Cooking with Tea

Tea is good for way more than sipping -- add instant flavor to your favorite recipes by swapping in tea for the cooking liquid.

A few weeks back we talked about the different types of teas and why they are so good for you. This week I wanted to expand on the topic because believe it or not, you can do more with tea than just drink it. Tea is a hot new trend in the cooking world and adding tea to a recipe is a perfectly healthy way to cook.

I was first inspired to cook with tea when I was creating a grain salad recipe and wanted to create more flavor without adding sugar or extra fat. I thought about using a flavorful cooking liquid like juice or stock but was not convinced this was the solution. As I sipped on my mint tea, I had an “ah-ha” moment!  I immediately steeped some more tea and used that as the cooking liquid for my quinoa which I then made into a tabbouleh like salad. The depth of flavor wowed me and I was hooked. I started to think about the various types of tea and how I could use them in recipes.  From braising liquids and marinades to sauces and desserts, the options were endless. The fun part was that I didn’t have to create new recipes. I could simply add or swap tea into my existing favorites.  The result was tasty food with added health benefits, plus the satisfaction of the reaction my friends and clients gave me when I let them in on my secret.

Here are a few recipes you can use tea in:

Poached Salmon with Lemon Mint Tzatziki (substitute water for 2 cups of mint or citrus tea in poaching liquid)

Ginger Poached Salmon (substitute 3 cups  water for 3 cups green tea in poaching liquid)

Poached Salmon with Watercress Salad, Citrus Vinaigrette (substitute  water in poaching liquid for equal part rooibos tea)

Mint Marinated Grilled Shrimp with Tabbouleh (substitute grain cooking water for equal parts mint tea)

Wheat Berry Salad (substitute  ½ grain cooking water for berry or citrus flavored tea)

Chicken Marinade (add ½ cup strong black tea or 1 tbsp dried black tea leaves)

Have you tried cooking with tea?
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