Tea & Snacks: Make Your Own with Ease


So you’ve tackled healthy breakfasts and lunches with some help from our ever faithful and delicious Camellia Sinensis.  But you’re still hungry you say, or simply have a case of the munchies and want to experiment with some healthy snacks?  Well, tea is once again here to add a little extra something to your nibbles!

These can be a fabulous finish to a batch of popcorn (preferably air-popped) or perhaps some homemade kale chips with your own Matcha Salt.  Simply put about 1/4 cup of a large crystal sea salt or kosher salt into a coffee or spice grinder.  Add  1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of fresh matcha powder, pulse a few time to coat and voila, in seconds you have a beautiful green, flavorful finishing salt for your salads, vegetables, fish or in this case snacks.  You can get creative with this simple recipe and use a combination of matcha and powdered spices such as ginger, or finely grind your alternate choice of tea and combine say a rich black tea with some five spice powder, then pulse with your sea salt and enjoy.

To finish that popcorn, alternatives to the straight tea salt could be a sprinkling of one part matcha and three parts fine sea salt or nutritional yeast.

Does your idea of a healthy snack center on crisp fresh veggies and dip, then how about non-fat yogurt based dip with matcha and your favorite combination of spices and or herbs.  A touch of wasabi or garlic in there is always a welcome addition as well.

For those of us with a sweet tooth to appease, smoothies offer a wide range of possibilities.   Left over tea can be frozen into ice cubes to give additional body to your smoothies, or you can freeze your fruit instead and introduce tea by way of small amounts of concentrated iced teas or tea syrups.  Never be afraid to mix salty and sweet for dishes that will wake up your palette, or savory and sweet as in this lovely Spiced Green Tea Smoothie.

Spiced Green Tea Smoothie

adapted from Stephana Bottom of Health.com

3/4 cup strong green tea, chilled
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon (2 – 3 tbsp)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 small pear, skin on, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fat free plain yogurt
6 – 8 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Drink immediately.

As the warmer weather is approaching, it brings to mind not just cold drinks, but frozen treats as snacks to satisfy our hunger and our palates as well as cool us off.  Your fruity, water, juice or tea based mixtures can be churned into sorbets, stirred and scraped into granitas or frozen straight into ice pops which are sure to bring out the kid in all of us.

Jared Bachellor

Pastry Chef Jared Bacheller has created a wonderful sorbet which he serves at L’Espalier as a palate cleansing ‘Intermezzo’.  It is whimsically presented in a flower pot with fresh greens scooped into a handmade cone, sprouting up out of the cookie crumb and sugar ‘dirt’.  He even finishes the cone with house made sprinkles, but you can feature this healthy and refreshing sorbet presented any way you would enjoy, as a welcome snack on a hot summer afternoon to rave reviews.  It also makes a wonderful addition to a salad.  You can freeze it in an ice cream maker for the sorbet, or finish it as described below for a granita.


Celery, Lemongrass and Green Tea Sorbet or Granita

2 1/2 cups sugar
2 pounds celery, peeled to remove stringy fibers from back, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1 stalk lemongrass, course chopped
2 tablespoons green tea leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste


Place 2 1/2 cups water with lemongrass in a small saucepan.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in tea leaves and remove from heat.  Set aside for 5 minutes and strain into another saucepan.  Stir in 2 cups sugar and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Cool.

Reserving 3/4 cup of the syrup, put half the remaining syrup in a food processor or blender with half of the celery, juice of 1/2 lime and a pinch of salt.  Puree well for 1 to 2 minutes.  Press firmly through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth.  Repeat with the second half.  If you have a juicer, you can simply juice the celery and combine with the sugar syrup, lime and salt. Taste and add additional reserved syrup or additional lime juice to taste.

Transfer to a stainless steel loaf pan. Place in the freezer, uncovered. When the top and sides of the liquid forms an icy layer, scrape through entire pan with a fork, paying special attention to the sides, scraping towards the center. Return to freezer and let another frozen layer form, scraping again with a fork. Repeat freezing and scraping steps until all liquid is frozen. Fluff with a fork before serving.Jared Bachellor

note that this post was previously published on August 4th, 2014


About Author

Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier, has discovered her true passion for tea after taking exciting journeys into the tea fields of China and Sri Lanka, where she uncovered the pure beauty of tea culture. Cynthia strives to bring "a culinary approach to tea" to the United States.

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