“Cranberry tea” w/ Lemon & Strawberry Coconut Water

Hi and welcome back to Ria Lives Well!

On my Twitter account the other day, I found Kathy Patalsky’s (Lunchbox Bunch writer) tweet about her “morning cure all”.lunchbox

“A morning cure all?” I pondered the statement and it didn’t take long for me to reach a declaration: “Sounds tasty.” I didn’t even know what it was. But I had a good feeling she had whipped up yet another deelish recipe.

Wouldn’t you know, her “morning cure all” was tea! Yay. I cannot get enough of healthy (and even downright fatty) hot drinks. Her recipe was tea with berries and lemon slices. Since I love hot drinks first thing in the morning, there was no hesitation: I tried it in my own morning rotation.

I kept to her recipe, but rather than adding goji berries, I threw in my favorite dried fruit: cranberries. I also added a pinch of cloves because, well, do I have to say it? Cloves are amazing. You can’t go wrong with cloves. Ooobviously.

Fortnum & Mason tea. I miss you, London!!!
Fortnum & Mason tea. I miss you, London!!!

Other than these minor adjustments, the recipe stayed the same.

Black Tea with Cranberries & Lemon:

Inspired by Lunchbox Bunch

  • 8 oz water
  • 1 small lemon, squeezed (seedless)
  • 1.5 tablespoons cranberries (or goji, blueberries, cherry–your preference)
  • 2 pinches cayenne
  • 1 pinch cloves (optional but highly recommended)
  • 4 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 bag black tea


  • Boil water.
  • Place tea and berries in a tea cup
  • Take a fork and puncture the berries (release that flava’)
  • Pour water into your tea cup. Steep for 3 minutes.
  • Add preferred amount of lemon juice. Add maple syrup, cayenne & cloves.
  • Stir & enjoy
Fresh lemons in the morning...so rejuvenating.
Fresh lemons in the morning…so rejuvenating.

This cranberry tea with lemon is soothing and perfect for cold mornings when you can’t get out of bed. This gives you a reason. I’ll keep it as a staple in my in my morning rotations, right after my morning stretches–at least for the time being. It gives me a nice kick, as if to say: “Up and at ’em, up and at ’em!” I like that feeling. Thanks, cayenne pepper. And thanks, moderately caffeinated black tea. And cranberries, loaded with all those antioxidants. And thanks, lemon, for–oh hell, every ingredient can be thanked for the wonderful, “up and at ’em” outcome.

Hmm. Now, if only my food photography was a little better. Not much, just 1,000 TIMES BETTER…that’d be great.

I’ll be trying her original recipe soon. But for now, I do like the touch of cranberries.

So about that strawberry coconut water…

How badly do you hate coconut water? Aside from my Caribbean relatives, I haven’t come across a single person who enjoys the taste of coconut water, and that includes me. But why should we add this drink to our diet?

  1. The sweet water inside of a coconut offers vitamins, electrolytes, enzymes, and amino acids. I read an informative Nutrition & You article on why these properties are beneficial, so if you would like to learn more (knowledge is power, y’all) then check it out.
  2. The nutrients found in coconut water will improve the quality of your hair. Most people I know who drink coconut water do so for vanity reasons. It’s nature’s beauty liquid. You can either drink it or use it to wash your hair. It’s also great for smooth skin. By keeping skin cells healthy, it keeps you looking young. No pimples. No blackheads. No wrinkles. Clear skin.

But like I said, I do not like the taste of coconut water on it’s own. So I gave it some added flava’, such as strawberries and pineapple, and I was more than happy with the outcome.

Strawberry Coconut Water

  • 1 cup organic coconut water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (from a can)
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 6 strawberries
  • 2 ice cubes

Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Before sampling my strawberry coconut water, I had my maple syrup prepped for inclusion. But the drink is sweet on it’s own. Now go out for a jog and treat yourself to some better-than-old-fashioned coconut water.

~Live Well!


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