National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month, which is awesome because I needed a reason to like this month  because, let’s face it, I am a total wimp in cold weather and my skin gets all dry and painful because of the weather and then there’s the holiday hangover from all the fun festivities of the prior month(s). So as much as I hate the cold, dry holiday hangover month, I love hot tea. I have it almost every day.  A hot cup of tea is like a hug on the inside, it warms the soul, brightens the mood, and calms the nerves; especially in the cold winter months.

I was trying to come up with a posting plan revolving around tea for this month, but that was before my dog tore his ACL and I had to help my sister move home from Colorado and take a last minute trip to the CES show in Las Vegas- all within the first 10 days of the month. Now, here we are at the 12th and I am just sharing my first post. So, in order to not over burden myself I am going to share just a few of my favorite teas and ways to enjoy it.

There are so many kinds of tea, I almost don’t know where to start. There is a tea for every time of day, for every mood, for every ailment, and for every person. The ones I am sharing are just my absolute favorites, but I encourage everyone to try a few new teas this month. If you need a recommendation please leave a comment and I would be happy to help you pick one.

The first tea I want to share with you is my absolute favorite tea, the one I drink 3-5 times a week: green tea. There are so many varieties of green tea and ways that it is dried and prepared that it can be overwhelming to find your favorite. Mine is a blend of sencha and matcha that I buy at Costco. It comes in a box of 100 and it takes me approximately 9 months to use the box (completely on my own as my husband doesn’t drink tea).Favorite Green Tea | Glitter It Gold

This tea is similar to the kind often served as Japanese sushi bars and restaurants. I usually drink it plain and hot but I have also turned it into a green tea latte with a little bit of vanilla and also had it iced and no matter how you make it it is delicious. I always prefer loose leaf tea over tea bags, but this tea is my exception. Having a good tea in individual tea bag form is convenient for work or travel and with this tea I don’t sacrifice as much quality and taste as I would with many other types of store brand teas. If you don’t have a Costco membership you can still buy this tea on Amazon, although the price is higher.Favorite Green Tea | Glitter It Gold

I love that this tea only takes 30 seconds to brew in hot water, and can be brewed with cold water in about 3 minutes. It has no bitterness to it, even if it is over steeped. And look at that bright green color! That is the color green tea should be, not brown like it often is with cheap low quality tea. These are my three favorite ways to drink this tea. Enjoy!

  1. Hot- according to directions on each tea bag.
  2. Cold- Fill a mason jar 3/4 full of cold water, add a tea bag and steep for 3 minutes, shaking/stirring in between. Remove tea, add coconut sugar or agave to taste, top with ice and enjoy.
  3. Tea Latte- Pour 4 oz boiling water over 2 tea bags, steep 45 seconds then remove. Add 2 tsp vanilla syrup, then pour 4 oz steamed milk into glass, sprinkle top with powder leftover in the tea package.

 

50/50 Smoothie Bowl with Matcha and Strawberries

HI!!!!! I missed you! I know I have been posting way less than usual but my crazy schedule means little time to cook let alone taking pictures and writing about it. Saturday was my first morning free in a long time, and oh did I take advantage of it. I stayed in pjs till 11 and make a yummy breakfast smoothie bowl that I am about to share with you now. I love that we get to do all the things that we do, but sometimes I just need a lazy morning with my dog and my coffee to re-set and relax. 50/50 Smoothie Bowl- Glitter It Gold

This smoothie bowl is heavenly. It’s really easy to make, it tastes light and fresh and delicious and it looks absolutely beautiful. To make the first half, stir together plain greek yogurt, shredded unsweetened coconut, coconut milk, and granulated honey. You could use regular honey, it just won’t blend as easily. I’m totally obsessed with the granulated honey from Whole Spice that I got in my Hatchery Box last month. I can’t wait to share the cocktail I have been tinkering with…I hope to find time to perfect it and photograph soon. This combo is delicious in itself and I can totally see this becoming a weekday breakfast on it’s own, maybe make the night before and add chia seeds and extra coconut milk? Oh man, I can’t wait to try that. 50/50 Smoothie Bowl- Glitter It Gold

But then we take it to the next level and blend frozen banana, fresh strawberries and more coconut milk and layer it together with the yogurt. Top with some granola and some fresh banana and strawberry and you have a meal so pretty you won’t be able to stop taking photos, even after you’ve eaten half of it. 50/50 Smoothie Bowl- Glitter It Gold

I always keep at least a few cups of frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies, like Eric’s favorite Banana, Almond, Oat Smoothie. If you don’t have any then you can use ice, but reduce the amount of coconut milk. I also used Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk instead of canned coconut milk for a lighter, lower calorie smoothie. 50/50 Smoothie Bowl- Glitter It Gold

Okay, let’s talk matcha. I am a matcha newbie and I feel like there is still a lot I am missing out on/need to learn. I bought my matcha from Season with Spice, it is very reasonably priced and from what I read you don’t need the super fancy stuff if you are using it for what I am using it for. In the end, I love the taste of it and that’s what matters. If you have any recipes or ways you like to use please share them with me!

50/50 Smoothie Bowl- Glitter It Gold

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 small strawberries, leave the tops on
  • 3-4 TBS of coconut milk, divided
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp of granulated honey
  • 1/2 tsp of matcha powder
  • 2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Method

  1. In a bowl stir together the greek yogurt, matcha, granulated honey, shredded coconut, and 1 TBS of coconut milk. Set aside.
  2. Place the frozen banana, strawberries and 2 TBS of coconut milk and blend on high until smooth. You may need to add a little bit more coconut milk, but keep the mixture thick as you will be eating with a spoon not a straw.
  3. Layer the two mixtures together in a bowl and top with topping of your choice like granola, more shredded coconut, sliced strawberries and bananas.