A Bite Inspired by… Winter:
Cold weather got you down? Try my recipe for Green Tea Cinnamon Syrup with Almonds! Warm and sticky with a kick of spice, this delicious treat is sure to become your new winter and year-round favorite! You can serve it on anything from pancakes to waffles to oatmeal to savory dishes to liven up any meal. Easy to make and guaranteed to warm you up!
I absolutely love winter. It’s honestly one of my favorite times of the year. The crisp air, the holidays, the potential for snow—all good things in my book. The not so good? When it gets SO COLD that my face feels like it’s going to fall off. Not so pleasant. On days like this, I need something comforting that’ll stick to my ribs and warm me up from head to toe. This desperate desire to find warmth in the wintertime was the inspiration for my latest recipe: Green Tea Cinnamon Syrup with Almonds.
How did this recipe come about? Last week I was out all day in negative degree wind-chill. Needless to say, when I got home, I was frozen through and through. All I wanted was warm and comforting food that would give me life again. The challenge? Once I was home, I wasn’t prepared to go outside in the cold again for ingredients. I needed to use what I already had in my kitchen. I needed to get creative. This is how some of the best recipes are born.
So what does Alyssa, the food blogger, keep in her kitchen? Surprisingly little. The number one thing I actually had on hand that day was hundreds of tea bags (I buy in bulk). I’m a huge tea drinker– at least 4-6 cups of either black or green tea everyday. Nothing warms me up and makes me feel happy like a hot cup of tea. Green tea has such a delicious, floral flavor plus tons of antioxidants. I instantly knew I had to incorporate it into my “warm” recipe.
Another staple in my house is roasted almonds. They have an addicting crunch and provide a nice boost of protein for a midday snack. But, how could I tie green tea and almonds together to create a cohesive, winter-inspired recipe? I had plenty of sugar on hand, so my first thought was to create a green tea and almond brittle, but I didn’t have all the ingredients to make the sugar harden. I flavors felt right, but I needed a different vehicle for them.
Then, right on cue, my roommate gets home from work, nukes a frozen pancake, pours maple syrup on it, and starts eating it as a snack. BOOM! A light bulb went off. I could use these ingredients to make a syrup. A warm, sticky, gooey syrup that could be served on top of pancakes, waffles, French toast, or anywhere else you would use regular syrup. It’s a perfect way to beat the winter chill. Plus, for the lucky ones that don’t have to deal with single digit and negative temperatures in the winter, who doesn’t love brunch? This recipe was inspired by winter weather, but it’s perfect for anytime and anywhere.
I used green tea as a base instead of water and infused it with cinnamon sticks to add an extra layer of warmth. I finished the syrup with the almonds and a little crushed red pepper (omit for the kids or if you don’t like spicy foods). If the green tea and cinnamon haven’t already warmed you up, that little kick of spice certainly will. I used a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper because I love spicy stuff, but you can also use a 1/8 teaspoon and get a similar effect.
This story ends with my roomie and I eating microwaved pancakes for dinner that night. Normally, this would not be considered a particularly exciting meal, but the Green Tea Cinnamon Syrup made it feel special. It has such a unique and balanced flavor that puts regular syrup to shame. And, like I said, you can really put this syrup on anything! Since I made it, I’ve had it on oatmeal, poured it over almond butter toast, and even drizzled it on fried chicken. This syrup seriously has a magical ability to turn regular food into SPECTACULAR food. And yes, it really does warm you up! Give it a try and see for yourself. If you find any other creative uses for this syrup, feel free to share with me and others in the comments below.
Whether you’re dealing with freezing temperatures or basking in sunny warmth this winter, this syrup will truly take your breakfast, brunch, or, even, dinner to a whole new level. Enjoy!
- 1 cup of green tea, cooled (see notes)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups of sugar
- ½ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- Pour green tea into a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick.
- Heat to a slow boil on medium high. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce to low.
- Steep on low for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and take out the cinnamon stick with a slotted spoon.
- Put the pot with the tea back on the stove and heat on medium-high until just boiling.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in sugar. Be sure the mixture is no longer boiling, so the sugar won't burn.
- Stir mixture well until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Add almonds and crushed red pepper. Serve immediately
This syrup will keep for several days, covered, in the refrigerator. Before serving, stir well with a spoon and warm it up in the microwave. It can also be served cold, but it’s best warm!