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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Snow White Dip with Winter Crudités

Lite snow white dip and  colder weather veggies are the perfect way to encourage healthy during the holidays and still  spread holiday cheer.
The Recipe Redux  is once again playing their favorite game: Grab a Book and Cook! Members are challenged to pick a beloved cookbook, and turn to any page with combination of the numbers of the out going  year, 2016. Last time we played this game, I picked the trendy book, Plenty. But to today, I’m throwing it back to the eighties with the Frog Commissary Cookbook. Originally published in 1985, this cookbook was way ahead of its’ time, featuring a  multiethnic blend of foods and ingredients including many vegetarian recipes. Thumbing to  page 16 of the book, I found A Few Thoughts on Crudités. Taking my cue from their tips  including let the season be your guide and don’t overlook the the sophistication of an all green-and-white presentation With this inspiration, I’m sharing a lite snow white dip accompanied by winter crudité. If you have visions of sugar plums dancing in you head, now you can also have visions of fennel, broccoli, and cremini mushrooms, oh my!    I figured you were probably busy this week so  I kept this festive appetizer/snack easy to make; you can prepare in only 10 minutes.  ENJOY! Don’t forget to visit the links at the bottom of this post to see what my colleauges are smitten with.

What festive but healthy foods are you preparing this week?

Snow White Dip with Winter Crudités (8 -12 appetizer servings)

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the dip

    • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup lite sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsely, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground course garlic sea salt
    • fennel fronds
    • pomegranate seeds

    for the crudite

    • 1 fennel bulb
    • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
    • 1 head of broccoli

    Instructions

    for the dip

    Combine all ingredients in a small serving bowl. Stir. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving garnish with fennel fronds and pomegranate seeds.

    for the veggies

    1. Break broccoli into flowerets. Fill the bottom of a sauce pan with one inch of water. Bring to a boil. Blanch broccoli by adding to pan of boiling water  for 30 seconds. Transfer vegetables to ice water. Allow to cool and drain.

    2. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth to clean.

    3. Cut fennel bulb into strips.

    4. Arrange vegetables on a platter and serve with dip.

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