TEAS Your Food: Tea + Seasonings = Tea-sonings

One of the easiest ways to get rid of all that tea in your pantry that you promised your husband you’d drink is to use it as a culinary ingredient. Cooking with tea is as old as its history. The ancient Chinese stuffed and steamed fish withoolong leaves; they smoked duck with tea leaves; they infused boiling water with tea leaves to poach shrimp and make marbled hard boiled eggs.There are so many creative and fun ways to TEAS your food. You can TEAS dressings, marinades, brines, spreads, broths, sauces, salsa, soups, etc. In my opinion, the easiest way to get started cooking with tea is to make a Tea-soning.
What’s a Tea-soning? Tea + seasonings = Tea-soning, a word I coined when you mix ground tea with other seasonings, spices or herbs.

To make a Tea-soning, use a grinder to finely grind loose-leaf tea. Combine the ground tea leaves with herbs, spices and/or seasonings. Don’t ever grind tea in the same grinder you grind your coffee in because it will impart coffee flavors that will overpower the tea flavors. Use what is already in your pantry but be creative. Think about how flavors complement or contrast each other. For example, let’s say you have a fruity green tea you want to make into a Tea-soning. Think about would complement and contrast the fruity flavors of the tea.

Below is a Tea-soning I created with our BOULDER BLUES, green tea blended with strawberry & rhubarb. Blending ingredients that complement the fruity flavors (i.e. orange and lemon peel)  with ingredients that contrast the fruitiness(i.e. Chipotle Chile pepper, cumin) create layers of complexity. I recently used this Tea-soning to tenderize and bring flavor to hamburgers.

Ingredients: BOULDER BLUES Tea-Sonings

Yields ~ 9 TBS

·2 TBS BOULDER BLUES, finely ground

·2 TBS Chipotle Chile Pepper

·1TBS orange peel, dried

·1 TBS lemon peel, dried

·1 TBS salt

·1 tsp thyme

·1 tsp cilantro flakes

·1 tsp cumin

Below is another Tea-soning I crafted with our MATE LIMON CHAI, a blend of mate, lemongrass and chia spices. I created this Tea-soning specifically to season and sear salmon. You don’t have to add many other ingredients when using a tea with great depth and various flavors, like our MATE LIMON CHAI. Adding sugar help create a crunchy sear while the cayenne pepper adds a little spice and color.

Ingredients: MATE LIMON CHAI Tea-soning

Yields ~ 8 TBS

· 3 TBS MATE LIMON CHAI, finely grounded

·2 TBS Salt

·1 TBS Sugar

·1 tsp pepper

·1- 2 tsp cayenne pepper

Tea-sonings can be used to season sauces, marinades, salsas, dressings, soups, breads, rubs, compound butters, as meat tenderizes, etc. Rub them over meat, fish and veggies. Whisk them into marinades, dressings and soups. Tea-sonings have the ability to enhance flavor and health benefits to any recipe without additional calories.

Store your Tea-sonings in a metal or glass container, away from light & moisture.

Next week I’ll give you a couple of my favorite Tea-soned recipes…

How do you TEAS your food?

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