Dairy-Free Cherry & Rose Tea Affogato | My Cup of Tea
August 6, 2018
To say that I’m a bit of health nut is definitely an understatement. Among my friends, I think I am probably one of the most health and fitness-conscious, almost to the point where it can get a tad bit obsessive. That being said, I make sure that I maintain a balance between my (obvious) love for dessert & my fitness/health related goals. Although I believe in “fitness first”, I am definitely a proponent of indulging in moderation. I keep myself sane by letting myself take small bites of sin here and there, and if things get really bad, I’m am always open to a large binge session because that’s what makes me happy.
One method I use to keep myself in check in terms of the foods I eat is to focus more on finding the already healthy dishes. Rather than trying to create and “healthify” a dish, I simply indulge in things that are naturally healthy. For example, I love a nice, cold drink, especially in this sweltering heat. Thus, instead of downing a glass of sweetened juice concentrate, I opt for bubble tea at the mall across the street. Not only am I getting my drink fix, but also actually consuming something that’s not at all unhealthy. Rather than thinking of it as a compromise, I thought of it as an opportunity to explore a new category of food or drink.
Of course, I am 100% supportive of maintaining a healthy diet because I really do believe that the quality of my life has drastically increased ever since working out became habit as opposed to chore. But as they say, it's not really everybody's cup of tea.
To this day, whenever I find myself back in China, I always find myself wandering back to the bubble tea stores I love so much. Bubble tea soon become so much more than a healthy drink fix. It was the focal point of gathering among my friends and family. Every time people planned a hangout, malls with bubble tea were always prioritized over others. The balance between the simplicity of the drink and its exceptional quality is something we all have come to appreciate.
While bubble tea is a more popular among the younger crowd, China’s tea culture is extremely rich. Tea was said to have first been discovered by a Chinese emperor when he witnessed leaves accidentally fall into his cup of boiling water, creating the infusion we all love today.
Tea has made its way into every nook and cranny of Chinese lifestyle. It is always present at family gatherings, dinners, and as the beverage of choice when serving guests. Furthermore, tea has its own luxury market in China and is often seen as an appropriate gift for special occasions.
Culturally, tea is a symbol for gratitude and hospitality. These days, it is used by all members of society to welcome guests into an unfamiliar environment as well. However, it can also be served as a means for younger generations to pay respect towards the elder people. For the Chinese, tea is one way families preserve tradition from generation to generation and the context of its origin has allowed me to appreciate it not only for what it is, but also for the it's important cultural values.
Tea has come a long way since it’s modest origins. Today, we enjoy tea in several ways and forms, but my favorite has to be bubble tea. If we want to take things even further, there is a store in Shanghai called Hey Tea that serves bubble tea soft serve…and it is sinfully delicious.
Unfortunately, I didn't really have time this week to grab some tapioca pearls as I really wanted to make this a boba soft serve. However, I really think the star of the show here is the rose tea that complements the cherry ice cream really well.
Typically, when it comes to dessert, I always try to stray away from trying to “healthify”. My philosophy is that if you’re going to make and eat dessert, you better do it the right way: more butter and more sugar. However, there are some dishes that have healthy alternatives that really have little or no impact on the quality. One of these dishes is "ice cream" made from frozen bananas. Also known as nicecream, this dessert used to be an essential component of my efforts to quench my binge-ing desires (puberty am I right?).
The recipe is super quick & easy and really only requires a blender or food processor. It's definitely one of my favorite afternoon snacks when I'm craving something a bit more indulgent. I hope you give this recipe a try because as they say...tea is love, tea is life.
Ingredients (makes 1 serving)
For the Cherry "Ice Cream"
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 5 cherries, pitted
- 1 tbsp of dairy-free milk
- 2 tsp. of dried rose petals.
For the Rose Tea
- 2 tbsp of dried roses
- 2 tbsp of hot water
Cherry "Ice Cream"
Freeze the sliced bananas and pitted cherries for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
In a spice grinder, grind the dried rose petals into a fine powder.
Combine the frozen fruits, ground rose petals, and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth and ice-cream like in texture.
Combine the water and dried rose petals.
Gently bring the tea to a boil and let simmer until reduced by at least one half the original volume.
- If desired, pipe the ice cream into a dish, or simply use an ice cream scoop to create small spheres.
- Pour the rose tea on top and garnish with rose petals.