Drinks: Ginger Beer Refresher {Recipe ReDux}

Super-refreshing, spicy and sweet all at once, ginger is definitely a favorite of mine. Despite this, I had mostly confined ginger to food applications. No more. After drinking my first Moscow Mule — and admittedly many more since then — I have been telling myself ‘I have to buy some ginger beer.’

So when I found out this month’s Recipe ReDux theme: “Beverages are Hot!”, I instantly knew the time was right to drink the proverbial koolaid. And while I’m all for an alcoholic cocktail, today I went with a non-alcoholic version (it was, after all, only 8 a.m. when I made this).

*In case you didn’t know, ginger beer does not generally contain alcohol. It tastes similar to ginger ale, but is brewed with real ginger and often times citrus fruits as well. To me, it tasted like a slightly spicy, though mostly sweet, ginger soda.

gingerbeer_mandarin_mint_refresher

But what to mix with ginger beer? There were so many delicious flavor combination ideas: mandarin, blueberry, strawberries, berries of any kind, mint, lemon, lime, mango…and the list went on and on.

ginger_beer

Somehow, I made a decision — no small feat for the indecisive type (clearly me): mandarin and fresh mint!

And thus the Ginger Beer Refresher was born!

Recipe: Ginger Beer Refresher

Yield: 1 cocktail

I made this virgin but it would be amazing mixed with vodka or rum. Let’s be honest, I’m going to make this again tonight before I go out. Would also be delicious if you swapped the mandarin for blueberries.

ginger_beer_cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) ginger beer (I used Reed’s, which was on the sweeter side)
  • 1 mandarin orange, such as a halo, segmented
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, torn
  • Ice cubes as needed

ingredients

Directions:

Place mandarin segments and mint in a glass and pour in ginger beer. Using a spoon, straw, or muddler, poke at the mint and mandarin to infuse the drink with more flavor.

ingredients2

pouring_gingerbeer

Enjoy!

ginger_beer_refresher

Super-easy, no?

Check out more amazing drink recipes from Recipe ReDux-ers by following the link below!

Wild Blueberry, Mint and Feta Farro Salad {Recipe ReDux Sponsored Post}

As you may know, I’ve gone wild blueberry crazy this week (not much different than most weeks).

Wild_Blueberries

But they are just so delicious and packed with nutrients. Do you know the difference between wild blueberries and regular, cultivated berries?

First off, wild blueberries have never been modified or messed with, meaning they are the same berry that existed 10,000 years ago. Which is pretty awesome.

Besides that, they have a more intense flavor and color, are smaller and thus you get more berries per pound and they have a higher concentration of beneficial phytochemicals — twice the antioxidants as compared to regular blueberries! Which means major health benefits (see laundry list below).

Wild_Blueberry_Farro_Salad

Wild Blueberries are the subject of hundreds of research studies looking at potential benefits to humans including:

  • Brain health
  • Anti-aging
  • Heart health
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Cancer prevention
  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Preventing UTIs
  • Eye health
  • Most Wild Blueberries are frozen at harvest, locking in their intense blueberry flavor and antioxidant power
  • Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh and may even retain their nutritional value longer
  • Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries are available year-round; they can be used right out of the freezer – no thawing required
  • Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries offer consumers the most convenient way to have the Antioxidant Superfruit at hand at all times.
  • Frozen Fresh Wild Blueberries make it easy to get your “Daily Dose of Wild Blue”
  • Frozen Wild Blueberries are an excellent value, they offer consistent quality, ease of use, high antioxidant content, health benefits, less spoilage, affordability.

Learn more about the benefits of wild blueberries here.

And with that, let’s talk recipes. Healthy food is only good for you if you actually eat it, and while wild blueberries are delicious on their own, they also lend themselves well to both sweet and savory applications. Check out my recipes for Wild Blueberry Truffles and Wild Blueberry, Avocado and Corn Salsa for more inspiration.

And if you are looking for more ways to use wild blueberries (clearly you should), they pair well with honey, mint, cilantro, basil and lemon, to name a few.

Recipe: Wild Blueberry, Mint and Feta Farro Salad

Farro is one of the oldest cultivated grains — enjoyed for roughly 5,000 years. It has a texture similar to barley with a nice, nutty taste. Like wild blueberries, farro is delicious in sweet and savory applications. Plus, it’s packed with fiber, protein and a wealth of other nutrients.

Makes: about 4 cups (serving size 1 cup)

*By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Farro_Wild_Blueberry_Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 1 cup wild blueberries
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/4 large lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Prepare farro according to package directions (generally requires about 25-35 minutes of cooking).

Gently mix prepared farro with remaining ingredients, being careful not to smash the wild blueberries.

This salad is delicious hot or cold. Serve with vegetables (cauliflower “rice” below) and fish or chicken (BBQ chicken was especially yummy).

Wild_Blueberry_Farro_Salad_with_BBQ_Chicken

Nutrition information (for 1 cup farro salad): Calories 229; Fat 4 g; Carbohydrates 40 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 8 g; Sodium 330 mg

More delicious wild blueberry recipes — follow the link below!