Rejuvenation Cafe

Many people enjoying drinking tea-hot or cold-for both its flavor and its many health benefits, which have been touted for quite some time. Green tea, for example, contain powerful antioxidants which help to fight free radical, contains cancer fighting properties, and even helps to make us beautiful( see green tea beauty tip recipe from my friend Peri, at the end of the article). Some studies have shown that tea can speed up the calorie -burning process. All teas contain free radical-fighting flavonoids, and consuming tea helps to prevent plaque build-up.

Tea leaves can be used for more than just making tea such as in cooking, the same as using any dried herb. Culinary tea is used in preparing scrumptious starters, mouthwatering main courses, tasty desserts, and even cocktails. Create light and refreshing summer beverage by mixing tea into sangria. Adding tea also helps to decrease the alcohol content in sangria. You can also use tea mixed with rice to add a smoky flavor to your meat dishes. I like to smoke braised soy sauce chicken in my wok.

When I was young, my mother would make tea eggs. The delectable scent in the house during this time can be likened to that of a baking apple pie. Tea eggs are prepared as hard-boiled eggs except the eggs are boiled in a solution of soy sauce, black tea, and Chinese five-spice powder, which is available at most Asian grocery stores. If you cannot find five-spice powder, you can substitute as follows: 1 cinnamon stick; two Tbsp black tea; one tsp black peppercorn; 2 star anise; one-half tsp clove; one Tbsp fennel seeds; half tsp of sugar; one cup of soy sauce.

Bring 12 eggs to a boil in a pot of cold water, and then simmer for a few minutes. Remove eggs and then rinse in cold water. Using the back of spoon, gently crack the entire perimeter of the eggshells but do not remove the shells. The soy sauce solution will marbleize the eggs through the cracks in the shells. Return the cracked eggs to the pot, cover with water and add the dry ingredients along with the soy sauce. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for two hours. Add water if necessary to keep the eggs submerged. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight. You can eat the egg hot or cold. Yummy!

If you do not maintain an herb garden and /or lacking a certain herb for a recipe, you can use herbal tea bags instead. One time I had a craving for tabbouleh. I had all the ingredients with which to make it except for the mint. Therefore, I put about 1/2-cup of bulgur into a large bowl, and then poured in an equal amount of strong mint tea, stirred, covered and let sit for about 10 minutes. Next, I added a mixture of lemon juice and  1/4-cup olive oil to the bulgur. To this, I added a handful of chopped parsley, one teaspoon of fresh chopped dill, a rinsed can of chickpeas, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, and finally a handful of spring mix greens. Mix gently and season to taste with sea salt. Delicious!

It is summer, I love my ice pop, and just Have to have it! I also love chai tea as it reminds me of my visits to India. Last week I had a brilliant idea to make ice pop out of chai tea! It was so wonderful! Gently simmer two teaspoons of Chai tea blend in three cups of water until it is reduced to two cups. Let cool, and then add two scoops of vanilla ice cream, (I prefer to use coconut milk ice cream). Mix the ice cream and chai tea in a blender, pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.  Enjoy!

For this green tea facial, I recommend using matcha powder to mix this mask. (Matcha is the green tea powder used in Japanese tea ceremonies). Mix one tablespoon of water, 1-1/2 tablespoon matcha powder and 1/2 tablespoon glycerin to a smooth, thick consistency. Apply to face for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off and feel how soft and smooth your skin is. Since green tea is high in antioxidants, your skin will absorb nutrients while you are "wearing" the mask. Moving beyond just drinking tea can be fun, creative and beneficial.

Written by Mimi Lam — March 26, 2014