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)

Prep Time 10 minutes Total Time 10 mins


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

  1. 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. 2. Bring to a simmer; simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. 3 Remove from heat. Strain to remove basil and pour simple syrup into a glass container . Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. 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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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 40 Calories from fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 43mg 2%
Carbohydrate 57g 19%
Dietary Fiber 10 40%
Sugars 15g
Protein 6g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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Slice of Hummus Appetizer

Fuel an active lifestyle and celebrate National Hummus Day, May 13,  with a  Slice of Hummus.
Disclosure: I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

I am forever encouraging individuals to eat more vegetables. Conversations about vegetables often prompt this question to me,  “Are you a vegetarian?”  I am not. My eating   patterns closely align with the  Mediterranean diet.  However, I adapt it to meet my nutritional needs and goals by  consuming more yogurt and milk than the typical Mediterranean diet. There is one part of the plan I  do believe is non-negotiable:  physical activity and enjoying food. It’s why I focus on delicious foods to  fuel an active lifestyle, and today’s post is no exception!

Have you ever asked yourself  one or more of these questions:

• How can I  improve my  overall diet quality?

• How can I better my nutrient intakes?

• How can I lower my  body weight parameters including body mass index and waist circumference?

If so, perhaps you  should consume foods for which there is evidence of an  association with improved  overall diet quality,  better nutrient intakes (including fiber and potassium), and lower body weight parameters including body mass index (BMI ) and waist circumference. One such food happens to be hummus, and I’m going to show you how to bring  this plant based protein  to the table as a  delicious appetizer. Start with Sabra classic hummus spread on a  toasted ancient grain mini naan (cut into quarters). Top with  chopped pistachios and a dried apricot slice. Finish with a drizzle of  honey. Enjoy!

Here are  five reasons, Slice of Hummus Appetizer,  is now my  go to appetizer:

  1. I’m  active and have little time for food prep. This is done in 5 minutes.

2. I  prefer to consume nutrient rich foods, but don’t like to disappoint my friends and family by serving up  something short on taste. No one will ever guess this appetizer is good for you.

3. I  want to eat more veggies and plant based proteins. And if you are wondering, where’s the vegetable  in this? It’s hummus (hummus is made of  chickpeas and is in the vegetable subgroup legumes we all could benefit from eating more of.)

4. This appetizer can be made ahead of time and it’s also easily portable!

5. In the unlikely event there are any leftover  appetizers,   they won’t  be wasted. The Slice of Hummus appetizer  holds over well when refrigerated until the following day, and they work for me as breakfast(yes I did say breakfast)  or a post-exercise recovery snack providing the 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein I follow after a bout of cardio.

Remember to eat your veggies, include physical activity daily, and enjoy nutritious and delicious foods in good company on National Hummus Day and everyday!

 

A Slice of Hummus

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 1 minute Total Time 6 mins
Serves (serves 16)     adjust servings

Ingredients

(serves 16)

  • 4 mini ancient grain nann
  • 1 10 oz container Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 16 dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place naan bread on baking sheet and heat for one minute.
  2. 2. Cut each mini naan bread into quarters. Place on a serving plate.
  3. 3. Spread 1 tablespoon Sabra classic hummus on each piece of naan, sprinkle with crushed pistachios and top with dried apricot.
  4. 4. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 82kcal Calories from fat 43
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 83mg 3%
Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 2g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

 
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