Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Drink your tea and eat it too!

When I was a kid, I loved most vegetables, but not all of them. I happily ate corn, green beans, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, parsnips – more vegetables than most kids I think – but I hated peas and carrots. American Kitchens put out some frozen French fries that contained the vegetables I hated. They were called ``I Hate Peas”’ and ``I Hate Carrots’’. They weren’t on the market for long as I believe most kids saw through the trick. I must have been a little slower on the uptake, or perhaps a little more trusting. But I loved them!

So I thought … I don’t like green tea much, but I do eat oatmeal. So what if I made the oatmeal with green tea instead of plain old water. Hmmm… get the health benefits of the tea while I’m eating my breakfast? Sign me up! So I tried a recipe provided to me by a friend and it was fabulous! Now it’s my favorite breakfast! Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to try it. (She said I could share it!)

1 cup brewed green tea
1/2 cup quick oats
1 TBSP or so diced apricots
1 TBSP or so of dried berries (cranberries, craisins, cherries [my favorite], or a mix)
1 TBSP of toasted almonds
1 tsp almond extract (vanilla extract is nice too)

Make the tea. Remove the tea leaves from the brew. Reheat the tea to boiling. Add the oatmeal. Let it sit for a few minutes. This is when you can dice your apricots, and maybe cut the berries into smaller pieces if you wish. Add the toasted almonds to the fruit mixture.

Mix the almond extract into the oatmeal. Top with the fruit & nut mixture. Drizzle with honey.

Want to make it vegan? Omit the honey. If you want it sweetened use agave nectar or brew the tea with stevia leaves. Or sugar … there’s really nothing wrong with sugar used in moderation!

Don’t have toasted almonds? Plain slivered almonds are fine too. But almonds are easy to toast and they are so much tastier when they are toastier. One pound of slivered almonds equals about 4 cups, so toast a whole bunch one day and have them on hand. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. spread nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden OR stir in a heavy ungreased skillet over medium heat until brown.

Now, though I haven’t tried it I would bet this recipe would work just as well with rooibos or honeybush or just about any tea you like. Think of the variations! Maybe oatmeal made with chai, or a fruit tea. Maybe you could get the kids to eat oatmeal! Gotta get your omega-3 fatty acids? Try adding some flax seed or walnuts. Ooooo … Banana Green tea with bananas and walnuts and a little dab of cinnamon. The ideas just keep coming! Why does breakfast come only once a day!

Today’s Birthdays

Albert Schweitzer – Born on January 14, 1875 Schweitzer, a philosopher, theologian, missionary and musicologist, was one of the most remarkable people of the 20th century. His life and work were governed by a great humanitarianism and a reverence for the natural word. In 1952, he was award the Nobel Peace Prize, and used his $33,000 award money to open a leprosarium (home for those with leprosy) in Lambaréné in Gabon. From the early 1950s until his death in 1965 he spoke tirelessly of his opposition to nuclear tests and nuclear weapons. And yes … he was a tea drinker.

LL Cool J – Hip hop artist LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968 in Bay Shore, NY and raised in St. Albans, Queens NY. He adopted the stage name which stands for Ladies Love Cool James. LL Cool J's Platinum Workout: Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood's Fittest Star, he states: “Drink 2 cups of green tea every day. It gently boosts your metabolism and is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants. The most potent among them has demonstrated 100 times the antioxidant power of Vitamin C and 25 times the power of Vitamin E.” While his music is not my cup of tea, and tea hasn’t done much for his humility, you have to admit the man is in pretty ripped shape for 41 years old.

Celebritea quote of the day:
Never say there is nothing
beautiful in the world anymore.

There is always something
to make you wonder in the shape of a tree,
the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer (01/14/1875-09/04/1965)

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