Cooking with tea & its health benefits
Why should you cook and bake with tea?
Tea is a popular drinking beverage, but it is also a great way to add flavour to your next culinary invention! And it’s probably already sitting in your cupboard, right?
Loose, or pre-bagged, tea is a versatile ingredient that can be used to naturally add subtle notes of flavour and fragrance to your cooking and baking. It adds unique tastes but also enhances the nutritional value of your food. Sometimes we use artificial flavouring without considering the consequences of adding chemicals and additives to our food. Using tea, which is a natural ingredient, will help you avoid those harmful substances.
Tea can be used in a variety of dishes from sweet to savoury, hot and cold. Here are 5 ways you can cook with tea:
1. Liquid in your recipes
If your recipe calls for a cup of water, milk, or broth, add a whole new flavour by infusing it with tea. You will need a stronger brew to add flavour in recipes – use twice the amount you use for drinking and keep the same brewing time. Brewing for longer will result in a bitter taste. Use quality, naturally flavoured teas like jasmine for the best results.
2. Boiling rice or quinoa
Swap stock for tea. If you’re boiling rice, quinoa, or buckwheat, use a brewed tea instead like green tea (which is also a good base for broths).
3. Smoothies & Oatmeal
Tea will add flavour & health benefits to your morning smoothie. You can use ground matcha, loose leaf green tea, fruit and berry blends, rooibos, and masala chai. Black teas like the latter help boost mood and energy. It’s the best way to set the tone to your day.
Use matcha powder in the batter. If you’re baking your next batch of cookies, you can also infuse the melted butter with fresh large tea leaves and then strain. If the recipe calls for milk, you can steep the tea in warm milk or water for around 5-10 minutes – perfect for both baking and frosting. Another option is to grind the tea into a powder in your food processor and mix it with the dry ingredients.
5. Make tea butter
It’s the easiest Mix room temperature butter with tea leaves, reshape it, wrap it and put it back in your fridge. Spread on toast or freshly baked bread.
Tea Health Benefits:
- High in polyphenols. These are natural compounds found in tea which act as antioxidants and protect the body against disease.
- Boosts energy as a natural stimulant (but contains lower caffeine amounts than coffee).
- May reduce the risk of heart disease.
- May boost metabolism and weight loss.
- May support mental health (through antioxidants).
Rooibos Tea is packed with antioxidants, may help ease stress and improve cholesterol levels.
Black Tea is also rich in antioxidants and may help improve heart and gut health.
Herbal Teas made from tisanes (infusions of dried flowers, fruit or herbs):
- Chamomile Tea improves sleep, relaxation and may help women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome.
- Ginger tea is known as a good nausea remedy with ginger shown to boost the immune system.
- Hibiscus tea provides cardiovascular benefits due to its antioxidants and may help to lower blood pressure.
[It's always advisable to drink tea in moderation & with medical approval. If you have a sensitivity to caffeine, it is recommended to restrict the overall quantity of caffeinated beverages you consume within a day]
For your next baking or cooking session, consider using tea as a healthy and natural alternative to artificial flavouring. It’s the secret ingredient you’ve been looking for to elevate your recipes!
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