Here’s Why You Should Cook With Tea, Says One Chef

WCould the hat be more comfortable than a cup of joe first thing in the morning? Of course, a cup of tea warms the soul. When you can’t feel the hangover from another cold brew during the day (as much as you can want), tea can be the perfect drink—it’s not plain water—to sip on.

After all, tea is packed with powerful antioxidants like polyphenols, which help keep your bones strong and your cognitive function at its peak as you age. Plus, many, like oolong and green tea, are high in the amino acid L-theanine, which can improve your mood and sleep.

So why limit yourself only drink this superhero ingredient when we can start cooking with it? Chef Nadia De La Vega, DAVIDsTEA tea’s content and sustainability director, certainly agrees. According to her, you can certainly incorporate tea into recipes, from breakfast to lunch to dinner — and dessert! Here’s how to do it.

How to cook tea

According to De La Vega, cooking with tea is one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways to add loads of flavor to recipes. “The way I like to think about cooking with tea is similar to adding vanilla extract when baking cookies: It helps round out the flavors in a recipe,” she says. De La Vega’s family hails from culinary hubs around the world, including Mexico, Chile, Italy and France, all of which have influenced her cooking style. Regardless of the dish she cooks, however, De La Vega says it’s easy to figure out how to incorporate tea into any dish, whether savory or sweet, hot or cold.

Make strong tea

When De La Vega cooks with green, white, or black teas, she starts by making a homemade concentrate or brewing the tea in water. To do so, she steeps four tablespoons of her chosen tea with one of DAVIDsTEA’s perfect scoops (about 1.25 scoops each) in half a cup of hot water at the right time and temperature for the particular tea. there, then remove the leaves once. Ready.

Result? An ultra-concentrated liquid acts like an extract, which means it adds intense flavor and complexity to dishes. “You can use your thickener to bake, marinate, or make a sauce,” says De La Vega. She recommends using the concentrate the same day it’s made, but if you have to, you can store it in the refrigerator for no more than three days.

Add matcha directly to the recipe

When using matcha, however, De La Vega says to add it straight to your dry ingredients when baking, or directly into the blender if making a smoothie. “It’s not necessary to soak it in water first,” she says. If you’re worried about the matcha clumping, such as in a cookie recipe, De La Vega says you can always thin it out in a small amount of liquid before adding it to the other ingredients to make it easier. make sure it blends smoothly into the dough or dough.

BTW, if you’re new to tea cooking, De La Vega says your best bet is to start by cooking with matcha because you can add it raw to anything from smoothies to cakes to grilled fish. (Try this delicious peach matcha if you want more fruity flavors.)

Don’t make the tea too hot

“Always keep an eye on the heat of the tea during the cooking process,” says De La Vega. “The steeping and thickening really help with the temperature change. When cooking with tea, you need to make sure that you don’t use too high a heat. In green teas, for example, it can make the tea taste bitter and result in a bitter taste.”

De La Vega also recommends against over-soaking the tea leaves, as this can create too much astringent, which can ruin the recipe. By using tea concentrate, you can better control the flavor characteristics and add tea flavor at the perfect time during the cooking process.

5 tea recipes you should try

cooked with tea

1. Oatmeal soaked in apple cinnamon tea

If breakfast usually means a cup of tea with a bowl of oatmeal, why not combine the two in this oat porridge with tea recipe? It features their Forever Nuts tea with sweet apple slices and cinnamon bark for a heartwarming hearty breakfast packed with antioxidants from the herbal tea blend. “I like to make oatmeal using herbal or caffeinated teas, such as black tea,” says De La Vega. Infusing caffeine into your oatmeal can definitely help kickstart your day and add a burst of energy to your breakfast.

BTW, if you’re looking for more tea breakfast ideas, you really can’t go wrong with a delicious matcha smoothie.

Get the recipe: Forever Nuts Tea Oatmeal

cooked with tea

2. Bottle of Butternut Squash Soup

Match the energy of everything PSL flavored with this butter bottle pumpkin soup recipe packed with ginger, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. These cozy spices pair perfectly with butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

Get the recipe: Butter Pumpkin Soup Recipe Made with Organic David’s Chai Tea

cooked with tea

3. Served with Soft Matcha Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream because this soft serve matcha ice cream recipe can be made in three different variations: peach, maple, or strawberry. (One scoop per person, please.) “I love this, but to be honest, the dessert applications for tea are truly endless. You can also make Earl Gray apple pie, chocolate chip cookies. matcha, banana chai bread, or tea-infused ice cream,” says De La Vega. Yum, yum and yum.

Get the recipe: Soft serve Matcha ice cream

cooked with tea

4. London Mist Beer Cake with Earl Gray Tea Cream

Speaking of which. Cake and tea: Do we need to say more? This Earl Gray-infused dessert recipe is light, airy, and bursting with fresh vanilla.

Get the recipe: London Mist Beer Cake Made with Organic Cream of Earl Gray Tea

cooked with tea

5. Matcha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So what’s wrong with a dessert recipe other than tea? This matcha chocolate chip cookie recipe turns into a classic favorite with a few spoonfuls of matcha adding color, antioxidants, and a burst of energy that will make the cookie monster swoon in no time. .

Get the recipe: The Absolute Best Chocolate Cookies

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