Tag Archives: refreshing

  1. Mint Mojito Iced Coffee {Paleo and Keto Options}

    This Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is the perfect, refreshing way to say goodbye to summer! Bright, fresh, creamy, minty, a little sweet this updated recipe brings lots of options to make without dairy or refined sugar, so you can totally customize your brew!

    Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

    Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

    First off, welcome to the brand new Tasty Yummies website!! This new design and format has been several years in the making and I am so proud to finally be able to share it with all of you. I am hopeful that this new website format will make it so much easier for you to navigate, search and enjoy all of the content I create. I am also excited to have a new home base for everything I envision for the future of Tasty Yummies. I really hope you enjoy.  And I also have to say a big huge thank you to all of you for your years of support, for reading, following along and sharing with others. It is my dream to be able to create and share all of these things I am so passionate about with all of you and it’s because of your support and your desire to spread the love, that I am continually able to do so.

    OK now, secondly, can we please not rush away summer? We still have several weeks left. I get it the kiddos are heading back to school. The reality of cooler weather and the hustle and bustle of non-summer life are looming. So why not hang on a little longer to the goodness of summer. I am proposing this refreshing drink is the perfect way to do so. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we are smack dab in the middle of an epic heat wave here in Southern California so enjoying the last bits of summer, for us, shouldn’t be a problem.

    My first experience with this drink was at Philz Coffee in Huntington Beach, overlooking the ocean, soaking up all the summer vibes. I had heard about this epic combination of coffee with fresh mint and thought it sounded wackadoo, but I am never one to scoff at a strange pairing. Some of the best things I have ever tasted were fully unexpected.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    How-to Refresh and Hydrate Your Skin with Homemade Infused Face Mists

    Looking fresh faced and glowy in the dead of summer is challenging. With the heat comes the drab makeup and the blah, dehydrated skin. In the sweltering dead of summer heat, nothing feels quite like a refreshing face mist. Spritzing your face with a homemade infused face mist is cooling and refreshing on a hot day, post workout or as a pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon drop off.

    Face mists make your skin less dull and more dewy, providing additional benefits from the botanicals you select for infusing. Traditionally with facial mists that are hydrosol distillations that include the essence of botanicals and endure an involved distillation process. While some store-bought versions use this method, many can also contain synthetic fragrances, alcohol, or other ingredients that can cause dryness and irritation.

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  3. Cucumber Dill Refresher

    Cucumber Dill Refresher

    Despite the fact that the calendar says September is mere days away and even with the kids going back to school, somehow Southern California hasn’t quite gotten the memo. We are smack in the middle of a good old fashioned heat wave and it’s so hot I can barely think straight.

    As I create recipes each week, I not only try to think about what is in season and what I have access to, but also what foods I feel like eating. What sounds good, what will satiate my cravings, quench my thirst and all that good stuff. Right now all that sounds good is cooling foods, salads, juices, smoothies and all the water.

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  4. Banana Piña Colada – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Banana Piña Colada - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Coconut and pineapple has to be one of the quintessential flavor combinations of the summer! So what better fruit to add to that delicious mix than bananas? This is an updated lighter version of the classic beach cocktail, a piña colada. Instead of coconut cream, sugary juice or those nasty mixes, this summertime mocktail combines fresh and healthy ingredients for that same creamy and delicious satisfaction without all the garbage.

    Banana Piña Colada - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    The bananas provide plenty of sweetness, so there is no need for any sugar or sweeteners and by freezing both the bananas and the coconut milk, you won’t end up with a watered down drink as the ice slush melts. Obviously, if you wish to make this an alcoholic cocktail, add in a shot or two of your favorite rum at the end and give it another whirl in the blender.

    Banana Piña Colada - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    There is no refined sugar added to this and it is delicious even without the rum. The creamy sweetness from the bananas and the coconut milk provides more than enough sweet, so you don’t have to add any sugar or sweetener at all. And even if you go with the full-fat coconut milk, it is still lighter than the standard coconut cream that is used. If you want it to be even lighter and lower in fat and calories, feel free to use light coconut milk. I personally like the creaminess of full fat coconut milk and since it is a healthy fat, I can totally justify indulging! Plus, the other bonus of this creamy summertime mocktail is that it could also be enjoyed as a delicious and sinful breakfast smoothie. That would be the perfect way to start any day, if you ask me.

    Banana Piña Colada - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Banana Piña Colada

    Serves 4

    • 2 frozen organic ripe bananas
    • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks  (frozen will work if you cannot find fresh)
    • 1 cup no sugar added organic pineapple juice
    • 1/2 can organic coconut milk (full fat or light) – frozen into cubes
    • Coconut flakes for garnish
    • Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish

    *Optional – add 4 ounces of your favorite rum to make this an alcoholic cocktail

    Add all of the ingredients except the coconut flakes and pineapple wedges to your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you are adding rum, add it after it is creamy and blended, and blend again quickly to mix it in. Pour into 4 glasses, serve each topped with coconut flakes and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.


  5. Blackberry Lavender Lemonade – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Blackberry Lavender Lemonade - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    I have really been enjoying playing around with different seasonal flavor combinations for the series of cocktail recipes that I have been sharing over on the Free People blog BLDG 25. This is my second post in my 5-part Summer Mocktail series for Free People.

    I have been letting what I find at the market determine the drinks, instead of the other way around. I had been thinking up some type of twist on the standard “Arnold Palmer” of tea and lemonade, which we love over here. I wanted it to be brighter, more colorful and featuring a seasonal fruit. When I saw the blackberries I instantly knew that was the way to go. Not only will this quench the thirstiest of thirsts, but it is such a beautiful and bright color, to boot!

    Blackberry Lavender Lemonade - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    The delicate aromatics from the lavender, paired with the pleasant tartness from the lemons and the blackberries is absolute perfection and sure to please anyone on a hot summer day. I decided to use my go-to sweeteners for this since I prefer to not use refined sugar, but you can feel free to substitute whatever sugar or sugar-alternative you desire. I also go light on the sweetness since I prefer my lemonade drinks to be on the tart side. Make sure to taste and sweeten to your own liking. If you are looking to make this into an alcoholic beverage, simply add in 1 shot of your favorite vodka, stir and enjoy!


    Blackberry Lavender Lemonade - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    [print_this]Blackberry Lavender Lemonade
    serves 4-6

    • 1/2 cup dried culinary lavender
    • 5 cups water
    • 1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (raw honey, agave or raw sugar will also work)
    • 1 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
    • 4-6 teaspoons maple sugar (you can also use raw sugar or any other sugar of your choice)
    • 6 ounces fresh blackberries
    • ice

    Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, stir in the lavender and reduce the heat. Partially cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain the lavender tea over a strainer or through cheesecloth, pressing down to get out as much liquid as you can, discard the lavender. Pour the liquid into a large pitcher. Stir in maple syrup, honey or whatever sweetener you are using, until it has dissolved. I prefer my lemonade on the tart side so I only used 1/4 cup of maple syrup, but feel free to use as much as you would like. Let cool. Once cooled, add the lemon juice to the pitcher and give it a good stir. Taste to see if it needs more sweetener or if you want to add some water to dilute it a little.

    To serve, place 5 to 8 blackberries and 1 teaspoon of sugar in each glass. Muddle. Pour the lemonade mixture over to fill the glass about 2/3 of the way full, give it a stir, then top with ice. Garnish with lemon slices pressed into some dried lavender, or add a fresh sprig of lavender if you have it.

    *For an alcoholic cocktail, add in a shot of vodka [/print_this]

    Blackberry Lavender Lemonade - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    This recipe was originally shared on the Free People blog. Check out my first post in the series here.


  6. Basil Watermelon Refresher – Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    IMG_2625Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    I am sure based on the sweat dripping down your brow (and likely other places) right now, we are all fully aware that not only are we at the peak of the summer, but it is a super duper hot-ass summer, at that! With record highs, excessive humidity and a lack of rain, it has been crazy unbearable in our parts and I know that is the case for most other areas in the US.

    Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free
    What else is there to do when it is crazy, stupid hot, then to have a refreshing beverage? And no, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an alcoholic beverage, “mocktails” (non-alcoholic cocktails) are just as refreshing, if not more, plus you can save on those empty calories. I am always playing around with different drink recipes over here and since I eat a very clean diet, I try to keep my alcohol consumption to a minimum at home. I feel so much better without it.

    I was elated when Free People asked me back as a guest-poster to share a series of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes with their readers through the month of August. Each week I will be sharing a different summertime inspired beverage that is safe for the whole family and is sure to refresh you on the hottest of days. And don’t worry, there will also always be a note on how to make each drink alcoholic, if you wish.

    The first recipe I am sharing is Basil Watermelon Refresher. This drink is bursting with refreshing summer flavors. Frozen watermelon and lemon pair together for a sweet and tart treat for your mouth with a surprisingly subtle, sweet and almost spicy punch from the basil. Top the slushy mixture off with sparkling water for a fizzy kick or if you are looking for a kick of a different kind, you replace the sparkling water with Prosecco, a delicious and refreshing dry sparkling white wine.

    Basil Watermelon Refresher - Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free

    Head on over to the Free People Blog, BLDG 25, for the full recipe and stay tuned for more “mocktail” recipes in this series that I will be sharing each week throughout August.

  7. Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

    Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

    This recipe is a fast and simple twist on the original, with no accurate measurements needed. It’s all about taste. I grabbed a quart of colorful local heirloom tomatoes at the market and I couldn’t wait to pick some of the beautiful heirloom black cherry tomatoes from my own garden to make a big tasty salad with. Since the tomatoes themselves had so much flavor and the basil from our garden was abundant, I decided to not go crazy and put the full 8 oz of fresh mozzarella into the salad, it just didn’t need it. I also decided that by saving half of it, I could use it to add to an omelette with the next morning.

    I wanted to get a nice sweet and tart punch from the balsamic, so rather than just pouring it on as is, I made a simple reduction syrup to drizzle over top the salad when serving. It is incredible how the concentrated flavors from the vinegar reduction really sing with the subtle sweetness. It is one of my favorite, simple kitchen tricks that works for so many dishes. In addition to drizzling over top salads like this one, the balsamic reduction is also wonderful drizzled over a steak, grilled fruit and so much more.

    There is something about a good insalata caprese that just screams summer to me. But much like the balsamic, it is bitter-sweet, by the time the tomatoes in our gardens are ripe enough to start picking for the beautiful salad, summer is on the down-swing and definitely more than half over.

    Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction
    serves 4

    Approximately 1 quart of mixed heirloom tomatoes, any variety. (Mine were all smallish – cherry and grape sized, some from our garden)
    4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (you can use the full 8oz, but I was attempting to keep this light and much more about the tomatoes)
    1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
    3 teaspoons brown sugar
    A few tablespoons of good quality extra virgin olive oil
    sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

    In a small saucepan over a medium-high heat bring the balsamic vinegar and sugar to a boil, constantly whisking to prevent burning. Continue cooking until it is reduced by half, stirring often. Remove from heat, allow to cool. (The sugar is optional as the vinegar has a natural sweetness when reduced, but I find that just a little is nice to compliment the tartness of the vinegar)

    Meanwhile, half or quarter the tomatoes and place in a large serving bowl. Add the fresh mozzarella and basil. Toss lightly to combine. Season the salad with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Serve individual servings of the salad on small side plates, drizzle both the olive oil and the balsamic reduction over top each serving. Serve immediately.

  8. Horchata


    It has been a hot summer in Buffalo. One of the hottest that I personally can recall. We’ve been traveling a ton and trying to enjoy every last-minute of the heat and sun while we are in town. We don’t leave again for another month so we hope to get the bikes out a few times, head to the beach and maybe even squeeze in some hiking or camping or something. Now that we are working from home, we really want to take advantage of the summer months while we can and enjoy the beautiful weather, before the snow and cold set in.

    One of my favorite things about the short-lived summertime in Buffalo, is playing around with refreshing drink recipes. Admittedly, I planted mint in my yard, just to make mojitos and this summer I even infused my own liquors after reading this article in Bon Appetit magazine. Now that I made my first two batches and they turned out great, I plan to write-up a post about them.  Don’t worry though, it isn’t just “adult beverages” I like to create, I love making fresh smoothies in the morning, iced teas, flavored sparkling waters and the like. Naturally, when I came across a post on David Lebovitz’s blog about making homemade horchata, I couldn’t wait to try it. There is nothing better than an ice-cold refreshing glass at an authentic mexican restaurant. OK, so maybe it is a close second to a good margarita, but it’s still incredible. It’s light, full of delicious flavors and it is perfect on ice on a hot summer day. There are few “authentic” Mexican restaurants here in Buffalo, (as far as I am concerned, none of them are authentic) and definitely no taquerias, so the chances of finding horchata here, are slim to none. I usually reserve my mexican indulgences for when we travel, rather than being let down, so when we aren’t traveling and I am craving Mexican, I tackle it myself at home. It isn’t nearly the same, but I still find it to be better than any of the Mexican restaurants here. I make my own tortillas, pico de gallo and guacamole, which is already a step above most places. We are actually having black bean tacos at home this week and I cannot wait.

    When I saw how easy this horchata recipe was, I knew that this would be another Mexican treat worth trying at home. It is quite simple, you will spend more time waiting for the rice to soak then all of the prep time combined. You definitely want to make sure you strain in through cheese-cloth so you get all the rice bits, otherwise it will settle to the bottom of the pitcher in the fridge.

    In addition to David’s recipe, I also checked out Rick Bayless’ recipe and many others. I came across many variations on the recipe, some include almonds, lime zest, etc. I decided to alter them all slightly and go with my own combination and I was very happy with the results. Oh and definitely try a glass with a shot of good rum stirred in, YUM!

    Another fun twist you can take with the horchata is something that I have now learned is called a “Cochata”: Iced Coffee + Horchata. I made this apparently trendy drink in accidental desperation the morning after making the horchata. I wanted an iced coffee and realized after it was poured that we were out of any milk or cream, so I poured in a large glug of the horchata and was instantly in love. You have to try it.

    On a side note, I apologize for the lack of posts and recipes on here, we just got home from nearly 2 weeks on the west coast. So I am hoping to get more recipes up here in the next few weeks as we are home for a month straight, finally. It has been a busy summer, full of travel and events, so I am excited to have some time at home.

    Ground up rice and spices for horchata

    Makes 7 servings
    Adapted from recipes from Rick Bayless and David Lebovitz

    2/3 cup white rice
    2 cinnamon sticks
    Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
    3 2-inch strips of lime zest (colored rind only) 3/4 inch wide
    3 cups of hot water
    3/4 – 1 cup sugar
    3 cups of cold water

    Grind the rice in a blender or spice grinder into fine pieces. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add in the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and lime zest. Stir in 3 cups of hot tap water, cover and let stand at least 6 hours or preferably, overnight.

    Remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the mixture into a blender and blend for 3 to 4 minutes, until it no longer feels very gritty. Add 2 cups of water, and then blend for a few seconds more. Set a large sieve over a mixing bowl and line with 3 layers of dampened cheese cloth. Pour in the mixture a little at time, gently stirring to help the liquid pass through. Squeeze the cheese cloth firmly to extract as much of the rice flavor as possible.

    Add 1 cup of water and stir in your desired amount of sugar, mix until the sugar is dissolved. Taste, and adjust sweetness, if necessary. If the consistency is too thick, add additional water. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Stir before pouring.  Serve over ice with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon on top.

  9. Thai Basil Mojito

    Thai Basil Mojito

    I wish I could take credit for the idea of this drink, but I can’t. My dad dreamt it up after tasting the thai basil I had growing in my garden. The thai basil has a subtle anise flavor and is very different from Italian basil. This was a refreshing summer drink, that was perfect for a hot day and grilling out.

    Thai Basil Mojito
    serves 1

    1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
    a small handful of fresh thai basil leaves
    1/2 tablespoon organic pure cane sugar (or 2 oz of simple syrup)
    2 oz white rum
    ice cubes
    club soda

    Place the lemon wedges at the bottom of a tall glass along with the basil leaves. Add sugar or simple syrup and muddle the mixture. Stir in the rum and top with ice. Top off with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge and couple thai basil leaves.

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