Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chocolate and Tea--Two Perfect Companions

By Cal Orey 

While a cup of tea is a pleasure on its own, it also can be weaved into edible adventures and enhance a variety of sweet and savory flavors. Whether you’re brewing a pure tea or a blend with exotic herbs and spices, the range of flavors in a steep can pair well with chocolate treats... Cal Orey, author of The Healing Powers of Chocolate, shares her thoughts on cacao confections and her favorite pairings in the delicious recipe below. She even treated us to exclusive excerpt from her book featuring a recipe for a green tea infused chocolate rocky road tea bark (just in time for Valentine’s day). Although if you prefer to begin with pairings, seek out herbal infusions or teas that are blended with cinnamon, ginger, licorice, mint and vanilla for the ultimate chocolate and tea experience.

Q: What inspired your interest in chocolate?
A: I have penned the Healing Powers series–books on amazing superfoods. Since chocolate has a reputation of being a “forbidden” food, I felt it was time to lose the guilt. I thought, “It would be intriguing to write about a decadent food that is actually good for you.” It was the right time to write about the right kind of chocolate—in moderation—and prove its powers as a healthy and versatile functional food.
Q: What gives chocolate some health benefits?
A: A 1.5 ounce bar of quality chocolate has as much antioxidant power as a 5 ounce glass of wine—without the side effects of alcohol. Chocolate is chock-full of mood-enhancing ingredients, including phenylethylamine (the “love drug”) and serotonin—a feel good compound.
Q: Why do you think chocolate and tea are a perfect match?
A: Both superfoods have amazing powers to help nourish the body, mind, and spirit. Pairing this mighty duo is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream or salt and pepper. Chocolate and tea are Mother’s Nature’s finest work and deserves kudos.
Q: Do you have a favorite chocolate and tea pairing?
A: This is a Sophie’s Choice question. If I have to make a decision today in the middle of winter with snow covered ground in the mountains, I’d choose a dark almond chocolate muffin with a cup of White Peony Tea.
Q: How is your new, forthcoming book The Healing Powers of Tea different than other tea books?
A: I focus on teas that other authors have not. Also, I pair herbal teas with classic teas and new tea trends to give it an edge. Not to forget the health spin of the superfood is woven throughout the book full of original stories, including my own travels on the road while tea is my constant companion.

(excerpt from The Daily Tea--find the Tea Bark recipe in the article)

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