Recipe: Desert Berry Smoothie

Turning limitation into inspiration, this is the second in a series of recipes born of a 14-day cleanse. Living in a hotel, with no kitchen appliances save a kettle, a borrowed blender, and a knife, in the middle of the Western Region deserts in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, where grocery shopping leaves much to be desired. And yet, we’ve come up with some pretty tasty treats!

So what makes this recipe particularly Desert-y, you might ask.  The base of the drink is rose tea, commonly found in the Middle East.  With a hint of fresh mint and summer’s finest strawberries, it’s a potpourri of  refreshment perfect for a hot day.  Don’t forget to check out the health benefits at the end of the recipe . . .


  • 1 box of seasonal berries – I used strawberries
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 5 rose tea bags
  • optional: agave nectar, honey, molasses, or date syrup to taste


  1. Brew 5 rose tea bags in a kettle of one pint of freshly boiled water.
  2. Allow the tea to cool.  You may want to place it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.  If you prefer a frozen smoothie, pour the rose water into ice cube trays.
  3. Wash and prepare the strawberries and mint and place them in the blender.
  4. Add the rose water, once it’s cool, and blend.
  5. Add sweeteners to taste.

The mint in this drink is great for soothing an upset belly,and as we all know, strawberries are a great source of phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamin C, especially when consumed within two days of picking.  Additionally, strawberries are fantastic fruits for diabetics.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website,

“…scientists have recently discovered a fascinating relationship between intake of strawberries, table sugar, and blood sugar levels. As you might expect, excess intake of table sugar (in a serving size of 5-6 teaspoons) can result in an unwanted blood sugar spike. But you might not expect this blood sugar spike to be reduced by simultaneous consumption of strawberries! Yet that’s exactly what researchers have discovered. With the equivalent of approximately one cup of fresh strawberries (approximately 150 grams), blood sugar elevations from simple sugar intake can be reduced.”

Add the claimed health benefits for rose tea, and this is one spectacular smoothie!

FYI: Cleansing Food Guidelines


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