To be honest, I just recently read about cooking with tea and I thought: Is that a thing? What a great idea!
I always have lots of tea types at home and sometimes I could use a bit of twist in my usual recipes. Well, apparently tea was the ingredient I didn’t know I was missing.
I looked for ideas about how I can use it to flavor my dishes and I found out that there are many possibilities. I got some inspiration and after that I used my imagination to add tea to other recipes too. Now I feel like there is no limit for using tea while cooking!
I recommend only loose leaf teas because you know exactly what they contain. Most of the times, the content of tea bags can be questionable.
The tea leaves can be used as they are or grinded into a fine powder. Of course the tea drink itself can be added as an ingredient as well.
Here are some ideas for cooking with tea:
Recipes with tea:
1. Cooking grains
For cooking rice, quinoa or any other grains, you can use a freshly brewed tea. You can play with the flavors here and you can start with a mild brew to not change the taste too much. From there you can get more courageous and mix teas and go crazy with flavors.
In smoothies you can easily add tea as a brew or as grinded tea leaves. Green tea can bring a kick of caffeine in your morning smoothie. A grinded fruit tea can add a nice change to the regular smoothie taste.
Do you like baking cookies? Well you can easily add some grinded tea leaves in your cookie dough. Remember that the leaves absorb water so if you want to add a bit more, you can substitute a bit of the flour with grinded tea.
You can flavor your soup with some green tea leaves. Don’t add too many or your sup will become bitter. Just a pinch of green tea leaves will add a subtle rich flavor. As I like to say it, the soup will have a bit of a green taste.
5. Meat rub
When you prepare meats for barbecue or for oven, you can add various types of tea leaves to the rub mix. I usually make my own rub with spices I have a t home. You can easily add some black tea to the grinder and mix it with all the spices. It can give a subtle smoky taste.
6. Salmon spices
If you like to cook salmon, you can make a mix of salt, lemon zest, pepper and grinded green tea with mint. Mix them all well and spread on top of the salmon before frying it. It will give an exotic taste.
If you like to make flavored butter, you can use the tea flavor here as well. Just pick your option of tea to use, bring butter to room temperature, mix with tea and put back in the fridge in the desired shape. If you will have a nice stylish tea, even a bit colored if you grind the tea leaves.
I had recently chocolate with green tea and it had a taste I really enjoyed. Now that I read so many tea recipes, I thought that this could be done at home as well. It is quite easy. You melt the chocolate and add the grinded tea or any other flavors you want. Pour the chocolate mix in ice trays or on parchment paper in the desired shapes. Store it in the fridge for a couple of hours and you are done.
9. Infused milk
Tea infused milk is easy to make and it will have any flavor you want. Of course I am talking about tea flavors.
You can use the infused milk from the previous point to make your oatmeal. Instead of plain milk, this will give it a nice taste. Of course, grinded tea is an option for oatmeal as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this unconventional way of using tea. If you want details above the above recipes, let me know. Did you ever try cooking with tea?