If you thought tea is only for drinking, think again. Teas or tisanes can add a smoky, floral, grassy or spicy note to many of your dishes. So give it a try and discover a whole new world of flavors to add to your spice cabinet.
I’m sure if you start using tea to cook your meals you’ll never look at your cup of tea in the same way. Every time you’ll take a sip you’ll be thinking on how to incorporate their delicious flavor into your meals.
And let’s not forget, teas and tisanes are packed with a wide range of antioxidants and other beneficial and healing nutrients to improve health and happiness.
Cooking with Tea
1. Infuse cooking liquids
Substitute cooled steeped tea in any recipe that calls for water. Or steep your tea directly into broth or cream as you would steep it in water. And why not try and cook potatoes, pasta, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or other grains in lightly brewed tea instead of water.
2. Infused Milk (or nut milks)
Infuse milk or cream to add a sweet or savory note to dishes that call for milk or cream. Slowly heat the milk or cream just below its boiling point and steep teabags or loose leaves as you would make tea. Let cool before adding to your favorite dishes. Sencha works great in a béchamel sauce or try lavender or chamomile for creme brûlée, ice cream, or other milk or cream based desserts.
3. Infused butter
Infuse butter (preferably clarified butter or ghee) with tea leaves, whole or ground, to add extra zing to bread, biscuits, and many other cooked or baked foods. The only thing you need to do is let the butter become soft, stir in the leaves or ground tea powder, shape in a log and wrap in plastic foil. Store in the fridge to let it harden.
4. Use as a seasoning
Grind oolong, earl grey, or genmaicha in a coffee grinder to make a great rub for chicken or steaks. They can also be added to sauces or sprinkled on salads without the need to steep them first.
For marinades you can either steep the leaves fresh or use leftover brewed teas instead.
6. Tenderize meat
Camellia, black tea, and rooibos are great flavor enhancers and tenderize meat. Steep a strong tea, let cool to marinade before cooking.
7. Tea Cookies
Flavor your cookies with matcha powder, ground loose-leaf teas or tisanes, or rip open a few teabags and use that for extra tasty cookies. Or use tea infused butter instead.
8. Liquid base for smoothie
Boost your morning green smoothie with tea. Instead of using water, nut milks, or fresh juices as liquid base, try steeped tea of your choice instead.
Make sure to use high quality, organic teas and tisanes. They have a fuller, richer flavor and don’t contain nasty chemicals. Store them in a dark cool place in an airtight container. Make sure to not steep your teas too long as they will turn bitter when they sit too long.
As you can see your options are endless. Let your creativity rule!
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