If you can’t decide between a smoothie or an iced tea, this is the drink for you.
This summer, I’ve been experimenting with black tea smoothies and I’m pretty smitten with the concept. It’s fruit and caffeine in one easy drink.
Green tea and matcha get a lot of smoothie love from food writers and health bloggers, but black tea isn’t so shabby in terms nutritional benefits. Yes, it has caffeine—more than green tea and less than coffee—plus antioxidants, which can help protect the body against toxins. Research also suggests that long-term consumption of black tea is associated with a lower risk of stroke.
The night before, brew a cup of black tea and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, combine the tea with the smoothie ingredients of your choice. You could brew your tea and pour it over ice in the blender for an immediate mix, but this ends up a lot more watered down. I’ve found a bit more planning is a better way to go.
The easiest two-ingredient version is just black tea and frozen banana. If the banana is ripe enough, you don’t need additional sweetener, but you can also add honey or agave. This combination can be on the lighter side, but you can always blend in yogurt or fresh aloe vera gel to thicken it up.
But the beauty of smoothies is their ability to combine so many different flavors and tastes.
Here are a few combination suggestions:
Earl grey tea + frozen blueberries + blackberries + your milk of choice
Chai + coconut milk + Greek yogurt + chia seeds (soak the chia seeds in your tea the night before)
English breakfast tea + frozen strawberries + banana
Classic black tea + mango + ginger + dash of cinnamon
English breakfast + frozen peach + honey + your milk of choice
Classic black tea + cantaloupe + banana
Earl grey tea + frozen black plums + blueberries
One last tip: Peel, pit and cut any fruit before you freeze it. It’s much harder to get rid of skins and seeds after the fruit is frozen!
This story was originally published in 2015.