Just because it's warm out doesn't mean you have to ditch that beloved morning cup of tea. Just toss it into a refreshing, energizing smoothie! Tea smoothies are incredible and nutritionally well-rounded breakfast foods, but that's not to say they aren't good to drink at any time of day and can be enjoyed as a sweet treat, pre-workout snack, or meal replacement shake for weight-loss. Antioxidant and nutrient-rich tea smoothies have a multitude of health and wellness benefits, and they taste pretty dang good too. Here's everything you need to know about them.
WHY DRINK THEM? Tea smoothies keep you looking and feeling your best for the summertime! Hidden inside most teas are micronutrients that kickstart your metabolism while simultaneously helping to block the formation of new fat cells. These weight-loss benefits are heightened when coupled with smoothies, because thick drinks keep you feeling fuller longer. The fruit and vegetable-rich composition of smoothies and the antioxidant power in tea also go a long way in nourishing your body and protecting it from the harmful effects of the sun. And the best part? Tea smoothies taste like dessert.
TYPE OF TEA There's no type of tea that won't work in a smoothie. Smoothies don't discriminate! However, certain types of tea have can lend themselves to being blended in smoothies a little better than others. Fruit and berry blends, green teas and matcha, rooibos, and black teas work especially well!
BREWING STYLE Both hot and cold brewing will result in delicious smoothies! Hot-brewing may be more convenient since the process doesn't require as much time. Cold-brewing can bring out different flavors in your teas, and can also result in different nutrient compositions. The choice is up to you!
SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS Tea smoothies are unbelievably versatile. Along with the tea of your preference, toss in whatever ingredients suit your fancy and blend away! Fruits are a tea smoothie staple because fruits complement most teas and offer delicious natural sweetness and flavor. Frozen fruit is ideal not only because it's much more affordable but more so because it carries higher levels of nutrients since it is picked at peak ripeness. Using frozen fruit also means you can use less ice to make your smoothie cold and thick, resulting in an intense and undiluted flavor. Some great fruit options, fresh or frozen, are banana, berries, mango, melon, papaya, pineapple, avocado, kiwi, peach, and plum. Fruits are a safe and delicious option, but don't be afraid to incorporate vegetables into your smoothies! Vegetables are very refreshing and can greatly add to the flavor and nutritional benefit of smoothies. Some options that go well with most teas and fruits are carrot, cucumber, beets, sweet potato, spinach, ginger, and kale. You can give tea smoothies a little extra flavor by adding in various extracts (vanilla, almond, maple, etc.), cocoa powder, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or fresh herbs like mint or basil.
PROTEIN If you're looking to incorporate more protein and body into your tea smoothie, you can add in milk (cow, almond, soy, coconut, etc.), yogurt, nuts and nut butters, seaweed, seeds (hemp, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia), quinoa, or your favorite protein powder.
SWEETNESS Most fruits and certain vegetables tend to make smoothies naturally sweet, but you can add in other sweetening agents if fruits and vegetables alone don't quite hit the spot. Some great options are organic stevia, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, or no-sugar-added fruit juices.
TEXTURE The texture of a smoothie can easily be adapted to your personal preferences. If you prefer a smoothie that resembles a slush, add more ice and liquids like tea, juice, or water and blend well to achieve that texture. If you prefer a very thick smoothie, skip the extra liquids and ice, and stick to frozen fruits and vegetables. If you prefer a creamier smoothie, make use of ingredients like greek yogurt, frozen banana, or avocado.
Now that you know all about what goes into a great tea smoothie, here's how to make one!
What You'll Need
- Your favorite tea! (about 1 cup brewed)
- Fruits/vegetables (about 3 cups total)
- Protein enhancers (optional, amount to your preference)
- Sweeteners (optional, amount to taste)
- Extracts/spices/herbs (optional, amount to taste)
- Ice (optional)
Keep in mind that for a generally drinkable smoothie, you'll need a cup of tea for every 3 cups of fruit. Yogurt and ice will thicken the smoothie while liquids like milk, juice, or water will thin it out.
Cold or hot-brew the tea as you normally would. Depending on how large of a smoothie you intend to make, brew enough tea to meet the 1:3 ratio.
If you used a loose-leaf tea, strain the brewed tea. If you hot-brewed the tea, let it cool. Pour the brewed tea into a blender and add all of your desired ingredients. Blend until you reach a consistency that you're happy with.
Tea smoothies are best served right away, but will keep in the fridge for about a day. Enjoy!