The Tea-Based Smoothie Project: Metabolism-Boosting Spiced Green Tea Smoothie
Lately, I've been into experimenting with teas and herbal infusions as smoothie bases. As much fun as all of this kitchen witchery is, sharing the findings makes it even more so. Each week, I'll post a new recipe based on the results of my kitchen playtime. Here's last week's post sharing my golden milk smoothie recipe.
First, an apology: I'm a few days late with this post. I took most of the day Thursday to bring Phi to the World's Largest Mama Meetup at the UN, meaning I had to cram all of my work for the week into the other four days. The upside: I'll share some takeaways from the event in a post later this weekend.
Now, onto the smoothie. I think of this one as like, the OG tea-based smoothie. I found this recipe not long after having Phi and started making the adapted version I'm sharing here pretty much every day. I can't say this smoothie is the only reason I got back into my regular skinny jeans quickly. Barre, yoga, cardio, long walks, and eating at least one head of romaine every day helped. But, the ingredients in the smoothie do support sustainable weight loss, especially when combined with other efforts.
Looking at those ingredients, they're weird. Not on their own, but definitely together. Green tea serves as the base, with cayenne, lemon juice, pear, and yogurt playing supporting roles. I know this combo sounds gross, but it's oddly addictive. Between the metabolism-boosting green tea and cayenne, the probiotics in the yogurt, and a dose of vitamin c from the lemon juice, those weird ingredients pack a healthy, energy-boosting punch. I'm obsessed and I think maybe you will be too if you give it a try!
As with all of the smoothies in this series, I start with a little prep the night before. When I'm making my sleepy time tea, I brew some extra-strong green tea. If I'm using tea bags, I use two. If I'm using loose leaf, I'll add 3-4 tsp of tea per one cup of water. I let it steep and cool, then add it to the refrigerator. I let the tea continue steeping in the refrigerator overnight, resulting in a very, very bitter tea. The other ingredients balance it out.
A few notes on one of the other key ingredients: pear. Pears are one of the few fruits that don't fully ripen on the tree. Often, the pears in grocery stores are still a little bit hard, which means they're not quite ripe yet. Store them at room temperature rather than in the refrigerator to let them ripen. To speed up the process, put them in a paper bag with bananas. If you press on the top of the pear and feel a little softness, it is ripe. Once the pear is ripe, it can be stored in the refrigerator. For a deeper dive into pear ripeness, here's a guide to buying and ripening pears.
Assembling the smoothie is as easy as adding the green tea, pear, yogurt, cayenne, and lemon juice to the blender and running until smooth. I use any kind of regular pear and any kind of plain yogurt, even Greek yogurt. I like to add a lot of cayenne. The original recipe says 1/8 tsp, but I add a little bit more than that. It's spicy, but the yogurt neutralizes some of the heat. My recipe is adapted from this one; I don't do ice cubes and I definitely don't do agave nectar. I also use a little bit more liquid to make up for the fact that I don't add ice.
In the morning, this is a supercharged replacement for the standard warm water with lemon combo. In the afternoon, it's an energy boost and it will curb any late-afternoon snack cravings.
1 cup strong green tea, chilled
1 pear, cut into pieces with skin on
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp yogurt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, more to taste
Add all ingredients to blender and run until smooth.