Spearmint Chocolate Chip Ice Blocks

Spearmint Chocolate Chip Ice Blocks

These have a delicate spearmint flavour and a nice texture (not too icy).  They can be chocolate-dipped for extra decadence and the avocado can be changed out for either banana or fresh coconut flesh.

I tried two versions: one using Spearmint Tea (the dried herb) and the other using fresh Spearmint.  Either works well.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • If using Spearmint Tea – Use 2 tablespoons of the tea and grind it into a powder
  • If using fresh Spearmint, Use 7g of fresh leaves, finely cut up
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 100g avocado
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 pieces (or thereabouts) 72% chocolate cut into fine pieces

 

METHOD

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate, to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. You may need to use a tamper to push the mixture down into the blades.
  3. Once mixed, use a spatula to remove the mixture from the blender into a bowl.
  4. Mix in the chocolate pieces, then carefully spoon the mixture into the ice block moulds.
  5. Remember to add your ice block sticks at this point, then place them in the freezer to freeze until hard.
  6. Once frozen, either eat them as they are or chocolate coat them if extra deliciousness.

 

NOTES:  To make a quick chocolate coating, use 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and to that add 2 tablespoon of cocoa and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.  Mix together and spoon over the frozen ice blocks.

Hibiscus & Rose Tea Jelly Tip Ice Creams

Hibiscus & Rose Jelly Tip Ice Creams by New Zealand Herbal Brew

The flavour from the hibiscus flowers and rose buds in the jelly part of this ice cream are really quite stunning and delicious.  You could use any tea flavours you like to make the jelly, or even use wine, cider or kombucha along with tea.

JELLY INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 T rose buds (heaped)
  • 1 T hibiscus flowers (heaped)
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons corn flour to thicken the mixture

ICE CREAM INGREDIENTS

  • 175g frozen banana (approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 162g (approx.) frozen pineapple juice (take 1 tin of pineapple pieces, strain the juice off and freeze in ice cube trays, use all of the frozen juice)
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream
  • 80g pineapple pieces
  • 1 T icing sugar

CHOCOLATE COATING INGREDIENTS

  • 2T dark cocoa
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 4 T coconut oil
  • (or for a richer coating, try Whitakers 72% dark chocolate instead)

METHOD – JELLY

  1. Make the tea by adding the boiled water to the hibiscus and rose buds in a heat proof jug.
  2. Stir and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, then strain and add the tea to a small pot, along with the maple syrup and bring to a boil.
  3. In a small dish, add 2 teaspoons (approximately) of cold water to the corn flour and mix well.
  4. Turn the heat down on the stove and stirring the tea vigorously, slowly pour in the corn flour mixture.
  5. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes clear and thickens. 
  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to a luke-warm temperature.
  7. Divide the mixture between four ice block molds and freeze while you make the ice cream.

METHOD – ICE CREAM

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and on a low setting, carefully blend everything until it is well combined.  You’ll need to use the tamper to push the mixture down into the blades as it will become very thick.
  2. Spoon the mixture on top of the jelly mixture in the ice block molds.
  3. Add your ice block stick to each ice cream at this point.
  4. Return to the freezer and freeze for several hours or until hard.

METHOD – CHOCOLATE COATING

  1. Melt the coconut oil, then add the maple syrup and cocoa powder.  Mix well.
  2. Have a baking tray lined with tin foil ready to go so you can place the coated ice creams on  there.  (Due to the tricky nature of the chocolate coating and the melting ice cream, you may have to keep the tray in the freezer and ‘ferry’ each newly coated ice cream to the freezer)
  3. Run the ice block molds under hot water to loosen them, and carefully pry them out as you need them. 
  4. Spoon the chocolate coating over the ice cream until it is well covered.
  5. Freeze until ready to eat.

NOTES

  • If the jelly tip falls off the ice cream when you attempt to chocolate coat it, simply sit it back on top of the ice cream and gently push it together.  The chocolate will help to hold it in place.

Hibiscus & Orange Syrup With Baked Pears

Hibiscus & Orange Syrup with Baked Pears by New Zealand Herbal Brew

Delicious is an understatement for this dessert.  The Hibiscus & Orange Syrup can lend itself to many different desserts and perhaps even a chicken dish.

Ingredients – Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Hibiscus Flower Tea
  • Zest and juice of a small orange
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 teaspoons corn flour to thicken the syrup
  • 1 cup boiled water
Method – Syrup
  1. Make the hibiscus tea by infusing the flowers in the boiled water for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain and add to a small pot.
  3. Add the orange zest and juice, the maple syrup and cloves and bring to the boil.
  4. Turn down the heat.  Mix the cornflower with a small amount of water to make a runny paste, then add it to the pot stirring constantly.
  5. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes clear.
  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Ingredients – Baked Pears
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Method – Baked Pears
  1. Carefully remove the core leaving the stalk intact.
  2. Mix the almonds and dates together.
  3. Stuff each pear with the almond and date mixture, packing it firmly into the pear.
  4. Place in a baking dish and add the butter to the dish.
  5. Bake at 180C for approximately 1 hour – take care to check them regularly to ensure they don’t burn.
  6. Remove from oven and arrange on serving dishes.  Spoon over the syrup.
  7. Serve with Cointreau-infused chocolate avocado mousse and whipped cream.

Gin Infusion Recipe

Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew

After trialing several different infusions, this one was the winner by a mile by our gin enthusiast-relatives! 

Its the grapefruit that really gives it a lovely lift and vibrancy.

Create your own blend, use the recipe below or divide the litre of vodka into two or four and create a series of recipe variations using different citrus and varying ratios of herbs and spices.

 

Ingredients
  • 1 litre vodka
  • 16g Juniper Berries
  • 4g Angelica Root
  • 4x Cardamom Pods
  • 12g Coriander Seeds (crush lightly)
  • 3.5g Liquorice Root
  • 2g Cinnamon (cassia) – either pieces or quills (not powder)
  • 1/6 teaspoon (yes, one sixth of a teaspoon or 1/2 gram) Orris Root Powder
  • 4 teaspoons fresh grapefruit peel
Method
  1. Decant the vodka into a large glass jar. 
  2. Mix all botanicals in with the vodka, stirring well. 
  3. Place the lid on allow to sit for 48 hours. 
  4. You can either give the jar a shake (if the lid seals properly) or give it a stir a couple of times during the 48 hours. 
  5. Strain and enjoy with your favourite tonic or mixer.
Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Gin Infusion Recipe by New Zealand Herbal Brew

Freshly Made Tonic Water Recipe

Freshly Made Tonic Water Recipe

After a few attempts at making tonic water at home, I like this version the best. 

It’s not too sweet and uses fresh stevia leaves which could be changed out with stevia liquid or dried leaves, it has plenty of citrus flavour and enough cinchona flavour (the plant responsible for that recognisable quinine taste).

You can easily swap around the herbs and spices for those that you prefer.

As this is a concentrated recipe, you can dilute it to your taste liking with sparkling water or still water if you prefer.

This recipe makes about 700 millilitres (a little over a pint) and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Ingredients
  • 4g cinchona bark
  • 4g citric acid
  • 4g lemon zest (approx. 1 medium lemon)
  • 75ml lemon juice (I used a medium meyer lemon which are very juicy)
  • 3g lime zest (approx. 1 medium lime)
  • 30 ml lime juice (approx. 1 medium lime)
  • 8g lemon grass, fresh and chopped roughly
  • 1g fennel seeds
  • 1g allspice berries
  • 1 x clove
  • 3g stevia leaves, fresh (approx. 8 x medium sized leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • 1g lemon verbena, fresh, (approx. 10cm or 4in sprig)
  • 700ml water

 

Method
  1. Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Strain, bottle and refrigerate.

 

Gin & Tonic

Depending on your flavour preference and how strong you like your G&T, you can adjust the amount of sparkling soda water and gin to suit yourself.

70ml of tonic water combined with 35ml of gin and approximately 200-250ml of soda water, served over  ice and with a slice of fresh lemon in a tall glass.

Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls

Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls by New Zealand Herbal Brew

These delicious Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls are filled with warming Chai spices, dark chocolate chips and yummy nut butter which make for aa tasty energy snack or after dinner treat.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 tablespoons nut butter (I used Everything Butter by Fix & Fogg)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (I used our own raw, unpasteurised honey)
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Whittakers 72% dark)
  • 1 tablespoon Ashwaganda, powdered
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa or cacoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Your choice of ingredients to roll the balls in; I used cornflowers, slivered almonds, coconut, cocoa powder and freeze-dried black currant powder
METHOD
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined into a large ball.
  2. Take spoonful’s and roll into balls.
  3. Roll in toppings of your choice.

Store these amazing Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Makes approximately 9 large balls.

Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Chocolate Ashwaganda Energy Balls by New Zealand Herbal Brew

Homemade Lemon Pepper

Homemade Lemon Pepper by New Zealand Herbal Brew
INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns, hand crushed
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup dried onion pieces, hand crushed
  • 1/4 cup dried garlic pieces, hand crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds, hand crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons coriander seeds, hand crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped
METHOD
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  2. Dehydrate for 3 hours @ 50C.  Stir every hour to prevent clumping.
NOTES
  • Hand crush the larger ingredients using a motar and pestle as you want some pieces to be very small and others to be a little larger.
  • Use the oven on the lowest setting (probably around 50C) try it with fanbake, but check regularly to make sure it doesn’t ‘over cook’ everything.
  • Try using fresh onion and garlic instead of dried versions.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Healthy Chocolate & Fennel Truffles

Healthy Chocolate & Fennel Truffles
Healthy Chocolate & Fennel Truffles
INGREDIENTS
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cashew nuts
1 cup raisins covered with water and soaked for 10 minutes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
1 cup of desiccated coconut for rolling the truffles in
 
METHOD
  1. Soak the raisins for 10 minutes in enough water to cover them. Then strain the raisins, but keep the liquid as you may need to add some of it into the mixture later.
  2. Add the sunflower seeds and cashew nuts to a food processor and chop until very fine.
  3. Next add the raisins, vanilla paste, cocoa or cacao powder and fennel seeds. Process until the mixture starts to form a ball.
  4. If the mixture stays separated, then add a tablespoon of the liquid from the raisins into it and process again for another 15 seconds. Repeat this IF needed until the mixture forms a ball and binds together.
  5. Next, remove teaspoon-sized balls from the processor and roll in your palms until round.
  6. Roll each ball in the coconut until well covered.
  7. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
 
OTHER FLAVOR SUGGESTIONS:
  • – Freshly squeezed orange juice can be used to soak the raisins and the addition of orange zest then added to the mixture as another delicious option.
  • – Substitute the fennel seeds with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint leaves.
  • – Roll the truffles in cocoa or cacao powder or finely chopped nuts as an alternative.

Herbal Tea Spritzers For Summer

Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew

Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer

They taste better than a soft drink and are a healthier option.  Most herbal teas can be consumed hot or cold and many make refreshing drinks when served over ice and with sparkling water on a hot day.  Try this delicious Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer recipe this summer or on any hot day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of Hibiscus Flowers
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of Elderflowers
  • 4 fresh stevia leaves
  • 250ml of boiled water
  • 200-300ml of sparkling water
  • Ice

METHOD

  1. Add the Hibiscus Flowers, Elderflowers and stevia leaves to a heat proof jug, then add the boiled water.
  2. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and allow the tea to cool.
  4. Once cooled, use a tall glass and add ice.
  5. Next add half of the tea and top up with sparkling water.

This recipe makes two glasses.

Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer
Hibiscus & Elderflower Spritzer by New Zealand Herbal Brew

Chocolate Spearmint Bliss Balls

Chocolate Spearmint Bliss Balls

These bliss balls are a tasty alternative to commercial after dinner mints and have been rolled in coconut and spirulina for an interesting green look.  Enjoy one with a cup of spearmint tea after dinner to assist with digestion.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea or pink salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 5 teaspoons spearmint tea
  • To roll the balls in you will need: ½ cup desiccated coconut and 1 tablespoon spirulina powder.

Method:
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor (except for the coconut and spirulina used to roll the balls in) and pulse until well mixed. 
  2. If the mixture is too wet, a little more desiccated coconut can be added or if the mixture is too dry, a little more coconut oil can be added. 
  3. Take teaspoons full of the mixture and roll into balls. 
  4. Mix the additional coconut with the spirulina and roll the balls in it, coating them well. 
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Spearmint Tea (certified organic) is available from our website: