Each month, those of us participating in Recipe ReDux follow a theme to devise healthy, tasty recipes. The idea is to showcase good-for-you food that also does right by your tastebuds. So this month—where we’re giving a nod to the World Tea Expo with tea-inspired dishes—I’m bringing you a recipe that is deliberately high in sugar, low in fiber, and contains really only one major food group.
See, when I think tea, I think running. In the mornings before my longer runs, I need some caffeine delivered via something less strong and gut-pummeling as coffee. So a cup of black tea is the typical accompaniment to my pre-run fuel.
The second component of that pre-run meal is one of the few times that conventional dietary guidance goes out the window, because I’m actually trying to eat high-carb, low-fiber, quick-hit-of-sugar foods. Those are generally the best way to quickly give your body the energy it needs to run without provoking your GI tract too much with fiber and fats.
So I figured, why keep the tea and carbs separate? The result is a pre-run vanilla, pear and black tea smoothie that will help put a few more miles on your Sauconys (or Hokas, or Mizunos, or those weird monkey feet Vibram things).
Runner’s vanilla, pear and black tea smoothie
(1 serving, approx. 180 calories)
1 (or more, see below) black tea bag
½ cup water
1 cup canned pears (or peeled fresh pear)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
4-5 ice cubes
Honey, to taste
Heat the water either over the stove until boiling, or in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, and chill in the freezer while assembling other ingredients.
Another option would be to make a larger batch of the strong-brewed tea, and leave it in the fridge for future use—that way, you’ll also have a longer time to get it nice and cold. Just use the ratio of ½ cup water to each tea bag when brewing, and measure out ½ cup of the brewed tea for use in the smoothie.
Combine all the ingredients—brewed tea, pears, banana, vanilla, ice cubes and honey—in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour, drink, and enjoy, leaving yourself ~30-60 minutes before heading out for that run.
If there’s no 20-miler on your training schedule today, maybe you’d like to try some of the other tea-ful recipes devised by my fellow ReDuxer? Just follow the links below: