A healthy tea luncheon (+Date Nut Breakfast Bread)

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This month’s RecipeRedux theme is serendipitously perfect: “Cooking with Tea” – just  when I have to do recipe testing and development for a tea lunch I’m hosting at Hinckley Pottery Studio!

First, about the event:  it’s a one time, one-of-a-kind lunch that ties in nutrition information with healthy versions of traditional tea foods (see full menu here), herbal teas with medicinal properties, provided by local herbalist Ally Shutty of Urban Om Tea, AND includes a pottery demo on the wheel by studio owner Jill Hinckley herself!  There are only 10 spots available.  (Sidebar: I’ll be providing a meal monthly through Feastly, each at a unique pop-up venue – this is the first!)  See the flyer below for full details, and sign up here!

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And now, a sneak peek at one of the recipes: Date Nut Breakfast Bread!  I adapted this recipe from one that was in a cookbook put out by a tea shoppe that used to operate in my hometown, but is no longer in business.  So glad the recipes are preserved.  Of course, tea foods aren’t traditionally the healthiest – think: SUGAR.  By cutting back on the sweetness (dates are naturally very sweet!) and focusing on ways to add fiber and protein, this quickbread is a great complement to eggs or yogurt at breakfast, or for a mid-morning snack with tea.  Remember, the heart-health benefits of tea are only seen in research when subjects drink 2-3 cups a day, so use it as your beverage whenever you can! (Note: only brewed teas have cholesterol-reducing, vascular-muscle relaxing properties – NOT powdered, bottled, highly sugared versions!  Those are sold next to the soda for a reason!)

Date Nut Breakfast Bread

An extra twist: there’s tea IN it!  I used an herbal blend we’ll be serving next Wednesday at the lunch, but I suspect any tea with a  neutral, ginger, or cinnamon/clove based flavor profile would work well.

Ingredients:

  • 32 dates, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 c brewed tea, hot
  • 2 T coconut oil

Combine the above in a large mixing bowl, stir then let stand ~10 minutes

  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 banana (the riper, the better – brown is great!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c finely chopped almonds (I pulse mine in a blender)

Directions:
In a blender or food processor, combine the egg, banana, and brown sugar.  Add this to the date and tea mixture, stirring to blend.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and nuts.  Pour the wet ingredients in and stir gently to mix – stop when they are evenly combined, don’t over-mix!  Grease two loaf pans (I used coconut oil) and distribute batter evenly between.  Place in COLD oven, then set the temp to 350 and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden brown and spongy to touch.  Allow to cool, remove from pans, and then slice.

*I’ll be tweaking this for the luncheon next week to be a dessert, but this version got great reviews from my fellow pottery students last week!

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Check out more tea recipes here:

RecipeRedux: Rosehip & ginger chia tea

As part of this month’s RecipeRedux, we’re posting healthier drinks…lots of great ones were posted yesterday, and today’s batch is on its way up!2014-02-22 09.55.44

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I wanted to do something different, and I recently came into the possession of some rose hips (thanks Meghaen & Wafa!) so this was the perfect time to use them.  Rose hips are the fruit part of a wild rose blossom, and have been used for thousands of years medicinally – they actually have a pretty good body of evidence for their use as an antioxidant (they’re really high in Vitamin C!), to treat osteoarthritis, and to ease menstrual symptoms (can’t hate that!), according to the Natural Standard Database.

The ones I have are dried, so I brewed a tea, added some other flavors and chia, and apparently can now use the rehydrated petals in salads or to make jelly or a syrup.  All of these ingredients can be used topically, too, so set a side a small amount to use as a toner – just swipe on clean skin with a cotton ball overnight.  An ingredient I’ve never tried before, with this many applications?  Amazing!  Pick some up the next time you have the chance.2014-02-21 15.08.04

Rose hip & ginger chia tea (can be served hot or cold!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 L water
  • 1 c dried rose hips
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Zest (or peels) of half a lemon
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 chia seeds

Directions:
Heat the water until it reaches a simmer.  Add to a pitcher with the rose hips, ginger, and lemon peel.  Steep for 5 minutes, then drain or sift out petals.  Add honey and chia seeds, stir to mix.  Drink warm or chill and serve with lemon garnish over ice. (Taste a petal!)

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