Sometime it feels like a childhood memory floods-in out of no where. We have been experiencing a beautiful albeit hot summer and as a result my mind got to wandering and daydreaming about iced tea. I haven’t had iced tea in a while due to the fact that I tend to be very sensitive to caffeine. Then…WHAM…memories of being a kid and making sun tea. My sister and I used to love to fill our mom’s big sun tea jar with water and tea bags. I figured, why wouldn’t it work with herbal tea bags?!?!
I spend the winter sipping Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion tea while dreaming about when peaches will be in season (apparently I do my fair share of daydreaming). Why not use the peach tea to make a wonderful summertime treat of Peach Sun Tea?
The great thing about sun tea is that you can make whatever flavor you like and you can steep it to your preferred strength. All it takes is a minute in the morning to fill your big glass jug with filtered water (I used an 8 cup Ball mason jar), then you drop in 4-6 tea bags, and place it out in the sun. Leave it out there all day if you’d like. We prepared ours before bringing my son to camp in the morning and came home to wonderful peach sun tea before dinnertime. My kids were amazed by how hot the tea was (we placed our jar in the backyard on the slate patio…the slate burns the heck out of our feet, so it is prime for making sun tea).
I have really been enjoying the tea on its own or sweetened with a little bit of stevia and have a feeling that it is going to be a staple for me throughout the summer. I look forward to making many different flavors of sun tea…Black Cherry Berry, Cranberry Apple Zinger, Tropic of Strawberry, Decaf Constant Comment (my Grammy’s favorite, so it will always be mine too), Decaf Green Tea…the list will go on and on.
I am always trying to create healthier desserts. I was inspired to make this dessert by some dates I had seen stuffed with cheese (I didn’t try them, but like the idea of stuffing dates). Since the dates are so sweet, the filling does not need to be…it would be overpowering if it was. I love how the orange flavor in the filling is subtle, but is definitely there.
These stuffed dates would be a great ending to a nice meal (or passed around on a platter as a sweet hors d’oeuvre). Brew some Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger herbal tea and offer the dates to your guests with sliced mandarins on the platter as well.
2 stuffed dates should be more than enough for each person. I did not make all 36 dates the last time I made these, so I froze the remaining filling to use on another occasion…I’ll let you know how it works out.
INGREDIENTS – makes up to 36 stuffed dates
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/3 cup orange juice (from approx. one orange)
2 Medjool dates
1 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cashews
zest of 1 orange + more for garnish
36 dates for stuffing
Place the coconut milk, orange juice, dates, walnuts, and cinnamon into your high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Once smooth, add the cashews and orange zest and blend until smooth.
Put the completed filling into a pastry bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (2 hours is best).
Prepare the dates by slicing lengthways down to the pit. Open the date carefully (you do not want to tear it in half) and use your fingers to form the date into a circle with the hole on top. Remove the pit.
Pipe the refrigerated filling into the prepared dates.
Top each filled date with a sprinkling of cinnamon and orange zest.
Serve with sliced oranges or mandarins as an accompaniment.
For a printable version of this recipe click here.