I host a Valentine’s tea party every year. This year, why disturb a perfectly healthy eating pattern with cupcakes and cookies full of refined sugar and white flour? I set out gathering recipes from my favorite clean eating blogs to come up with the menu. The desserts had to be clean, but also had to be aesthetically pleasing. In other words, the final product should “be” healthy but not “look” healthy. The result was a pretty presentation with tasty treats that didn’t send guests’ blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.
I had a mix of loose leaf and bagged tea. Since I had many different kinds of tea, I printed a list of selections and handed them to the guests as they arrived. The loose leaf tea came from Discover Teas. Their tea knowledge and custom blends are unparalleled. I highly recommend a visit to their stores in Newport News and Williamsburg, Virginia or their online store. I served Genmaicha, Orange Spice, Peaceful Pathways, and Williamsburg Port mixed with Mulling Spice. I made their Lady Hannah’s Whole Fruit the night before and served it chilled for those who wanted a cold beverage.
While I am trying to move away from bagged tea, I still have quite a collection. I won’t bore you with the entire list. My favorite brands are Equal Exchange and Numi. Why? Read Food Babe’s post “Do You Know What’s Really in Your Tea?” It’s an eye opening explanation of how toxic bagged tea can be. It will make you want to move over to loose leaf, too. Or, at least to her recommended brands of bagged tea.
- Cranberry Cinnamon Scones: Adapted from The Gracious Pantry’s Clean Eating Cinnamon Raisin Mini Scones recipe. I used Eden Foods Organic Dried Cranberries because they are sweetened with juice instead of sugar and I like cranberries better than raisins.
- Cucumber Tea Sandwiches: I used pumpernickel and rye cocktail breads from the grocery store. While not completely clean, the ingredients weren’t that bad. Shave off the rind of the cucumber. Slice to desired thickness and put one or two slices on the bread. For a spread on the cucumber sandwiches, I used Health Magazine’s Yogurt Dip recipe. I used half yogurt and half sour cream.
- Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches:
Hard boil eggs. I boiled them the night before using the method found on Simply Recipes. Boil one egg for every guest and then add extra so the eggs fit tightly in the bottom of the pot. After the eggs have cooled, shell the eggs. Remove yolks and place yolks in a bowl. Use one yolk for every two eggs. Cut the whites using an egg slicer. Place whites in a separate bowl. Once all eggs are separated, add 1 tbsp of mayonnaise to the yolks and stir. Continue adding 1 tbsp at a time until you have your desired consistency. To the yolk/mayonnaise mixture, add salt and pepper to taste. For 8 egg yolks plus 6 tbsp mayonnaise, I added 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Stir. Add yolk mixture to the egg whites and mix thoroughly.
Mayonnaise is not bad for you in moderation and if you buy a good quality brand. I’ve never found a decent mayonnaise on the regular shelf at the grocery store. I use Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Mayonnaise.
- German Oatmeal Cookies: Recipe from The Gracious Pantry
- Organic crackers with Trader Joe’s Horseradish Hummus and fresh mozzarella cheese
- Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies: I used the recipe from Food.com but rolled the dough out instead and baked for 10 minutes. I wanted something to be in the shape of a heart for a Valentine’s tea!
- Zucchini Bread: Recipe from The Gracious Pantry
You can buy Equal Exchange products, Numi teas, Eden Foods Organic Dried Cranberries, and Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Mayonnaise at Vitacost. Use this link to receive $10 off of your first purchase.
Hosting a healthy Valentine’s tea party was simple, fun, and tasty. I was able to share good food and good tea with good friends. What more could a girl ask for? I took pleasure in knowing that I didn’t compromise my guests’ health with an overabundance of refined sugar. With so many clean eating recipe blogs out there these days, planning a healthy menu doesn’t have to be a burden anymore. What menu items will you “clean up” for your next gathering?
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