Wednesday, 25 January 2012

zucchini tea. cool as can be.

What do you do when life hands you too many zucchinis?

Why, make zucchini tea, of course.

Iced zucchini tea... light and refreshing.

If you think about it, making tea out of zucchini isn't really such a crazy idea. After all, I love winter melon tea. Zucchini and winter melon have somewhat similar taste profiles, so... why not?

Why not, indeed.

My zucchini tea was inspired by one of my favourite drinks, winter melon tea.

My instincts were correct: While not exactly identical to the Yeo's winter melon tea I grew up drinking, it was quite similar. The gentle hint of zucchini. The sweet fragrance of caramelised sugar. Two simple elements that come together to create a cool, light, and refreshing beverage... the sort of stuff you really appreciate having in the fridge on a warm, sultry day.

(P.S. It's now officially the Year of the Dragon! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!)

cool zucchini tea

400 - 500g zucchini (approx. 1 pound)
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1500ml water (6 cups)

Cut zucchini into small pieces. If the zucchini you have is not organically grown, peel before chopping.
Heat up the sugar in a pot or saucepan over a medium flame. When it melts and turns brown, add in the zucchini pieces and all the water.
Bring to boil, then simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is very soft and tender - the time will vary depending on the size of the pieces. Strain through a sieve.
(If you like, extract more of that zucchini goodness by mashing the pieces against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon, and press the juices out through the sieve as well. Otherwise, you can use the zucchini pieces as compost, or even freeze and use in smoothies.)
If you prefer a sweeter drink, add more sugar to taste.
Chill in the fridge for a few hours and serve cold. If you can't wait, pop in some ice cubes and serve immediately.

Get your tea on with zucchini.

44 comments:

  1. I'll remember this next August!

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  2. This is so cool, I've never seen it before! I'll have to give it a go next time I have a lot of them. Thanks!

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  3. This does sound refreshing! And unusual! My son is on a zucchini kick right now. I think he mainly likes to say the word :)

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  4. I can't say I am convinced... but I've never tried winter melon tea!

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    1. See if you can get some winter melon tea (I like the Yeo's brand) at your local Asian grocery and give it a try.

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  5. um...COOL! What a funky idea, I love it! :)
    Heidi xo

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  6. How refreshing! What a unique drink! Does this work with other veggies as well?

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    1. Hey Lou, it would depend on the vegetable. All you can do is make an educated guess and attempt it and find out, I think!

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  7. What a nifty idea! This will be perfect in the summer when my garden overflows with an abundance of zucchinis. It looks refreshing and easy and unique. I have never heard of such a thing, so this is quite neat.
    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Sparrow Grace! I made this precisely because I have been visiting my aunt and her garden was overflowing with zucchinis. I thought it would be interesting to make something sweet with them.

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  8. I think this might taste slight more exotic if you add some pandanus leaves and Manuka honey

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    1. I think I prefer caramelised sugar over honey in this tea, but I do like the idea of adding pandan leaves! I'm sure I'll make zucchini tea again so I might try that next time. Thanks, Michelle. :)

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  9. Another very interesting post, so glad I found you!

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  10. When I read your title my mind boggled, but then I remember being served iced cucumber water after a massage at a spa in Asheville, and how it blew my mind, and now I'm completely on the zucchini tea bandwagon! Fantabulous!

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    1. Oh, that cucumber water sounds lovely too. Yes, jump on the zucchini tea bandwagon with me! :D

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  11. What an unusual recipe. I've never heard of zuchinni tea. I'd give it a try though :)

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  12. Thats such a good idea, sounds so cool and refreshing! I wish I had known about this last summer, we had a massive glut of courgettes from our garden!

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  13. Wow - have never heard of zucchini tea before but you might just have convinced me...

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  14. Wow, I've never heard of zucchini tea OR winter melon tea. Sounds interesting though...I'll have to look for it the next time I go to the Asian market. I like refreshing drinks, so hopefully I'll like it!

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  15. Wow -that's not something I would ever have thought of doing! Nice idea.

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  16. This looks really yum, great spin on the traditional green tea!

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  17. Wooooo... A drink inspired by the Yeo's boxed drinks?! The stuff is so, so quintessentially Msian/Sporean, I love it!! Played a huge part in my school days and also CNY celebrations haha. I got thirsty from looking at the first pitcher qwith ice cubes in it. Definitely making this when I get back to Oz, where zucchinis are cheaper. Am sure my friends would love this too! =D

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    1. Yes, Yeo's played a big part in my CNY celebrations too! There's always a few big cartons lying about and we'd just help ourselves... :D

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  18. Wow, zucchini tea is so alien to me, I can't imagine how it would taste - so I'll just have to try making it! :)

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  19. Dear leaf,

    This is one great idea for summer and I would definitely prefer it chilled with lots of ice too!

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  20. I would love to try it! it sounds simply great

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  21. Not sure about zucchinis, but life is handing me too many cucumbers at the minute (and similar, strange bulbous shapes as your zucchini!). What to do with a cucumber glut?

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    1. If I had too many cucumbers I'd make a frozen treat like ice cream, sorbet or granita, I think. I've made cucumber granita before and I loved it.

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  22. What an amazing, unusual drink! It's been a long time someone surprised me with a recipe as much as you did! It is so intriguing, I will bookmark it and wait until it's the courgette season here to make it. (The greenhouse imported courgettes are not half as good...).

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  23. Hi, I'm dealing with a lot of zucchini at the moment and this sounds ace. Thanks!

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  24. Yay, I'm back on!! What a lovely idea for a refreshing tea. I enjoy cucumber water frequently but have never tried zucchini tea... this is a keeper!

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  25. Well I never :P This actually sounds really yummy. I've done this using cucumbers but never zucchinis. Sounds very good for you :)

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  26. Wow Leaf, I would never have thought to do this. I love all your wonderful original recipes here :)

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  27. Wow, super unusual, and yet, a perfect beverage for the summer (and we have plenty of zucchini on this side of the planet in the summer).
    This is a superb idea! :)
    Take care! xxx

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  28. What an interesting and clever little idea! Would never really think to try making tea from a fresh green vegetable! :)

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  29. You've done it again, Leaf. This is wonderfully creative. We have an over-abundance of zucchini out on the farm. Should absolutely try this out.

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  30. Wow, what a creative drink! Sounds healthy, cool, and refreshing too.

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  31. Sorry I've been slack with replying to comments lately. Thank you everyone for your lovely words! xx

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  32. hmmmm, not sure I could do this one, I don't really like zucchini! Looks lovely though!

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  33. This is the first time i heard about this zucchini tea.

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  34. I would've made cake :) But tea.. wow, this looks interesting!

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  35. this is interesting. i like zucchini, tho as a savory ingredient. i am not sure i could handle it sweet (nevermind that i love zucchini bread...).

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  36. You know..this is crazy enough for me to try it! I thought "Whaaat?" when I saw the post.. but you've kind of convinced me to give it a go! :)

    Cheers,
    Maria
    http://foodiewanderings.blogspot.com

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  37. I totally was like "NO WAI" when I saw this, but I am totally giving this a try this summer.

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