Showing posts with label sponsored post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sponsored post. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits {#SipBySip Tea Party}

I am very excited to be taking part in the #SipBySip Tea Party today, hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla and sponsored by The Republic of Tea to celebrate the release of their Beautifying Botanicals line.


(FTC Disclosure: I received free tea from the sponsor company for the purpose of reviewing and creating recipes. All opinions are my own.)

I admit to already being a fan of The Republic of Tea and several of their tins (Ginger Peach, Hibiscus Pineapple Lychee, get some ZZZ's, Immunity Super Green...) regularly grace my panty tea shelf, so I was looking forward to sampling the new botanical line featuring: 
  • Daily Beauty Blueberry Lavender Tea (Organic green rooibos, organic hibiscus, organic lemongrass, organic rosehips, blue butterfly pea flower, apple, organic lavender, organic hibiscus extract, sweet blackberry leaves, organic lemon balm, bamboo, blueberry, schizandra extract and natural blueberry flavor) and  
  • Beauty Sleep Chamomile Rose (Organic hibiscus, biodynamic chamomile, organic rosehips, organic lemongrass, blue butterfly pea flower, sweet blackberry leaves, licorice, organic hibiscus extract, bamboo, schizandra extract, natural honey flavor and natural rose flavor).
I had a little trepidation too since anything with strong florals like lavender and rose as ingredients needs a deft hand so it isn't like drinking a bowl of rehydrated potpourri, but I needn't have worried since The Republic of Tea has done their usual excellent blending of flavors so the teas are well-balanced and the floral notes are pleasant rather than overpowering. Both teabags brew a lovely color of herbal tea or tisane (sorry I didn't take a pic when sampling) and are a treat to sip. The packaging is beautiful and perfectly matches the tea--in colors and mood. (I think a tin of these teas paired with an antique tea cup in similar colors would be a lovely Mother's Day, bridal shower, or birthday gift.


For the task of creating a tea-infused recipe, I chose Daily Beauty and wanted to make a healthier pudding that nodded to all of the healthy botanicals in the tea. I love eating chia seed puddings and they make great breakfasts or snacks as the chia seeds are filling without being heavy and provide many good nutrients like fiber, protein and Omega 3 fatty acids and are hydrating too. 

I made a simple blueberry compote to serve with the chia pudding and ended up layering the pudding and compote with fresh blueberries and topping it with dollops of coconut yogurt. Putting them in jars is fun and gives me a grab-and-go breakfast to take to work. 
 

Since the tea is not overpowering, I used 3 bags in my coconut milk and added 1/2 tsp of culinary lavender. Since these teas are really botanicals or tisanes and not actual tea, I steeped them for about 15 minutes, to maximize the flavor without fear of the tannins that occur in 'real' tea (grown from camellia sinensis bush) making it bitter. 

Note: What is a lovely purpley-blue in the cup takes on a bit of a grayish cast in coconut milk, so I added a touch of purple food coloring to my chia pudding which gave it a light lavender hue that doesn't come through well in the photos.

 
Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 can coconut milk + extra if needed
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp culinary lavender
3 bags of Republic of Tea's Daily Beauty Blueberry Lavender Tea
1/3 cup chia seeds
purple food coloring (optional) 

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk the coconut milk, honey, vanilla and culinary lavender together. Add the tea bags and bring slowly to a simmer over medium-low heat--stirring and not letting the milk boil or scorch.  Once at a simmer, remove from heat, cover and allow tea bags to steep about 10 minutes. 

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the tea bags against the strainer with a wooden spoon in order to press out all of the liquid, then discard tea bags . Allow strained mixture to cool to room temperature. Once mixture is cool, add the chis seeds, whisking them in and then set the mixture aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid the seeds clumping together. Add a couple of drops of purple food coloring if desired. Cover tightly and place pudding in the fridge several hours, preferably overnight.

Once pudding has set, remove it from the fridge and stir it, adding additional coconut milk if mixture is too thick or firm.

-----

Blueberry Compote for Parfaits
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups Compote)

3 heaping cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Place the blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of water into a small saucepan and heat over medium. Bring to a simmer and simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until mixture has thickened. Set aside and allow to cool before making parfaits.

To Assemble: Blueberry Lavender Tea Infused Chia Seed Pudding Parfaits:

Alternate layers of the blueberry compote, the chia seed pudding, fresh blueberries and yogurt of choice (optional) in small juice glasses or jars. Garnish parfait tops with fresh blueberries and a few buds of culinary lavender. Enjoy!


Notes/Results: I really like the pudding--especially when layered with the blueberry compote and am happy how these turned out. Blueberry is the prominent flavor with the lavender as more of an after note. The fresh blueberries and yogurt are optional but add different textural elements to the parfaits. I ate one last night for a dessert/snack and took another for breakfast today and I would happily make them again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Check out the #SipBySip bloggers and their recipe creations and reviews:
A big thank you to our sponsor! And mahalo to Camilla for hosting and for the packs of lavender and honey she included with our tea.

You can find The Republic of Tea on the web, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,& Instagram
 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gingery Green Curry Miso Broth with Zucchini Noodles, Kitchen Tools Review & Giveway {#worksmarter #sharpenyourkitcheniq}

When my blogging friend, the amazing Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla was gathering a few bloggers together to test kitchen tools from KitchenIQ and create a recipe using them, I quickly signed up--especially hearing that one, an all-in-one ginger tool, might help me with my ginger problem. Yes, I have a ginger problem. I love the flavor of ginger and using it in my recipes but I REALLY hate messing with it--peeling it, grating it, and trying to do it quickly and efficiently without losing all of the wonderful ginger juice that fresh ginger puts out. I will confess that I often resort to those frozen ginger cubes or ginger in a tube--just to save myself the hassle. I was also looking forward to testing the spice grater and the zester as I love cooking with spices and between citrus, cheese, and chocolate, I find myself zesting often.


  The three KitchenIQ products we would be testing were:


Note: KitchenIQ has supplied these three products to me for free (and a set to giveaway to one U.S. reader below) in return for a fair and honest product test and review so I'll give you my thoughts on each of them--how easy they were to use, how well they worked, and (important to me) how easier they were to clean, care for and put away.


    The V-etched Better Zester:

    I have a microplane zester that I was given by and friend and that I use pretty much constantly so I wasn't sure that I needed a new one but the V-etched Better Zester lives up to the name, it is actually better than my microplane for a few reasons. It has a comfortable handle that is easy to grip--which I like as my old zester is one long strip of teeth/blades. This zester also has 300 tiny teeth that really catch the peel well, without the pith (as long as you don't press too hard). My main love and something I didn't realize I loved so much is the storage container on the back of the zester that not ony collect and measures whatever you are zesting, it has a tiny "squeegee" that removes the moist zest from the citrus from the back of the blade, making clean up a snap and giving you dry, sprinkle worthy citrus zest. Love it! I also tested it with Parmigiano-Reggiano and bittersweet chocolate and it was equally handy for grating, measuring, and cleaning up afterward. Sorry old zester, you have been replaced! 



    The Grate Ginger Tool:

    As I mentioned, this was the tool I was most interested in trying and I was not disappointed. Everything you need to work with ginger is together in one hand-size tool. This one took its first test with the back-of-the-package instructions handy to review as I went through the different steps to peel, juice, grate and slice a piece of fresh ginger. Probably everyone knows the best way to peel ginger is with a spoon but the hard green plastic spoon that is attached is equally as effective in in removing the skin as a regular spoon. Juicing and grating sort of happen together and this was my favorite part about the tool--you simply grate your peeled ginger, remove the grater tray and use the grater cover to press the juice from the pulp--with no waste. You can then use the juice--or reserve it for other recipes and use the finely grated ginger. There is also the magic "squeegee" that runs along the underside of the blade as you pull it out and cleans the ginger from the grater making it easy to clean. I tried the slicer and it works pretty well with the blade slicing fairly easily through the tough ginger root. I usually slice my ginger thicker than this blade does, but I don't see that as a problem for most recipes and it in fact might be better for some. Out of the three tools, this one has the most pieces and I realize I am going to have to be careful not to lose the clear blade cover and forget to put the spoon back in ;-) but it does clean and go back together pretty easily. I did not try it with the other aromatics it was recommend to be used for like garlic and daikon, but I am sure I will soon. Another win--I would buy this one for myself or as a gift.



    The V-etched Spice Grater:

    I have an electric spice grinder that I seldom use because I hate dragging it out of the cupboard, cleaning any leftover spices that I didn't clean well the last time and plugging it in, then repeating the whole process. So I either tend to use my spices whole--as in my chai tea blend or I resort to quickly grabbing my jarred powdered spices. This grater is easy and fast to grab, has tiny sharp teeth for hard spices, and makes quick work of cinnamon, nutmeg, and one of my favorite spices, star anise. There is a tray to catch the grated spices so you can easily measure them for your dishes. I saw on the package that you can grate nuts (walnuts and pecans are shown) and I am looking forward to trying that. The blade and tray are easily rinsed and wiped clean and it is a lot more convenient than dragging my grinder down on a regular basis for hard spices. Sometimes a bit of the spice I was grating flew loose, or I found that I lose a little more of the spice at the very end than I do with an electronic grinder, but the consistent fine powder I got and the ease of using it outweigh that in my opinion. A great tool for any spice-loving cook.

    Overall:

    I have a very small and too-full-of-stuff kitchen so as much as I love them, I try to limit my kitchen tools to those that I use regularly, have more than one purpose, and really work. All three of these KitchenIQ tools pass the taste and I will be using them all often--plus they are just fun to use and to look at with their bright colors and shapes. An honest thumbs up to all three of these tools from me.

    Be sure to check out the giveaway below for a chance to win your own set.


    Besides testing the tools, we were asked to come up with a recipe that allowed us to showcase the tools in action. I had several things in mind but in the end, it was a craving for a brothy and flavorful bowl of zucchini noodles that came to mind. I wanted something quick and easy but with a good mix of flavors and my own touch, so I enhanced prepared green curry paste and white miso with grated ginger and ginger juice from The Great Ginger Tool, added a kiss of star anise to add complexity with the V-etched Spice Grater, and finished it with lime juice and perfect zest from the V-etched Better Zester

    This is a light lunch dish that goes together quickly and is about the flavor of the broth so I kept to spiralized zucchini noodles but you could of course use any quick cooking noodle and add other veggies and/or tofu or another protein to bulk it up however you like. 

    Gingery Green Curry Miso Broth with Zucchini Noodles
    By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
    (Serves 2)

    1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
    2 green onions, chopped
    1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
    2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
    1 Tbsp ginger juice (optional)
    4 cups good veggie broth
    1 cup water
    1/2 tsp star anise
    2 medium zucchini, spiralized into a fettuccine noodle size, or rice noodles, or noodles of choice
    2 Tbsp white miso paste
    2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1/2 Tbsp lime zest
    salt and pepper to taste
    fresh lime zest and sesame seeds to garnish

    Heat oil in a medium sauce pan and add green onions, grated ginger, and green curry paste. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add ginger juice if using (I recommend), veggie broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup about 10 minutes to meld flavors.

    Add zucchini noodles and let cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Place the miso paste into a small bowl and ladle in a cup of the hot broth. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until miso paste is dissolved into the broth, then add broth back into the soup. Add lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp of the zest. Taste for seasoning and add additional lime juice and salt and pepper as desired.  

    Divide into two large bowls. Garnish with additional lime zest and sesame seeds. Enjoy!


    Notes/Results: This is a simple dish that really packs in the Asian-inspired flavors and totally hit the spot for my ginger, green curry, and miso cravings--why should I have to choose just one? The lime juice and zest keep it bright and the star anise is there--subtle in the background--but making you wonder why this broth is so darn good. I won't lie, I ate both servings myself because I didn't want to stop eating it. ;-) I will happily make this again using my fun new tools. 


    I'm linking up this tasty soup to Souper Sundays, hosted here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup  



    ***KitchenIQ Tools Giveaway!***
    Note: KitchenIQ is generously providing a Three-Tool Prize Package to one lucky U.S. resident (in the 48 contiguous states--sorry!) Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and notified here as well as email and have 48 hours to respond or the next winner will be chosen. We cannot be held responsible for items lost in the mail.

    To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me about either your favorite kitchen tool to use or your worst kitchen chore to complete.

    There are a few other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or KitchenIQ (@KitchenIQ), 
    (Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow me or KitchenIQ on Twitter.)

    Deadline for entry is Tuesday, June 6th.


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good Luck!