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Break out the Bubbly!

With New Year’s Eve festivities behind us, toast to springtime with healthy homemade bubble tea.

EUGENIA UhL PHOTOGRAPH

The holidays may be good for the soul, but they can be hard on the body – especially in New Orleans. For your next celebration, raise your glass to good health with bubble tea. The unique frozen nonalcoholic drink originated in Taiwan but is making its way west and stirring up a craze at coffee bars from New York to San Francisco. Made primarily of black or green tea, ice, milk and large “bubble-like” tapioca pearls, it’s lower in sugar than regular soda and lower in caffeine than iced coffee. Shake up the traditional Asian recipe by adding coconut, mango or litchi for a fruity flavor that you’ll come to crave.

Traditional Bubble Tea

2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar (to be boiled with the tapioca pearls)
1/2 cup large tapioca pearls or 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
1 cup chilled brewed black or green tea
2 tablespoons milk (can be adjusted to taste)
4 teaspoons sugar (can be adjusted to taste)
1 cup ice cubes
Crushed fresh fruit (optional)  

• Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the teaspoon of sugar, and add the tapioca pearls. Cook the tapioca for about 20 to 30 minutes, and stir frequently to prevent sticking. Drain, rinse, and chill the pearls in the refrigerator.

• Pour the chilled tea, milk and sugar into a cocktail shaker, and shake until well-mixed. If desired, add crushed fresh fruit. Add the ice cubes, and shake until cold.

• Fill the bottom of a glass with the tapioca pearls, and pour in the tea mixture. 

Note: Cooking time is a general guideline. A shorter cooking time will result in chewier tapioca pearls.

Recipe from the Asia Society.

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