Tea Boat

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Earl Grey Tea Boat ~ From Vegetate Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

My new very favorite drink, Smoked Earl Grey Black Tea in a tea infuser that really floats my boat! The tea sits in a little mesh basket under the boat. This was truly dreamy with some rich and creamy hemp milk.

Earl Grey tea is not only yummy, but it also has a host of health benefits. For example, Earl Grey tea is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, is a great digestive aid, relieves nausea, helps to fight urinary tract infections, and the bergamot oil in Earl Grey tea is often used to treat depression.

Earl Grey Tea Fact: Earl Grey is a blend of black tea flavored with the essence of Bergamot rind. Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange.

Hummingbird Nectar

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Hummingbird Nectar Recipe ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.”Anais Nin

This sweet little lady came by for a drink this morning. In fact, we’ve gotten visits from many different hummingbirds every day since we put up our feeder. We wanted to support our local hummingbird population because many hummingbirds species are threatened by habitat loss, predators, and disease, and because they are so darned cute! ;)

We bought a wonderful hummingbird feeder that is made from recycled glass in Mexico, filled it up with homemade hummingbird nectar (simple recipe here), and within a couple of weeks our backyard was one of the main stops on our local “hummingbird highway.”

We purchased a red glass feeder so we wouldn’t have to use artificial red dye in our homemade nectar. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, so in the past many people dyed their nectar using FD&C Red #2 food coloring, which is now a known carcinogen. If you just get a red feeder or one with red accents you don’t have to worry about dying your nectar. It is so much fun to watch the birds come for a drink every day. This feeder has turned me into a real bird-watcher!

Here are some great tips on other ways to support hummingbird conservation.

Hummingbird Fact: Hummingbirds are highly intelligent and can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take each flower to refill.

Purple Passion Fruit

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Passion Fruit ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grab an apple – or grapes, or strawberries. Something that’s healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.”LL Cool J

When I found some beautiful, fragrant purple passion fruits at my local grocery store I just had to try them. I’ve never eaten passion fruit before and the smell was intoxicating, like perfumed fruit punch. I later learned that they smelled of Kool-Aid to me because passion fruit is often used in juice mixes to enhance their aroma.

I had no idea what these little gems were going to look like when I cut them open, and boy was I was surprised by what I found. The peels are full of orange gel-encased seeds. To eat passion fruit, you scoop the seeds out with a spoon (leaving the white rind behind) and swallow them whole. Apparently this is because the seeds are bitter when chewed. Although sweet-smelling, these were surprisingly tart. This wasn’t a bad thing though, as they tasted magical and marvelous!

If you think passion fruit is interesting-looking, check out passion flowers!

Una Fiesta Bonita!

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Una Fiesta Bonita! - from Vegetate, Vegan Cooking and Food Blog

Tortilla soup with pico de gallo and spicy tortilla strips from The Real Food Daily Cookbook, pinto beans with homemade guacamole, and sassy virgin margaritas from I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude.