While we mostly associate tea with that piping-hot liquid that fuels our morning routines or soothes an evening wind-down, the ingredient — and its many benefits — flow beyond the cup.
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If you're already a heavy tea drinker, you're doing yourself some good: Research shows that drinking tea is linked to a lower risk of heart attack and dying of heart disease, per Harvard Health Publishing. But tea is more than just a drink. It's a versatile pantry powerhouse that can add depth and delight to snacks, desserts and even savory dinner recipes.
There's good reason to cook with tea: Thanks to its high polyphenol content, a type of antioxidant, tea offers a slew of health perks, says Melissa Nieves, RD, a registered dietitian with the fitness app Kemtai. Including tea in your diet is associated with a reduced risk of premature death, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, she says.
So don't sleep on tea, and don't resign to only sipping it. Try your hand at baking and cooking with tea with these creative yet easy-to-make tea-infused recipes.
1. Tea-Infused Orange Duck Bites With Brie Cheese
Your tastebuds will drool over the clever flavor combination while also reaping the benefits of the smart ingredients: The duck breast and brie cheese provide a stable protein source, while the tea-infused brine and marmalade glaze up the antioxidant content, Nieves says.
Get the Tea-Infused Orange Duck Bites With Brie Cheese recipe from Stash Tea Company.
2. Grilled Vegan Pesto Burgers
Not only does this vegan burger offer a hearty amount of plant-based protein, but it also provides healthy polyphenols thanks to the tea. "The combination of green tea, pomegranate and acai are sure to pack an antioxidant punch," Nieves says.
Get the Grilled Vegan Pesto Burgers recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Tea-Infused One-Minute Mug Cakes
Nieves says this mug cake recipe is like a healthier version of your beloved snickerdoodles treat from childhood. It only uses a small amount of sugar, relying on the cinnamon-vanilla tea for a sweet, spicy-yet-delicate flavor. This one's sure to become a favorite!
Get the Tea-Infused One-Minute Mug Cakes recipe from Stash Tea Company.
4. Green Superfood Smoothie Jar
For a simple upgrade to your traditional green smoothie, try adding in some superfoods, like the ones found in this recipe. Nieves says hemp seeds, spinach, broccoli, mango, turmeric, lemon, ginger root and green tea come together to create the perfect blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to fuel your day.
Get the Green Superfood Smoothie Jar recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Stuffed Mini Potatoes With Lemon Ginger Tea
Perfect as an appetizer for a dinner party or a fancy midday snack, this recipe offers plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals from the potatoes, asparagus and cashews, Nieves says. And, because the tea is infused with ginger, it can help fight against inflammation.
Get the Stuffed Mini Potatoes With Lemon Ginger Tea recipe from Stash Tea Company.
6. No-Churn Peach Raspberry Tea Sorbet
After a long workout, this healthy sorbet provides refreshment and antioxidants with every spoonful. In addition to the iced tea that's infused into the recipe, fresh raspberries and peaches boast great nutrients, too, Nieves says.
Get the No-Churn Peach Raspberry Tea Sorbet recipe from Stash Tea Company.
7. Holiday Chai Cranberry Nut Loaf Cake
While this might be a holiday-themed treat, if you love the taste of chai and spice, consider it a dessert that defies all seasons. This Chai Cranberry Nut Loaf Cake is an especially good option if you need a moment of zen. "Chai tea is a black tea, and together with the spices, it may help protect the cells from oxidative stress," Nieves says.
Get the Holiday Chai Cranberry Nut Loaf Cake recipe from Stash Tea Company.
8. Spicy Fruit Vegetable Smoothie
A smoothie is a healthy way to keep your body satisfied and is extra convenient if you're always on the go. In fact, Nieves says smoothies are one of her favorite ways to ensure she gets all of the vitamins and minerals she needs — and this recipe doesn't disappoint.
Besides being packed with vitamin C and fiber, this drink is rich in anti-inflammatory tea and ginger. "It's great for fueling up after a vigorous workout routine," Nieves says.
Get the Spicy Fruit Vegetable Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.