Fresh Pineapple and Cinnamon Tea

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When my husband Marcelo was little, he and his mom were really poor.  They had to make the most of everything they had; wasting food was never an option.  But it wasn’t just a matter of choking down every last pea on the plate just because you had to.  Imagination and ingenuity helped them to create the food experiences lots of people take for granted.  I cherish the stories Marcelo tells me about him as a little boy purposefully serving himself just a portion of the food available so that he could go back for the thrill of “seconds” or even “thirds”.  Sometimes they used just one egg for both the main meal and dessert.  How?  My mother-in-law fried the egg yolk up and served it over rice.  Later the egg white was whipped into a frothy foam made with a tiny bit of liquor and sugar.  Now that is how to make an egg stretch!

Another family favorite, I promise, will never let you see the rind of a pineapple the same way again!   Now, instead of just tossing away the bulky core and rind of a freshly cut pineapple, I literally cannot help but put it to another simple but ingenious use – a deliciously sweet and cinnamon-y tea!  This recipe is not only easy but makes you feel really good because you’re getting the most out of that precious fruit.  Plus I’ve found it’s just the prefect thing to brighten up a chilly night.

Once you try this recipe I’m sure you will never throw another pineapple rind away again!  I’m so obsessed with this drink that even if I don’t have time to make it right away, I toss the leftover pineapple parts in a bag and freeze them for later.  I happen to love the combination of the distinct taste of stevia with the sweet and sour taste of pineapple.  Living in Ecuador, our all natural sweetener choices are a bit limited compared to living in other parts so I like to take advantage of using natural stevia leaves where it makes sense especially since they’re a product grown locally and very fairly priced.

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The rind and core of a whole pineapple
1 cinammon stick
1 T dried stevia leaves, honey or natural sweetner to taste
8-10 cups of water

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Cover with water.  Bring the water to a boil.  Once it is boiling turn the heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes.  At this point the tea is ready to drink but I like to put the cover on the pot and let everything steep for an hour or more to get a really good infusion.  Once infused, pull out the big chunks of pineapple rind and core with a slotted spoon, discard, then run the tea through an fine strainer and into a container.  The tea can be served hot or over ice. The leftovers can be bottled and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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