After being “broke” long enough, I was finally able to splurge a bit and refill my tea stash. I’m not actually broke, but while I continue to save, I tend to stick by what’s in my wallet or a gift card such as Starbucks, hence the quotes. As I was in the Harvard area, I went to the David’s Tea in the Square rather than the one I usually go to in Assembly Row.

I’m not particular with much, including my teas, but I think I may have found a favorite in this one. It’s not just my favorite because of its unique vegetable flavor; you can also add tea to recipes, and this one has been amazing for that. I’ve ended up using it more in recipes than actually drinking it, including my morning smoothies, which is sad, as I’m already halfway through and it didn’t last that long! You can use it in recipes from simple things such as yogurt and smoothies to more complex recipes such as the following energy balls, although for this tea I would use it more for the smoothies and energy balls than as a yogurt topping as it’s not necessarily that granola-like loose-leaf tea mix. I’ve already tried it in a couple of things, from my cranberry oatmeal protein energy balls to a strawberry-banana smoothie.

“Just Beet It” is a maté, made with “sweet and succulent beetroot” and “nutrient-rich superfruits like goji and blackberries” with just a bit of “energizing guarana” (David’s Tea, Just Beet It page). Not only is it good as a wake-up drink or pick-me-up, but it’s also good if you’re feeling stressed, as the beet in this contains a betaine, which is said to relax the mind.

The caffeine in this is one-third that of the caffeine in coffee, but it’s the ingredients in this one that makes it well worth the pick-me-up that it is. If you’re buying it from the website, the lowest amount you can get is 2 oz., which makes 10 to 12 16-oz. cups of hot tea or five to seven 16-oz. cups of iced tea. But if you do like it well enough to go back for another, instead of collecting tins upon tins of tea, just take an empty tin with you and you can get it refilled! Each tin is 4 oz., and if you’re buying from the website, they’ll give you a free one with your tea if you buy any tea in 4 oz. Not a bad deal for keeping your tea fresh and your storage neat, and for 4 oz. from the website, it is only $10 for the tea and the tin that comes with it!

Below are the recipes for the energy balls and smoothie.

Considering I tend to eyeball the ingredients in my recipes, here’s a similar recipe to what I made for a “Base Mix for Oatmeal Energy Balls” from TheWorkTop.com.

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (jumbo rolled oats)
  • ¼ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (milled flax)
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted peanut butter)

And for the smoothie:

  • ½ cup Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt (or something similar; no need to be exact)
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ~1/8 cup flaxseed
  • ~1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup Just Beet It
  • 5 whole [frozen] strawberries
  • half a banana

Add 5 or so ice cubes if the fruits aren’t frozen; otherwise, you can choose to skip this.

I then fill my NutriBullet up to the max with water, plus a splash of cranberry juice for a small tang to the mix. It blends well enough that, even though anyone you’re living with will hate you for the loud noise, it’s well worth it, especially if you only want a cheap blender like I got. It even does stuff such as the flaxseed and chia seeds really well that you won’t notice, much less almost accidentally choke on a seed in your smoothie.

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