Healthy Calendula in Tea and Desserts

Throughout northern Mediterranean countries, there is an orange or yellow-colored flower that grows. Also referred to as ‘marigold’ or ‘pot marigold,’ calendula has become a popular choice for tea drinkers, who consume the herbal blend for its taste and health benefits. In addition to providing a hot beverage, calendula is also used to add yellow coloring and flavor to foods, such as rice, soup, cereals, and even dessert.

Calendula flowers are ideally picked as soon as they open during the summer. The young and tender leaves are good for salads because they possess a slightly peppery taste. To make calendula tea, steep dried flowers in boiling water for about five minutes. Many will sweeten with honey if there is a bitter taste. The flowers contain beta-carotene, sterols, vitamin A, vitamin C, and complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties that are awakened in the water.

Calendula and Desserts

Calendula flower petals have also found a place in making desserts. They add a subtle flavor to cookies, custards, and milk desserts. An example of a sweet treat that uses the flower is Calendula Drop Cookies, which are made with fresh calendula blossoms, sugar, butter, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and almond halves. Other sweet treats you can make with calendula includes the Mardi Gras favorite King Cake and Banana Cake, which both use dried or fresh petals.

Health Benefits of Calendula Tea

Calendula tea possesses anti-inflammatory, detoxing, and antibacterial properties. When you settle down to sip on a cup of calendula tea, you can take advantage of many other health benefits, such as relieving a sore throat, calming an irritated mouth, and limiting the damage of gastrointestinal conditions. Drink the tea when you are sick to rejuvenate your immune system. The tea is also used as a topical treatment for conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, skin irritations and inflammations (such as acne) and for the stimulation of collagen production.

5 Ways to Cook with Tea

As one of the most popular beverages in the world, tea comes in a variety of flavors and origins – from soothing chamomile to the antioxidant power of green tea. What many people don’t know is that cooking with tea is not a new concept. In fact, the ancient Chinese stuffed fish with dried pungent oolong leaves before steaming, boiled eggs with tea leaf water, and added tea leaves to their fires when smoking duck. If you’re looking for creative ways to incorporate tea into the way you prepare food, consider the following suggestions:

As a Dessert

From shortbread cookies to tea biscuits, green tea has found a place in many recipes for desserts. For instance, green tea powder (called matcha) is an ingredient used in a range of Japanese-style sweets. Some bakers and chocolate makers will incorporate green tea into their recipes. One example is the Organic Chocolate Green Tea Bar – filled with a creamy green tea center and wrapped in a blanket of dark chocolate. Other ways to use tea as a dessert ingredient includes Earl Grey Muffins, Spiced Chai Cookies, and Green Tea Sorbet.

As a Marinade

Leftover tea makes a decent marinade for dishes with meat. Marinade your chicken breasts with tea possessing a distinct flavor, such as Earl Grey, to create an aromatic dish. Some vegetarians have even marinated their tofu in tea before serving. It’s also suggested to explore the aromatic distinction of East Indian teas, which offer hints of cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, and lemongrass.

As a Meat Tenderizer

Avoid tough cuts of meat by using tea as a tenderizer. Experiment with different flavors, such as rooibos tea – also known as ‘red’ tea.

As a Spicy Rub or Coating

If you grind tea leaves (such as oolong) in a pepper mill and combine with white pepper, you can create a savory rub for pork chops and steak – perfect for enhancing Asian-style dishes. Coat your meat, fish, or poultry with dried tea leaves to create a crunchy texture and appealing flavor. Poultry and seafood usually respond well to smoked teas.

As a Rice Enhancer

Don’t have aromatic rice to serve as a side dish? Create your own by adding a bit of tea (like Jasmine) to create varying levels of flavor and fragrances. Since tea is an edible leaf, you may also add to rice to produce interesting dishes. For example, some teas possess an earthy taste comparable to spinach.