alive logo

First Blush Iced Tea

Serves 4.


    First Blush Iced Tea

    Colour-wise, this is the showiest of these herbal iced teas. Its brilliant magenta hue comes from hibiscus, a plant known for its tart taste and health benefits (hibiscus tea has shown promise in lowering blood pressure in mildly hypertensive people). Strawberries curb the tang of hibiscus, especially when we take a page out of Russian tea culture and sweeten this tea with jam.


    Jammin’ Choose jam naturally sweetened with agave or juice rather than refined sugar.

    Ice queen When you make a pot of hot tea or prep fruit for fruit salad, make a habit of setting aside a little tea or a few pieces of fruit to freeze as ice cubes so you’ve always got gorgeous ice on hand.

    If you want fruit or other solids to rest in the centre of a cube, fill the ice cube tray only halfway with water or tea, add the fruit pieces, and freeze. Then fill the remainder of the tray with liquid and freeze again.


    First Blush Iced Tea


    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dried strawberries
    • 4 hibiscus teabags, or 4 tsp (20 mL) dried hibiscus calyces in tea ball
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) no-sugar-added strawberry jam, plus extra 2 Tbsp (30 mL) (optional)
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) nut milk of choice
    • Edible pink flower petals (pansies and violets are options)
    • 2 fresh strawberries, washed and sliced


    Per serving:

    • calories37
    • protein0g
    • fat0g
      • saturated fat0g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates8g
      • sugars6g
      • fibre0g
    • sodium31mg



    Bring 4 1/2 cups (1.12 L) water to boil over high heat. Add a splash of boiled water to jug or jar that holds at least 4 cups (1 L), swirl around, and pour down drain.

    Place dried strawberries and hibiscus in jug or jar and pour remaining water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, then remove hibiscus. Leave strawberries in tea.

    Chill tea in refrigerator for 3 to 8 hours.

    To create creamy ice, blend nut milk and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) strawberry jam together in blender. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.

    Serve chilled tea over ice. Garnish with edible flower petals and slices of fresh strawberry.

    Optional: Blend 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot tea with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) strawberry jam in blender until smooth and return liquid to rest of tea to chill.



    SEE MORE »
    Beet Falafel Burgers with Dilly Tahini Sauce

    Beet Falafel Burgers with Dilly Tahini Sauce

    If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula.  Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased.  Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.