Light Arnold Palmer with Cinnamon Basil Simple Syrup

Just in time for summer, this deliciously  sweet mocktail  has only 4o calories  and will be popular at all your outdoor events.

Last year  I  grew some of my  basil from seed. I was skeptical  about trying a variety of basil I knew nothing about; cinnamon basil. But the decision was fortuitous. The plants  grew to  about 25 inches tall with dark purple stems and  small glossy leaves fragrant of cinnamon.   I will admit, at first I was unsure how I would use this culinary herb.  But it ended up to be my most clipped plant, and it was fabulous in fruit salads, cobblers and in my Apricot Bread with Fresh Basil.  The decision to replant cinnamon basil again this spring was a no brainer..I ‘m excited to share some of the ways I’ll be enjoy this beauty, including in cocktails and mocktails for May celebrations (which just so happens to be  May’s  the Recipe Redux theme!) Here is our challenge:

Showers and celebrations with friends abound this time of year. Show us your healthy, colorful drink concoctions for festivities like bridal showers and graduation celebrations.

So  today I ‘m meeting the challenge by re-creating a non-alcoholic drink,  the Arnold Palmer, with less calories and sugar than the original version and using that gem of a basil I started from seed.  By using Truvia®Nectar instead of sugar in the simple syrup, I was able to control calories and carbs; each glass of  has only 40 calories and about 10 grams of carbohydrate. Making the simple syrup with several cinnamon basil leaves imparts a unique flavor complementary to both the lemon and the tea. Kick off the garden party season on a healthy note and serve your friends and family my Light Arnold Palmer with Cinnamon Basil Simple Syrup. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post  to see what drink concoctions my Recipe Redux colleagues are making for this month’s  challenge. 

Light Arnold Palmer with Cinnamon Basil Simple Syrup (serves 8)

by Diane Boyd

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Truiva® Nectar
  • 7 leaves fresh cinnamon basil
  • juice of 10 lemons
  • 4 cups cold brew black tea
  • cinnamon leaf Basil stems for garnish

Instructions

for the Cinnamon Basil Simple Syrup

1. Combine water, Truvia Nectar® and cinnamon basil in a small saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to smash the basil against the sides of the pot to release oil.

2. Bring to a simmer; simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Remove from heat. Strain to remove basil and pour simple syrup into a glass container . Refrigerate until ready to use.

for Arnold Palmer Beverage

1.For each serving, add ice to highball glass. Fill glass half full with  tea. Add juice from lemons and 2 teaspoons simple syrup to fill glass. Stir. Garnish with more cinnamon basil. Repeat for each additional serving.

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Garden Burgers

Bring the garden to the table with these cheesy, herb infused burgers featuring Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar. capefearnutrition.com (13)
Disclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and I received free Cabot cheese as mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering the #CabotGardeners recipe contest and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions are my own.

Sunday was  Mother’s Day, and  I reflected on being a Mom and Motherhood in the general sense…. nurturing gets a bad rap. However, it’s always been part of my life map. I see my family as my BIGGEST accomplishment. My kids, no matter what their age, (or mine) will always be..well..my kids.  So, the truth of the matter is, I will never stop trying to influence and provide guidance. Yes, there ‘s a down side, results aren’t measurable by any analytic program, and there’s no guarantee that things will turn out the way I hope, hello #brokenheartclub. For me, it’s just about doing what feels right, and what was instilled by my own Mother, #thankyouMom.

With both of my kids out of the house, my daily nurturing instincts manifest themselves by caring for my  labrador retrievers..which are actually my children’s dogs left for moi to raise…#gofigure!IMG_3860 And watching what  I’ve planted grow, like herbs in a window box,  and vegetables in my raised bed …IMG_3806 I’m patting myself on the back for getting the garden started 6 weeks earlier than last year! However,  fresh herbs are still  the only thing making it from the garden to the table in May.   With grilling season underway, I’m pulling out the stops with what I call a garden burger. This burger is made with  a technique chefs have used for years and one I’m a HUGE fan of, extending meats with mushrooms. Mushrooms have a savory flavor and meaty texture, making them a perfect complement to a burger. They not only extend your portions saving you money, they save you calories and boost the nutritional value . I’ve given this patty a  gourmet  taste with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and oregano) and Cabot’s Tomato Basil Cheddar!  The recipe is below, and it’s made for two, cause that’s how I roll nowadays, #emptynester.IMG_4254_edited-2

How will you nurture yourself with something fresh from the garden?IMG_4260

Garden Burgers

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspooon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground round
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil)
  • 2 ounces Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar, sliced

Instructions

1. Preheat grill.

2. In a medium skillet, saute chopped mushrooms in olive oil until tender.

3. In a large bowl, add cooked mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg and fresh herbs to ground meat. Mix thoroughly.

4. Shape beef mixture into 2 patties.

5. Add burgers to the grate of a hot grill. Grill to desired doneness, about 10 minutes per side.

6. Add cheddar slices to tops of burgers during last couple of minutes of grilling to allow cheese to melt.

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