Green Tea

green

March is known as the “green month” Take a break from “green beer” and try green tea.

Green tea is a product  that can be prepared as a beverage, which can have some health effects. Or an “extract” can be made from the leaves to use as medicine.

It is also used for weight loss and to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, bone loss (osteoporosis), and solid tumor cancers.

Antioxidants and other substances in green tea might help protect the heart and blood vessels.

Green tea originated in China, but its production has spread to many countries in the Asia.

tea-plant

Green tea is the most popular form of tea in China. Chinese green teas are made from over 600 different cultivars of the Camellia sinensis plant, giving plenty of variety and regional teas. Chinese green teas are traditionally pan-fired, unlike the Japanese steaming process. Other processes in China include oven-dried and sun-dried. Due to the different production process, Chinese teas are said to have a more “earthy” taste than Japanese teas.

Green tea is processed and grown in a variety of ways, depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds are retained, affecting aroma and taste. The growing conditions can be broken down into two basic types − those grown in the sun and those grown under the shade. The green tea plants are grown in rows that are pruned to produce shoots in a regular manner, and in general are harvested three times per year. The first flush takes place in late April to early May. The second harvest usually takes place from June through July, and the third picking takes place in late July to early August. Sometimes, there will also be a fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that brings the best-quality leaves, with higher prices to match.

Bottom Line: Green tea is loaded with bioactive compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health.

Tea Time @ Sundown Tea
Tea Time @ Sundown Tea

Thanks to Wikipedia and SunDown Tea

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Homemade Blush Sauce for Pasta

Pasta with Blush Sauce
Pasta with Blush Sauce

This is a tried and true homemade blush sauce. Simple ingredients, and no preservatives with sauces from the jar.

Ingredients:

I package (8 oz) cream cheese

1 can Diced tomatoes

Spices (garlic-lots, pepper, Italian seasoning, salt to taste:::any other spices that tickle your fancy)

Add tomatoes and cut up pieces of cream cheese in the blender with spices. Blend on high till smooth. If too thick, add milk or cream.

Heat on very low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning, till heated through.

Serve over pasta and garnish with shredded parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.

This makes a lot of sauce and freezes well!

Filling and great for a meatless meal.

Should feed 6 people.

Kathy Dowsett

Comments::::::use the comment section below>>>

5 Creative Ways to Use Your Slow Cooker

Crock-pot-slow-cooker-6_6lYour slow cooker is good for more than just soups and stews! I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I’m here with five slow-cooker hacks that will change the way you look at your Crock Pot…

Spaghetti squash is the ultimate low-calorie pasta swap (you can have three cups of the stuff for just about 125 calories), but the process of turning the gourd into spaghetti-like noodles can be intimidating. Not to worry — a slow cooker makes it MUCH easier! All you have to do is put a whole spaghetti squash in your slow cooker with half a cup of water, and cook it on high for 2 1/2 hours. By the time the squash comes out, it’ll be tender enough to slice in half lengthwise and easily scoop out the seeds.

The only thing better than tacos are guilt-free tacos that practically make themselves…

Shredded pork: By combining decadent pork shoulder with lean pork tenderloin, you get a delicious dish that’s surprisingly low in calories. When you shred the meat after it’s cooked, the flavors all blend together. Click here for the full recipe!

Ground beef: Extra-lean ground beef is low in fat, and adding chopped veggies amps up the portion size.

This filling is great on crispy corn taco shells, or you can wrap it in lettuce leaves for a low-carb fiesta!

Slow cookers aren’t just for main dishes. One of my all-time favorite ways to use a slow cooker is to make desserts. This recipe for deconstructed apple pie has just 137 calories per serving – pretty reasonable for a bowl of ooey-gooey fruit deliciousness topped with whipped cream. If you’re more of a peach person, check out this recipe for scalloped peaches. The best part is that the peaches only take an hour and a half in the slow cooker before they’re cooked to perfection.

Turn on the slow cooker when you get home from work, and dessert will be ready after dinner!

I can’t talk about slow cookers without mentioning this life-changing Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. The recipe mixes macaroni with cauliflower florets and butternut squash to maximize your serving size — you get a cup and a half for 255 calories… How many other mac and cheese recipes can say that? In the mood for something heartier? Check out this recipe for slow-cooker cheeseburger macaroni and cheese.

One of my favorite ways to slash carbs from sandwiches is to ditch the bread and wrap the filling with a cooked cabbage leaf. The problem: It’s nearly impossibly to remove an entire leaf from a raw cabbage and keep it intact. The solution: Your slow cooker! Place half a head of green cabbage in a slow cooker with 2 cups of water, then cook on high for 2 ½ hours. When the time is up, you’ll be able to easily remove the leaves and wrap ‘em around your favorite sandwich fillings.

Wild about White Tea

Look for White Tea to Become the Latest Hot New Food Trend

White Tea
White Tea

White tea has arrived in North America. While Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea’s benefits since the Ming Dynasty, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. Not anymore. Today, everyone from chefs to medical researchers is praising white tea’s delicate flavor and purported health benefits. Market researchers predict consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning white tea into one of the hottest new food trends.

But, what is white tea? Most tea aficionados know that all tea comes from the same source: the Camilla Sinensis tea bush. Whether a tea leaf winds up in a cup of green, black, or oolong tea depends entirely on what happens after it is plucked. Black tea derives its dark color and full flavor from a complex fermentation process that includes exposing crushed tea leaves to the air for a strictly defined number of minutes.

Tea leaves meant for more mellow tasting green tea are not fermented at all, but merely withered in hot air and quickly steamed or pan-fried. A gentle rolling and final heating stabilizes the tea’s natural flavors. Oolong teas fall somewhere in the middle: partial fermentation gives them a distinct reddish colour and a “flowery” flavor.

So, where does white tea fit into the picture? White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened. The tea takes its name from the silver fuzz that still covers the buds, which turns white when the tea is dried. The exact proportion of buds to leaves varies depending on the variety of white tea. For example, White Peony contains one bud for every two leaves, while Silver Needles, the creme de la creme of white teas, is made entirely from downy buds picked within a two day period in early Spring.

Of course, an exotic appearance alone doesn’t explain white tea’s sudden surge in popularity. The secret lies in what happens after the buds are plucked. Tea leaves destined to be sold as white tea undergo even less processing than green tea leaves. Instead of air-drying, the unwithered leaves are merely steamed.

The result? A pale tea with a sweet, silky flavor. People who have tried both note that white tea lacks the “grassy” aftertaste so often associated with green tea. Furthermore, studies indicate that white tea is better for you. Leaving tea leaves so close to their natural state means that white tea contains more polyphenols, the powerful anti-oxidant that fights and kills cancer-causing cells, than any other type of tea.

Need another reason to drink white tea? A 2004 study at Pace University concluded that white tea can help your body’s immune system fight off viruses and dangerous infection-causing bacteria. The same study concluded that fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, the chief cause of tooth decay.

Aboutfood

The sunrise of Sundown Tea triggered by a growing demand

Shannon @ SunDown Tea
Shannon Duncan @ SunDown Tea

While earning her degree at Western University with a double major in history and English, Shannon Duncan began trying different types of tea.

After graduation she worked in Japan for a year teaching English. On her return to London, Ontario, she started to map out her future. “Before that I never had a plan. It was difficult to see where I would be in five years. I was thinking of teaching, but the question was ‘where do I want to be?’ “
Then her entrepreneurial side kicked in. She came up with an idea, took a 12-hour course with the London Business Centre and researched the customer base and target audience. On Oct. 17, she will launch the grand opening of Sundown Tea on London’s west side.
“I found that tea stores are in the north end, south end and downtown.” There was no competition in the west end. The shopping plaza where she located, at Wonderland Road and Commissioners Road West, is anchored by a chain grocery store. It has lots of traffic.
“I definitely feel it is a growing market,” says Shannon of tea. “In the past it was tea bags. Now it’s loose-leaf tea. It’s much better quality.”
She says more and more tea drinkers are interested in loose-leaf tea. More people are getting introduced to it and it is likely to succeed.
Sundown Tea will open with 65 varieties of tea and will expand from there based on what customers like and their suggestions. Categories include white, black, green, oolong , herbal tea and Pu’erh.
“I have an expansive line of tea pots as well as tea cups, mugs and strainers.  The most popular is a little meshball tea ball. The flavour is distributed through the mug,” says Shannon.
One of the more exotic teas she is offering is silver needle tea. It is a white tea that has little processing. It has little white hairs on the tea leaf. “It has a cool flavour and a light, refreshing aroma.”
There is a reason for everything, including the store’s name. Shannon explains it this way: “When I think of the colours related to tea they match sundown – the reds, yellows and oranges. It is also my favourite time to sit down with tea.”
Sundown Tea facts
Location: Unit A15 at 509 Commissioner Rd. W., London Ontario
Store hours: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Monday.
Business phone 519-204-5200
Store hours: Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Monday.
Business phone 519-204-5200; website www.sundowntea.com

Tuesday’s Tip

Spaghetti tip::::always make a double batch,  freeze in containers to be used at a later date. Easy enough to do, but did you know:::::

Add a container of cottage cheese to the sauce…..when you want to make lasagna, the cottage cheese is already in the sauce. No running out to the store to pick it up.

Thanks to my buddy Angela for this tip!

Spaghetti
Spaghetti

Kathy Dowsett

Have any other great ideas about spaghetti?….please add to comments below>>>

Broken Glass Jello Recipe

This is one of those “how to impress people at a pot-luck recipe”

Ingredients:

5-1/2 cups boiling water, divided
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
2 env. KNOX Unflavored Gelatine
1/2 cup cold water
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Broken Glass Jello Recipe
Broken Glass Jello Recipe

Directions:
ADD 1 cup boiling water to each flavor fruit gelatin mix in separate bowls; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Pour each flavor of gelatin into separate small shallow food storage container sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

SPRINKLE unflavored gelatine over cold water; let stand 1 min. Stir in remaining boiling water. Add condensed milk; mix well. Cool slightly.

CUT flavored gelatin into cubes. Randomly place cubes in 13×9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Pour milk mixture over cubes; stir to evenly distribute gelatin cubes. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm before cutting into bars.

Kathy Dowsett

Have another pot-luck/jello recipe? Please share in the comments below>>

8 Things Happen When You Stop Drinking Diet Cola

Say No to Diet Soda
Say No to Diet Soda

You’ve decided to give up diet soda—good idea! Maybe you weren’t hitting your weight-loss goals or couldn’t stomach that long list of ingredients anymore. Or perhaps you heard one too many times that it’s just not good for you.

Whatever the reason, eliminating diet soda from your diet will improve your health from head to toe. Research on diet soda is still in its infancy, but there’s enough out there to identify what you can look forward to when you put down the can and cool down with an unsweetened iced tea instead.

MSN>>>