Have swollen ankles, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis? Well green tea can aid in treating or preventing these conditions or diseases and many more. We all know the health benefits of drinking green teas, but how about using the leaves in other ways?
In this article we will examine unique ways to green tea leaves can be used .
*Save the tea leaves after use and dry them in this manner:
As soon as your tea has steeped and is poured, empty the tea ball onto several sheets of paper towels. Spread out to separate. In 1 hour, change the paper towels turning the tea leaves over onto the new towels. Leave 1 hour, and repeat this until leaves are TOTALLY dried. Harmful bacteria can accumulate in the tea if it is moist. After drying the tea is ready to reuse in the above ways or even use in cooking. Keep in mind that tea leaves are hard to digest so for cooking, it is best to use correctly dried-used tea .
Freshen carpets – Sprinkle used dry green tea leaves onto any dark colored carpet, leave for 30 minutes, vacuum up. Tea absorbs odors, these dried green tea leaves will help deodorize your carpet. Tea freshens vacuum cleaner as it is picked up!
Rust destroyer – Rubbing any cast iron frying pan with the green tea leaves will inhibit the formation of rust. Tea has tannic acid which adheres to the iron, creating a protective coating.
Kitty litter -This is a good one if you have a cat or multiple cats in your home. Add dried used tea leaves to clean kitty litter, absorbing odor and green tea has catechin, a natural antibacterial.
Make tea pillows – Tea pillows are made using dried used tea leaves, sewn into small pillows. Placed beside or even within your pillow case the aromas help promote a good night´s sleep. Something we all need!
Smoking meat – Dried used green tea leaf blends can be used with any smoker in smoking meats like chicken breasts, beef jerky and even delicate fish! Add the tea leaves with wood chips, coals or even rice, for creating smoke!
One of the cleverest ways to use these green tea leaves is baking with them. Here are a few very tasty recipes utilizing a variety of green tea leaf blends. Who knew?
“Mojo Green Tea A full-leaf Ceylon black and Japanese Sencha green tea mixed with cactus blossoms, guava, strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb and sunflower petals” available from teavana.com.
-Mojo Green Tea Cake
2 tbsp. Mojo dried, used green tea leaves
1 cup boiling water
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350oF. Butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
In the bottom of a mixing bowl combine boiling water and 1 tbsp. mojo used tea leaves. Let steep 5 minutes. Add oil, eggs and sugar, cream together using mixer on low speed.
Sift together flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat on low speed 2 minutes. Add remaining tea leaves, stir into batter.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan, bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over cold cake. This little cake is great served with raspberry sorbet!
The next recipe takes it aroma from a delicious organic green tea, also available from *teavana.com. This tea has just a hint of mango and marigold, which also gives it a wonderful aroma. This delicious tea is
-Mango*Green Tea Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. dry Mango Green Tea leaves (used and dried)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350oF.
Cream together butter, sugar and egg. Add tea leaves, stir well. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm and holds together to form a stiff dough.
Place on lightly floured board and knead a few times. Form into a ball and pat dough out to flatten. From into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut with knife into 2 inch squares or other chosen shapes.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly brown on the bottoms. Remove from oven, cool on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar.
Serve these fragrant shortbread cookies with steaming cups of your favorite fresh green tea, steeped to perfection!
The health benefits from green teas are not only achieved in the brewing of these fine teas, it can be used in baking tempting pastries as well!