I am all about natural local ingredients. If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you would have known that already. This season’s fruits range from luscious strawberries that are almost out of season now, to mulberries that are starting to ripen now, watermelons, cherries, and so many stone fruits that overflow in produce shops. I’m trying to make use of all the fruits I can get my hands on, but sometimes there isn’t enough time.
I have always dreamt of getting blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries. All these berries that I see in recipes from international bloggers. But I am always bummed whenever I pass by the produce isle in the supermarket and find the box of sad, almost raisin-like blueberries sitting in a clear plastic tray waiting for their final destination at the dumpster because no one would buy a 50 gram box for 7 dollars. Luckily, I found a local producer who has started growing his own berries and presenting them to the Lebanese market.
Photo from TootBerry website
I found the website of Tout Berry; the local berry producer in Deir-Koubel, a town in Mount Lebanon, through one of the Lebanese blogs. I contacted them and they were generous enough to give me a couple of boxes of berries to try. And boy did I use them all! From ice tea, to ice cream, cheesecakes, salads, or just snacking on a handful, these little blue-purple pearls are definitely a treat.
I will be sharing the recipe I made in the coming posts.
I’ve always wanted to make my own ice tea. I’ve tried it many times with different flavors, but in an attempt to use less sugar than the canned or fountain machine, the taste of black tea is very harsh. This time I used green tea, loose leaves, with sugar, and some blueberries, some smashed, others dropped into the tea after draining. I played around with the sugar quantity because the first time, it was VERY sweet, I toned it down later. Try this recipe for a super refreshing summer drink. The alcoholic me is advising you to add a splash of vodka, or rum maybe to your glass and let no one know.
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Green Tea Blueberry Ice Tea
- 3.5 liters water
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup loose leaf green tea
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- In a large pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar
- If you have a large tea or spice infuser, place the tea in it, and drop into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Let it steep for 5 more minutes. If you don’t have the infuser, drop the leaves whole into the pot, then after steeping, strain and discard the leaves. P.S.: Pure green tea leaves can be used another time
- While the water is still hot, add the blueberries and with the bottom of a cup or the back of a spoon, crush some of the berries to release their color
- Let it cool then store in jugs or bottle in the fridge for up to 5 days for best quality
- Serve over ice, and maybe with a splash of alcohol for an adult kick!