Archive for Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Food: What’s your cup of tea?

Green tea has gained popularity in recent years because of its health benefits. Proper brewing techniques will enhance the flavor of any type of tea.

Green tea has gained popularity in recent years because of its health benefits. Proper brewing techniques will enhance the flavor of any type of tea.

March 6, 2012, 6:00 a.m.

Updated: March 7, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Hot or iced, decaf or caffeinated, with milk or with sugar, there are a lot of ways to enjoy drinking one of the world’s most popular beverages — tea.

In addition to knowing your preferred way of enjoying tea, it is important to know the right way to brew it.

The perfect cup of tea starts with fresh water. If tap water is being used, let the water run for a few minutes so it’s as fresh as can be.

If you plan on serving your tea in a teapot, preheat the pot. This prevents cracking that could occur when boiling water is placed in a pot that is room temperature.

Brewing time depends on the type of tea you are preparing and how strong you’d like it to be. Green tea only needs about 1 to 4 minutes. Black tea generally steeps for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Be sure to use a tea cozy if you are keeping tea in a teapot for a while. Reheating the tea will cause it to have less flavor.

Growing in popularity, and with good reason, green tea is a consumer favorite and provides a number of benefits.

Research suggests that drinking 2 to 3 cups per day of green (or black) tea may help support normal, healthy vascular function.

Recipes

Cinnamon-Spiked Red Goji Tea

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Brew Time: 3 minutes

2 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar or firmly packed brown sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

3 Lipton Red Goji with Raspberry Green Tea Bags

Bring water and sugar to a boil in 1-quart saucepan. Add cinnamon sticks and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and then add tea bags. Cover and brew 3 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, then tea bags and squeeze. Pour into mugs.

Serves 2

Ginger-Honey Mangosteen Warmer

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Brew Time: 3 minutes

4 cups boiling water

1 piece fresh ginger (about 3-inches), sliced

6 Lipton White Mangosteen and Peach Green Tea bags

3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

Bring water and ginger to a boil in 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat and then add tea bags. Cover and brew 3 minutes. Remove ginger, then tea bags and squeeze. Stir in honey.

Serves 4

Hot ‘Teady’

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

1 bottle sweetened iced tea

2 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoons honey

In 2-quart saucepan, bring all ingredients just to a boil. Pour into mugs and garnish, if desired, with lemon.

Serves 2

Hot Chai-Style Green Tea

Preparation time: 8 minutes

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

2 green tea bags

In medium saucepan, bring milk and water just to a boil. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Reduce heat to low, add Lipton green tea bags and simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Remove Tea Bags and strain. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired, with cinnamon sticks.

Makes 2 (1-cup) servings

Hot ‘N Spicy Chocolate Tea

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

1 cup fat free or 1 percent milk

1 cup water

2 regular or decaffeinated tea bags

1 teaspoon chocolate syrup

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bring milk and water just to a boil in 2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat and add cup size tea bags. Cover and brew 2 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze; stir in remaining ingredients. Sweeten as desired.

Serves 2

Irish Tea

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

2 cups boiling water

4 tea bags

1 tablespoons sugar

2 to 4 tablespoons Irish whiskey

1/8 teaspoon Angostura bitters (optional)

In teapot, pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and brew 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze. Stir in sugar, whiskey and bitters. Serve, if desired, with sweetened whipped cream.

Serves 4

Hot Cinnamon Apple Green Tea

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 7 Minutes

3 cups water

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tablespoons sugar

5 green tea bags, any variety

1 cup unsweetened apple juice

In small saucepan, bring water, cinnamon sticks and sugar to a boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags and brew 1-1/2 minutes, dunking occasionally. Remove tea bags and cinnamon sticks. Add apple juice and serve, if desired, with apple slices.

Makes 4 (8-oz.) servings

Apple ‘N Mint Tea Toddy

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

1 cup water

1 cup apple juice

4 Lipton Mint Green Tea Bags

2 tablespoons sugar

In small saucepan, bring water and apple juice to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags; cover and brew 1-1/2 minutes. Remove tea bags; stir in sugar. Pour into tea cups and garnish, if desired, with apple slices. Serve hot.

Makes 2 (8-oz.) servings

Alyce Ann’s Scones

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

3/4 to 7/8 cup milk

1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, currants or raisins*

1 egg, slightly beaten, or 2 tablespoons whipping or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is size of very coarse crumbs. Stir in fruit. Stir in milk with fork until mixture just holds together.

Gently knead dough on lightly floured surface with floured hands and shape into 8- or 9-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut dough with floured knife in half crosswise, then cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges. Arrange wedges on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Brush tops with egg and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 17 minutes or until golden. Cool 2 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm.

*Suggestions: Substitute chopped fresh fruit (peaches, blueberries, apricots) and finely chopped orange or lemon peel, or mini chocolate chips. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger in place of dried or fresh fruit.

Makes 10 scones

Nutrition Information per serving: calories 190, calories from fat 60, total fat 6g, saturated fat 2g, cholesterol 25mg, sodium 280mg, total carbohydrate 29g, dietary fiber 1g, sugars 9g, protein 4g.

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