour mixture, then set

5. In a medium bowl,
cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well combined.

6. Beat in the eggs one
at a time, mixing well between each.  Add
the vanilla.

7. Mix in a third of
the flour mixture until combined, then beat in half of the milk. Add another
third of the flour, then the remaining milk and green food colouring (if
using), and finally the remaining flour mixture, beating between each addition.

8. Pour batter into 2-8″ cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.

9. Cool the cakes in
their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

10. Run a small knife around the edges of the pans, then
remove cakes and allow to cool before filling or icing.

I stacked my
Jasmine Green Tea Cakes with orange cream cheese buttercream, and topped with
candied peel and orange sugar.

Chai Tea Latte

From The Tea Spot


Serves 2.
Steep 2 heaping tsp Red Hot Chai
in boiling water for seven minutes to make the tea base. While tea is
steeping, heat ¼ cup milk, either with an automatic whisk, or a milk
steamer or foamer. Spoon the hot foamed milk, dividing evenly, into two
10–12 oz mugs. Pour the ready Red Hot Chai over the foamed milk in each
mug and serve immediately. Sweeten with honey, if desired. A soothing
spiced chai tea favorite!

Moringa Apple Granola

This was super easy to make and really tasty!

Preheat your oven to 350. Put a cup of so of oats, 1 tbs of butter, 2 tbs of maple syrup (ish) into a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Sprinkle some salt into the mixture and pour onto a baking pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. (Our first batch burned.) You can play with the proportions based on how fruity, buttery, sweet, salty you like your granola, and even add things like nuts or coconut flakes or whatever! It’s your breakfast.



Nutty Almond Cream Marshmallows

By Lindsay Carmichael of One Bite Too Many


1 ½  cups water

½ cup  loose-leaf Nutty Almond Cream tea

3 packages/12 sheets of gelatin

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 cup glucose

 pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup icing sugar

¼ cup corn starch


1. In a small
saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then add the tea.  Simmer for 6-8
minutes.  Remove from the heat, but allow
the tea to steep for at least an hour (because this is an herbal tea, it
can steep even longer without becoming bitter).  Place in the fridge for 8-12 hours.

2. After
8-12 hours, strain the tea. Make sure to press firmly in the sieve to wring out
the extra flavour. 

3. Measure ½ cup of the tea and place in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Sprinkle gelatin on top of the liquid
and allow to bloom while preparing the sugar syrup.


4. Over
medium-high heat, pour the remaining ½ cup of tea into the medium saucepan,
along with the sugar, glucose, and salt. Cover and allow to cook for 4-5

5. After
the first 4-5 minutes, uncover the pot, clip on your candy thermometer, and
continue cooking over medium heat without stirring.

6. Once
the sugar syrup reaches 240°F, remove from the heat and turn the mixer on low.
Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. 

7. Turn
the mixer to high and whip for 14 minutes.

8. During
this time, mix the icing sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray
the baking sheet with oil, then use the sieve to dust the sheet with the icing
sugar/cornstarch.  Make sure that the
entire sheet is covered with the mixture, then set the rest aside for later.

9. After
the marshmallow has been whipping for 14 minutes, add the vanilla and allow to
whip for 1 additional minute.

10. Pour the marshmallow into the prepared
pan and use a lightly oiled offset spatula to spread the mixture evenly in the

11. Dust
the top of the marshmallow with the icing sugar/cornstarch, and set aside for
at least 4 hours (overnight is best).

Once the marshmallow has set, turn it out
onto a large cutting board.  Use a
lightly oiled pizza wheel to cut out squares. Dust the cut edges with the last
of the icing sugar/cornstarch.

13.  Store
in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


Drink of the week: White Russian Wedding
White Wedding tea + White Russian = holiday bliss!

1 oz rum
2 oz chilled White Wedding tea
1 tsp Noble Bourbon Barrel Aged maple syrup
Splash of milk

Pour all the ingredients into a martini shaker with ice. Shake, pour and enjoy!

Tea Bitters

We made tea bitters! Sort of an accident that got forgotten at the back of our fridge but nonetheless, delicious. Here’s the basic recipe:

250 mL alcohol (we used vodka and gin, separately)

3 tbs loose-leaf tea (we used Samovar’s Cali Persian Organic and Rishi’s Ginger Lime Rooibos, respectively, but there are so many fun ones to try!)

1 tbs sugar (but you could use more for a more rounded flavour profile)

Place all ingredients in
a sealed jar and leave at the back of your fridge for at least 4 weeks. Just
kidding – shake the jar every other day and check weekly, strain and pour when
you are satisfied with the strength of the bitters.

Double-infused Nut Crunch Rooibos Whipped Cream

 by Lindsay Carmichael

the holidays upon us, your social calendar is probably jam packed with parties
and get-togethers, not to mention all the unexpected guests!  Keep some of this double infused cream in
your fridge and whip it into a beautiful topping or filling whenever you need
to impress in a hurry.


 Medium Glass
 Jar w/ Tight Fitting Lid

 Chilled Glass
 or Metal Bowl


 Whisk or
 Electric Mixer


 1 Cup
 Whipping Cream

 5-6 Tablespoons
 loose-leaf Nut Crunch Rooibos, divided in 2

 1 Tablespoon
 Granulated Sugar


1.    Pour the whipping
cream into the glass jar and add half of the Nut Crunch Rooibos. Close the jar
and gently shake (just enough to distribute the tea). Place in the fridge for
8-12 hours.

2.   After
8-12 hours, strain the cream. Make sure to press the damp tea firmly in the
sieve to wring out the extra flavour. 

3.   Pour
the infused cream back into the glass jar, and repeat steps 1 and 2 with the
remaining tea.

4.   Once
the whipping cream has been double infused, place it into the chilled
bowl.  Whisk the cream quickly or use an
electric mixer on medium high.

5.    When
soft peaks start forming, sprinkle the sugar over the cream and continue
beating until thick.

6.   Use
on your favourite hot drinks and desserts, like my Nut Crunch Cream
Puffs/Éclairs, choux pastry filled with the double infused whipping cream,
topped with dark chocolate ganache and homemade hazelnut praline. Yum

Holy Chai

2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water (you can experiment with the
water/milk ratio, but the more milk you add, the higher the likelihood
of it boiling over)
1 heaping tsp Herbal Republic’s Holy Tulsi

water and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Gently add the tea
leaves. Once the mixture reaches a full boil, instantly turn it down to
low (to avoid milk bubbling over). Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain, pour
and serve!

Drink of the week: Hathikuli Hot Toddy

3 oz Organic Assam Hathikuli tea
Cinnamon stick
Bay leaf
1 oz apple juice
1 tsp sugar
1 oz brandy

the Assam. Remove tea leaves and place 1 cinnamon stick and 1 bay leaf
per 8 oz of tea. Let the mixture cool completely. Fill martini shaker
with ice. Pour in brandy, apple juice, sugar and tea. Shake, pour and

Drink of the week: Buddha Bamboo-tini

1 oz vodka
4 oz Buddha Bamboo tea (brewed strong – we used 1 heaping tbs/8 oz)
1 tbs cherry purée (3 cherries + 1 tbs sugar mashed into a pulp makes enough for 2)

Brew the Buddha Bamboo and let it cool completely. Fill martini shaker
with ice. Pour in 1 oz vodka and add 3 oz of the tea. Then add 1 tbs of
cherry purée and the final oz of tea. Shake, pour and enjoy!

Tea Sparrow
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