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Archive for June 22, 2011

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Hibiscus Iced Tea

What’s delicious hot or cold, has zero calories and no caffeine, is a bright ruby red color and is full of therapeutic powers?

It’s hibiscus tea, an herbal tea that’s our nominee for the tea to try this month (June is National Iced Tea Month).

Hibiscus has complex and vibrant flavors: fruity and floral notes with a tart, red fruit backbone—like a tart lemonade that you can sweeten to taste.

Well-chilled from the fridge and poured over ice, it’s a wonderful refresher.

And hibiscus is a superflower, full of potent antioxidants that do the body a lot of good.

  • Check out this summer refresher in the full review.
  • Get the 411 on tea—types, how to brew, recipes and more—in our Gourmet Tea Section.
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    Colorful, tasty and very healthful: hibiscus
    iced tea. Photo courtesy Republic Of Tea.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Refreshing Mint Lemonade

    Refreshing mint lemonade. Photo by
    Petrelos | IST.

     

    For years, we’ve had an appliance that we call an electric juicer or reamer. But times have changed.

    With the introduction of large juice extractors to the consumer market—in which any fruit or vegetable can be converted to juice—our old juicer is now called a “citrus press.”

    Call it whatever you want—we love ours. It extracts the last drop of juice from fresh lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits with barely a press of the fruit to the reamer.

    Most people we know don’t have an electric citrus press. They use a manual citrus press. (Take a look at this unusual one that looks like a lovely bird sculpture, and gets rave reviews even though it looks like it won’t work.)

    But the most dazzling citrus press has got to be the sexy new electric Krups Citrus Press. We’ve never called an appliance sexy before, but this stainless steel beauty is doing its best to seduce us into buying it and discarding our faithful old workhorse juicer.

     

    While we deliberate the purchase, we’re using Old Faithful to make fresh mint lemonade. This recipe makes 1.25 quarts, or about 7 servings.

    MINT LEMONADE RECIPE
    Traditional lemonade is even more refreshing with the addition of fresh mint.

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (8 large lemons)
  • 30 fresh mint leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice—we use 1/2 cup agave nectar)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 5 cups water
  • Optional: mint sprigs for garnish
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    Preparation
    1. Press juice from lemons.
    2. In a pitcher or large bowl, combine mint, sugar and 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves (we use a whisk).
    3. Stir in lemon juice, rind and 5 cups water.
    4. Chill and serve over ice.

    LEMONADE TIPS

  • Make lemonade ice cubes so that melting ice doesn’t dilute the drink. If you don’t want to make more lemonade to freeze for the cubes, boil the juiced lemon shells in enough water to fill two ice cube trays. Simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool, fill trays and freeze. You can sweeten the cooled lemon water slightly if you wish. We don’t.
  • Try Meyer lemons in season (November to March) for a less tart lemonade.
  • Use any other citrus in the same recipe. Make mint limeade, orangeade or grapefruitade (now that’s a mouthful!).
  • Mix half lemonade, half iced tea for an Arnold Palmer. With the recipe above, you’ll have something new: the Mint Arnold Palmer.
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