Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Rosewater the delicate and versatile kitchen staple

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Welcome to a new regular series spotlighting one of the Steenbergs products. The first of these is on the Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Rose water was cultivated in Iran with more than 18, 000 cultivars and have been traditionally scattered at weddings to ensure a long and happy marriage as it’s been cited as a symbol of love and purity. In fact apart from it’s pretty name, rose water has  been used to reduce blood sugar and also been used as a cough syrup and to treat acid reflux. Rose water is truly a wonderful staple that is used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a key ingredient in many sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight and can be used to give a wonderfully sweet and florally aroma to your pastries and cakes such as Persian yazdi squares.

They’re very easy on the eyes and once you take a bite you will taste the rose water which has beautifully perfumed the cake with the ground cardamom. Cardamom helps to lower blood pressure as well as helping with bad breath and even help with cavities.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

Steenbergs Organic Rose Water adds a wonderful floral flavour to baking and savoury dishes.

All you need is:

Ingredients:

(Makes up to 20 cake squares)
(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes (to include cooking time and pouring over the rosewater syrup)

For the yazdi cake:

220g of almond flour
150g of coconut sugar
200ml of almond milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
100g finely ground pistachios
100ml of coconut oil, melted
1/s teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

 

For the filling and topping:

200g of pistachios, crushed
8 cardamom pods, deseeded and crushed
100g coconut sugar

 

For the rosewater syrup:

150ml of filtered water
2 teaspoons of organic rosewater
50g coconut sugar (all melted together in a small saucepan for 5 minutes)

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

Yazdi Squares created by NikiBakes and featuring Steenbergs Organic Rose Water.

From your kitchen:

A wooden spoon
A sharp knife
A griddle pan
A silicone spatula
A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring
A few mixing bowls, small and large
A chopping board
A food processor or pestle and mortar
A square brownie baking dish
A couple of small saucepans
A sheet of greaseproof paper

 

Method:
Step 1:

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or 180°c and grease your square brownie baking dish with extra coconut oil and line with greaseproof paper. Whisk your melted coconut oil and coconut sugar with your vanilla extract, set aside.

Step 2:

In a larger mixing bowl whisk together your dry ingredients which include the almond flour, baking powder, ground pistachios and Himalayan pink salt and start to fold in your ingredients with your wooden spoon. Spoon out half of your cake mixture and fill you cake with the pistachio- cardamom mixture, leave ¾ of this for the topping of your cake.

Step 3:

Once you have poured over the other half of your cake batter, sprinkle over the remaining pistachios and cardamom topping and bake in your oven for a minimum of 20 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool slightly.

Step 4:

Finally, prick your cake very gently with a fork and pour over the rosewater syrup, allowing it to seep through to your cake. Once completely cooled cut into squares and serve with some strong black tea, delicious!

 

Rose water is well paired with cardamom here and brings the flavours of the Middle East to your kitchen with ease. Give rose water a go today and see how versatile it truly is.

This article has been written and researched by

Niki Behjousiar

Recipe Creator and founder of nikibakes 

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

www.nikibakes.co.uk

Twitter: @Niki_Beh

nikibakes has been blogging for over 10 years and has a passion for gluten free and dairy free recipes. She’s a Persian chef who loves all things spice and particularly enjoys Asian and South American cuisine. She’s always on the lookout for fresh and delicious flavour combinations and uses our spices daily in her cooking and on her blog.

Working organically with Abel & Cole for 10 years

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Started 27 years ago, with the vision of supplying ethically sourced, high quality food and drink to people who care about the provenance of what they eat, Abel & Cole has gone from strength to strength.  It now delivers boxes of fruit and veg as well as organic milk, bread, eggs and meat to many parts of the country.  They deliver as far north as York, but just use the postcode finder on their website to check whether they deliver to your door: http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/help/faqMedium Everyday Easy Fruit & Veg Box

“It all started with a chap named Keith and a bag of spuds in 1988. He realised the huge benefits of going organic and never looked back. In fact, we still get veg from the farm where Keith’s first organic spuds came from”, say Abel & Cole.

Steenbergs and Abel & Cole share a common passion for all things organic. Both believe that organic farming is best for the environment, the wildlife and ultimately our own diets. Abel & Cole’s mantra is ‘grow slow’, which is an ethos shared by Steenbergs and the small independent producers that they use all around the world.

Steenbergs has been organic since it was founded in 2003 by husband and wife team Axel & Sophie Steenberg.  Their vision of supplying organic herbs and spices also led to them becoming Fairtrade for tea in 2004 and ultimately being the pioneers for the first Fairtrade spices into the UK in 2005.

“We’ve been working with Abel & Cole for over a decade,” says Axel.  “We started off supplying  small amounts of organic spices, but have recently added mini organic spice jars to their recipe boxes, and are now supplying our regular spice jars, vanilla extract and pods for sale in Abel & Cole’s Grocery Pantry.” http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/groceries/pantry/dried-herbs-spicesabel & cole recipe box

Abel & Cole use Steenbergs spice jars in the recipe boxes to add flavour and excitement to their recipes. To make the most of the flavoursome seasonal lettuces available at the moment, why not try Abel & Cole’s recipes for courgette falafel with peanut dip, spiced up with Steenbergs garam masala and coriander seeds? http://www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes/courgette-falafels-peanut-dip

Look out for our Abel & Cole competition coming up this month, with the chance for one lucky winner to win a month’s worth of veg boxes (a total of 4 of any size). A great way to make sure you have your 5-a-day!

abel_cole_logo_may-2015 - ONLINE

STEENBERGS TEA TASTER PANEL Morning Brew herbal tea & organic Fairtrade Earl Grey Tea

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Our tea taster panel had a delicious choice of teas this time, with a delicate organic Fairtrade Earl Grey and one of our new herbal tea blends, Morning Brew.  We had some great comments on both teas, although 63% of you did prefer the Earl Grey.  Read on to find out more…

STEENBERGS MORNING BREW HERBAL TEA

About Morning Brew:

morning brewSteenbergs Organic Morning Brew Herbal tea is an organic caffeine-free herbal blend created for Sophie as a decaff morning herbal brew. It is hand crafted and packed by us to Axel’s special recipe from organic redbush, organic oatstraw, organic ginger, organic cardamom, organic cinnamon and organic orange peel. The redbush provides the body, the oatstraw is uplifting and the spices add a zing and a spring to your step.

“I start every day with a mug of this tasty morning brew without milk – it starts my day perfectly,” says Sophie.organic-morning-brew-herbal-tea

Since we sent out the samples to our lovely tea taste panel, we have made a couple of changes to our Morning Brew.  Firstly we have managed to find organic oatstraw so we can make Morning Brew completely organic – hooray!  Secondly, we have relaunched our herbal teas in brand new practical packaging to make it easier to see the delicious blends.  We’d love to know what you think…

What did you think of Morning Brew?

Given the name ‘Morning’ Brew and the blend of uplifting herbs, it was interesting to see that only 29% would drink it just in the morning, with the majority happy to drink it at any time of the day (56%) and 9% in the evening.  Only a tiny minority didn’t like the blend.

morning brew worditout

The vast majority of our tea tasters enjoy herbal tea on a regular basis (88%), with 77% rating it excellent or good. When asked to describe how it made you feel we were delighted to find that ‘refreshed’, ‘invigorating’ and ‘energised’ were frequent words, as though was ‘relaxed’ – how good to feel both at the same time!

morning brew descriptions

Although very positive about the tea, it wouldn’t be the majority of our panel’s first drink of the day, many of you preferring a caffeinated drink such as coffee or black tea to give you that much-needed kick start.  Maybe it doesn’t go well with toast which it what the majority of our panel have for breakfast.  We particularly liked the sound of ‘toast with a savoury topping – goats cheese & honey or peanut butter & black pepper’ – delicious!

STEENBERGS ORGANIC FAIRTRADE EARL GREY

About Steenbergs Earl Grey:

organic-fairtrade-earl-grey-tea-loose-leaf-125g-tiSteenbergs Organic Fairtrade Earl Grey Tea is a deliciously light and fragrant classically scented organic black tea.  It comes from the Greenfield organic Tea Estate which lies between 5000ft and 6000ft above sea level in the Uva Highlands in central Sri Lanka. We pay a premium for the social welfare of the 770 people on this Greenfield Tea Estate. Visit our About FAIRTRADE  page for more information.

Sri Lanka is a jewel of a tropical island, located just above the equator with perfect growing conditions for organic Fairtrade tea, the climate is temperate, but rainy. Uva tea is regarded by the Japanese as the best of all Ceylon teas and we tend to agree. It produces a pale liquor with a slightly astringent taste that works very well with the flowery Bergamot flavour.

We use Greenfield organic Fairtrade Orange Pekoe grade tea leaves as its base, which compliments the sweet, citrus flavour of bergamot oil. We only use 100% organic bergamot oil for flavouring. The story is that in 1830 the second Earl Grey was presented with the recipe for this tea during a diplomatic mission to China.

What did you think of our Earl Grey?

With 78% of our panel rating the tea either Excellent or Good, here were some of the lovely comments you gave us on our Earl Grey:

“Wonderful!”

“Earl grey is a winner in my books, again down to the taste but I loved it!

“Even the last cup from the pot is lovely.” “It hits the spot.”

“Rarely drink Earl Grey – but this is amazing! Love the large tea leaves.”

However some of you were less enamoured and felt that the tea was not as intense or flavoursome as you would have liked.

Here are some of the flavour and aroma descriptions that you came up with.  It’s interesting to see that both ‘strong’ and ‘mild’ featured heavily, although ‘delicate’, ‘light’ and ‘citrus’ were definitely the main adjectives used.

Earl grey worditout

Of our taster panel, 59% were already regular Earl Grey drinkers, enjoying Steenbergs but also several other brands.  Over half of our panel drank the Earl Grey without milk and of those, 26% drank their black tea with lemon, with a small handful added sugar or honey to their tea.  If milk was added is was most likely to be cows milk (76%) although a variety of other milks were drunk including soya, almond & goat’s; although of those who drank both, several preferred cow’s milk in their tea but non dairy on cereal.

It was interesting to see that the vast majority of our panel enjoy their tea from a tea pot, with 72% feeling it is a ‘must’ for an enjoyable tea experience.  A tea bag versus loose leaf tea was another interesting debate and really boiled down to time.  54% definitely prefer loose leaf, with 20% preferring bags and 26% using either depending no how much time they had.

58% of our panel also enjoyed tea as their evening drink of choice, although 76% of those chose a decaffeinated herbal tea to wind down.  14% though felt that a glass of wine or a G&T was a much better way to spend an evening and 12% chose a soothing milky drink.

In conclusion, loose leaf tea in a lovely tea pot at the weekend with friends, or whilst reading or watching TV, was agreed to be a very relaxing way to enjoy a cuppa!

SPICE TASTER PANEL – Nasi Goreng & organic Lemon Extract

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Our spice tasters were in for a treat this time and a real test of their ingenuity, with not only the Asian spice blend Nasi Goreng but also our natural organic Lemon Extract which can be used for both sweet & savoury cooking.

NASI GORENG

Steenbergs Nasi Goreng spice mix is Steenbergs’ take on the classic South East Asian blend.

nasi-goreng-spice-mix

Literally meaning ‘fried rice’, you can add any ingredients you like to a nasi goreng, making it a sort of Asian paella but with a spicy kick.  Rating the intensity of the blend between 2 and 5 with an average of 3.7 out of 5, our tasters found it a ‘very good’, ‘spicy’, ‘hot’, ‘strong’, ‘chunky’ mix.  The Steenbergs blend does contain crushed red hot chilli peppers & chilli powder but gets its great flavour from the combination with salt, cane sugar, garlic powder, galangal, ginger powder and the new addition of amchur (mango powder).

Take a look at our word cloud for further descriptions.

Nasi Goreng – Flavour Descriptions

nasi goreng flavour worditout

Traditionally available in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, nasi goreng can be eaten at any time of day or night but is often eaten for breakfast.  75% of our panel however would eat it in the evening, although 7.5% were keen on breakfast and 7.5% anytime!

Nearly three-quarters of our tasters regularly eat Asian food, with 56% having previously used Asian spice blends, including garam masala and Thai curry pastes. Encouragingly, 81% of them would use our Nasi Goreng spice mix again, with 78% rating it Excellent or Good.

Perfect in rice dishes and a great way to use up leftover rice, our panel had some other brilliant ideas for our spice blend, including: mixed with sunflower oil and used as a rub for chicken or corn-on-the cob; on potato wedges; to give a kick to salad, in the cooking of Scotch Eggs and even on cheese on toast.  One of our panel was particularly ingenious, using both the spice mix and the lemon extract together to make a tasty chicken marinade.

Good food is often about the company you keep and how it makes you feel.  Nearly all of you mentioned friends and family as the people with whom you’d share your meal and it was great to see how ‘happy’, ‘satisfied’ and ‘warm’ this blend made you feel.

Nasi Goreng – How does it make you feel?

nasi goreng how do you feel worditout

LEMON EXTRACT

Steenbergs organic Lemon Extract is a fabulously versatile product made from organic sunflower oil and organic lemon oil.  Often used in baking, it is also fabulous in salad dressings, stir fries and with chicken and Mediterranean herbs.

organic-lemon-extract-100ml

63% of our panel opted for sweet recipes, although 15% tried both sweet and savoury ideas.  As expected our taste testers came up with new and inventive ways of using it too, including on the sweet side: raw lemon truffles; rice pudding with stewed apples; milkshake; fudge; rhubarb, raspberry & lemonade cordial; mixing with double cream and the deliciously sounding lemon & nutmeg shortbread.  On the savoury side there was lemon rice; marinades; aubergine curry; linguine; on tuna steak; smoked mackerel pate; fishcakes and lemon and rosemary potatoes.  It was even used to make a few cocktails!

Having has a good go at many different ways to use the lemon extract, 95% of our panel would use it again, with 88% rating it Excellent or Good.  81% would recommend it to a friend although nearly 10% would choose to keep it as their own secret ingredient!

Steenbergs lemon extract is a hugely evocative product, conjuring up images for our testers of ‘lemon groves in Italy’; ‘big bowls of fresh lemons’; ‘lemon cake’; ‘summer’ and lots of ‘sunshine’.

The flavour and texture are summarised in the word cloud below with sherbet and Opal Fruits making an appearance!

Lemon Extract – Flavour & Texture

lemon extract flavour texture

Our panel were also asked to think of just one word to sum up what they thought about our lemon extract and we’re thrilled to see that ‘fresh’ and ‘versatile’ are among the favourite comments.

lemon extract - one word worditout

We do hope you enjoy trying, tasting and experimenting with our products. We’d love to hear any ideas and tips you’ve gathered so that we can share them with you all.

TEA TASTER PANEL Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea & Steenbergs Jasmine Green Tea

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Many thanks to our tea taster panel who this month had the delights of tasting Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea: a strong, aromatic blend of organic Fairtrade teas from Sri Lanka and Assam, Kerala and Darjeeling in India; and Steenbergs Green Tea with Jasmine: a delicately flavoured green flower tea from China.  Two very different teas with unique flavours and we loved hearing how, when and why you enjoy drinking them.

Steenbergs organic Jasmine Green Tea 

organic-jasmine-green-tea-loose-leaf-tea-caddy

We asked you to describe the flavour and aroma of the tea and the predominant descriptions were floral, sweet, light, fresh, delicate and (luckily!) jasmine. Interestingly one of you who wasn’t keen on the flavour of scented teas still loved the aroma! We did love the fact that one of our panel likened the tea to ‘coming home – similar to a pair of cashmere bedsocks!’

We were also fascinated to find out how it made you feel, with many of you saying relaxed, refreshed and healthy – what more could you want from a tea!  Other notable quote included: ‘both myself and my 2 year old give a big thumbs up to the Jasmine Green Tea'; ‘much nicer than jasmine flowers which I find too heady or sickly’; ‘warm climes with jasmine abundant on every corner’; ‘evokes holiday & summer memories’; and ‘floral with perfect level of bitterness’.

Around half of our tea panel were already green tea drinkers with a wide scope of brands and varieties regularly enjoyed, including long jing and gunpowder. Brewing of the tea averaged 4-5 minutes but again it was often down to personal preference.

When assessing the overall preference for teas, the Jasmine was more popular than the English Breakfast. However, other interesting teas were mentioned such as Silver Needles, Gingerbread Chai, Redbush, Rose & Bergamot & Happy Hippy, all making it into your top tea choice.  It shows the great range and variety of teas available to us now, with green, white and herbal teas vying for position with our traditional black teas to be your favourite.  We certainly had an expert panel though, with 76% of you championing tea as your favourite daytime drink.

 Jasmine Green Tea

Steenbergs organic Fairtrade English Breakfast Tea

english-breakfast-tea-in-caddy-organic-fairtrade

With comments such as: ‘good balance of high & low tones’, ‘good subtle flavour’ and the ultimate accolade of being ‘better than PG’, many of you enjoyed the flavoursome qualities of this black tea, although a few of you did feel that it could be more intense and fuller in flavour.

Our tea tasters were evenly split in their desire to try it with or without milk, with 63% preferring to drink it in the morning than any other time of day.

Half of our tea tasters use a pot to brew their tea, with 27% preferring a mug and the rest going with the flow.  The majority of our panel do have a favourite mug from which to drink their tea with all sorts of shapes and sizes to choose from.  Porcelain was popular as were some personal favourites: an Emma Bridgewater mug saying ‘Best Friend’; a tall thin Disney Princess mug or a big wide green stoneware mug.  On average the tea was brewed for 3-4 minutes, although anywhere between 1 and 8 minutes was noted.

For that first drink of the morning, many of you always go for tea (60%) with hot or cold water (24%) being increasingly popular than coffee (12%).  A luxury for some, a newspaper is only standard with your cuppa for 40% of you, with The Times and The Guardian featuring as the most popular reads.

Have a look at some of the words used to describe Steenbergs English Breakfast Tea – the larger the word the more times it was mentioned.  Do you agree?

English Breakfast

Although a rather unfair comparison with two distinct teas, 70% of you did prefer the Green Jasmine to the English Breakfast.  Are we becoming more international with our flavours? More health conscious? Or, as with many things, is it just down to our own personal preference.

What is Steenbergs’ carbon footprint?

Friday, June 5th, 2015

We seek to offset our carbon footprint so it is pretty small.

For 2014, Steenbergs has purchased carbon offsets for 72 tonnes of carbon dioxide (i), up from 17 tonnes in 2013.  This has increased, because we are now retiring even more of the greenhouse gases from our business.  This is in addition to using solar energy for 45% of our electricity usage and recycling as much of our waste as possible.

In previous footprints, we included direct greenhouse gases from energy consumed and business travel, together with those from the transport of goods to and from Steenbergs (ii).  In effect, this is the climate change impact resulting from what we do.

We actually reduced this direct carbon footprint by 25% between 2013 and 2014, down from 17 to 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014.

However, in looking more closely at our products’ lifecycle from farm-to-landfill, we were excluding virtual carbon embedded within our packaging and ingredients.  So that’s the greenhouse gases arising from farming and the manufacture of glass jars, steel lids and tins, together with impacts resulting from the disposal or recycling of packaging by our customers.  But this embedded carbon (or traded carbon) should be brought into consideration, or an oil trader becomes very green when you ignore the oil (iii).

This would be fine if our suppliers offset their climate costs, but they don’t.

82% of the carbon footprint in Steenbergs’ products is indirect:

Breakdown of carbon impact from Steenbergs in 2014

Breakdown of carbon impact from Steenbergs in 2014

42 tonnes of carbon dioxide relates to packaging, compared to the 13 tonnes from our business.

As for farming, we had naively assumed that its carbon costs are analogous to the carbon captured in the plants themselves.  Mike Berners-Lee in How bad are bananas? gives zero as the carbon footprint of an apple plucked from a tree in your garden.

Initial research gives the impact may be 0.87 kg CO2 per kg of spices; this compares to 12kg and 19 kg CO2 per kg of beef and lamb.  Farming might add another 17 tonnes carbon dioxide (iv).  Because this relates to what we sell, we will need to dig deeper.

But using this, Steenbergs’ total footprint over the lifecycle of its products is 72 tonnes carbon dioxide every year, or 6 families’ worth of carbon.  This has been offset through ClimateCare, which neatly uses projects such as its LifeStraw project that combine Steenbergs’ concern for water with issues of climate change.

Putting this into context, spices and herbs contribute a tiny proportion of the carbon footprint of a meal.

For example, the spices in rogan josh are 0.1% of the total footprint versus 89% for the lamb, or 0.5% in tandoori chicken compared to 85% for the poultry.  The herbs in spaghetti bolognaise are less than 0.01% of its total carbon footprint.  And last month we calculated the carbon footprints of your cup of tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

Notes

(i)    For ease, carbon dioxide is lazily used for carbon dioxide equivalent, so it includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide gases.

(ii)   Steenbergs direct carbon footprint includes: electricity, business travel, water supply and sewerage, trade waste and recycled waste.  Steenbergs indirect carbon footprint comprises: freight for raw materials and packaging into Steenbergs and distribution of packed goods to our trade and consumer customers.

(iii)  See: Roger Harrabin (2015) CO2 cuts claims challenged by experts, BBC News, 19 March 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31952888; or John Barrett , Glen Peters , Thomas Wiedmann , Kate Scott , Manfred Lenzen , Katy Roelich & Corinne Le Quéré (2013) Consumption-based GHG emission accounting: a UK case study, Climate Policy, 13:4, 451-470, DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2013.788858

(iv)   I am unclear whether these figures are for the lifecycle of spices and/or include carbon captured in the plants themselves.  47.5% of carbon is locked in plant material, equivalent to 1.7kg CO2 per kilo.  So I am confused…

Time For Tea with Helen WIlson of www.lotsofnicethings.com

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Time for Tea – our monthly chat with someone who cares about tea. This time from Helen Wilson whose blog is www.lotsofnicethings.com

Helen Wilson from www.lotsofnicethings.com.

Helen Wilson from www.lotsofnicethings.com.

1. What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?
Traditional tea with soya milk

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?
Chamomile
3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?
All the unusual varieties and the fact they are fairtrade and organic
4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?
Redbush Chai – because I love chai flavours but am trying to cut down on the caffeine.

Steenbergs Organic Red Chai tea is a caffeine free, herbal, loose leaf chai made from redbush tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?

Jamie Oliver. I’d like to talk to him about food and convince him to go vegan!

Your contact details
Website: www.lotsofnicethings.com

Time for Tea with Jo @includingcake.com

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Time for Tea – our monthly chat with someone who cares about tea – this time it’s with Jo Hodson from including cake.com blog

Jo from includingcake.com

1.What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?

I’ve always been a big fan of a slice of fresh lemon in warm water but when I want more of a boost I choose a tea instead- a green tea infused with mint or lemon fits the bill perfectly.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?

My afternoon and after dinner choice for tea is nearly always peppermint (or a triple mint combo!) I love mint tea and could drink it forever!!

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?

I have only recently started drinking loose teas and I love the choices Steenbergs offers, in both traditional and more unique flavours, as well as the fact they are all organic which is very important to me.

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?

I love the sound of the Happy Hippy herbal tea! The name makes me smile and the ingredients sounds great- offering a nice change from mint once in a while! I imagine drinking it late morning with a one of my healthy treats to nibble on.

Steenbergs organc happy hippy herbal tea – a delcious blend of flowers and mint.

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?

Oooh this is a tough one. For me tea drinking is a mindful process that centres you in the present. I have a tendency to rush around so much in life and tea really helps me slow down and practice mindfulness in those few moments of sipping from a hot mug. Therefore my ideal tea partner would be someone who could help deepen my spiritual awareness, maybe someone like Deepak Chopra.

 

For more information and to learn more about Jo’s interests – she operates a very interesting vegetarian blog, go to;

Website: www.includingcake.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Including-Cake/163685083724688

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/IncludingCake

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jo-hodson/64/788/707

Instagram: http://instagram.com/johodson
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/johodson/

Time for Tea with Helen @FussFreeFlavours

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The lovely Helen Best Shaw from Fuss Free Flavours imparts her tea habits and desires in this month’s Time for Tea blog spot.

 

HBS Profile Phoho

1.      What is your favourite tea to set you up for the day first thing in the morning?

I am an afternoon tea type of person – I drink coffee in the morning – but occasionally I’ll have a coconut, banana and matcha smoothie for breakfast.

2. What is your favourite tea to relax you in the afternoon?

It depends – I always drink my tea without milk and usually choose something light – Japanese, Chinese greens and whites.  I always use my Emma Bridgewater teapot, silver tea strainer and use a china mug.

3. What do you like best about Steenbergs teas?

The variety and quality! And that I know that they are organic and FairTrade, or traded fairly

4. Which Steenbergs tea would you most like to try and why?

Steenbergs white tea stars – part of the Steenbergs flowering tea.

The white tea stars – they look adorable – or any of the flowering teas.

5. Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with and why?

Skye Gyngell – who is my favourite chef and writer by far.  I had the most amazing meal at Petersham Nurseries about 6 years ago and can still clearly remember her amazing salt cod.  Her flavour combinations are wonderful, I want to cook everything from her cookbooks.

For more of Helen foodie news, you can contact her via:

Website:  fussfreeflavours.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fussfreeflavours

Twitter:   @fussfreehelen

Instagram:  fussfreeflavours

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/fussfreeflavour/

Spice Taster Panel – Ras Al Hanut and Organic Harissa with Rose

Friday, June 13th, 2014

  SPICE – SEASON – SAVOUR

Welcome back to our taster panel, where this time our resident testers have been spicing it up with Ras al Hanut and organic Harissa with Rose.   We’ve had a great response and thought we’d share some of their thoughts and ideas with you.  Some of the tips were so good that we’re adding them on to the product pages!

Steenbergs Ras al Hanut

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend

Many of you found this wonderful blend of over 20 different spices well rounded, warm, fragrant and spicy but not too hot. ‘Even the kids like it’, said one taster.  You all found it an incredibly versatile blend, using it in everything from scrambled eggs to fish and in a lot of lamb dishes, such as koftas & rack of lamb. With its heady range of spices, it made you think of holidays in the sun, somewhere warm and exotic.  Keith Lemon was mentioned as an ideal dinner guest (!) but the majority of you wanted to share an alfresco meal with your friends and family.  A little Bedouin music was in order for one taster, with an eclectic range from reggae to latin for the rest of you.  Definitely a blend to be enjoyed together.

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend, created in rural North Yorkshire and tested by the Steenbergs taster panel.

Steenbergs Ras Al Hanut spice blend, created in rural North Yorkshire and tested by the Steenbergs taster panel.

Key Phrases for Ras al Hanut: ‘wonderful smell – casting me back to ethnic spice markets in foreign parts’; ‘light & fragrant without being overpowering or aggressively punchy’; ‘fantastic, had a lovely warmth without being too spicy’; ‘perky, interesting, not too hot,  very tasty, brilliant with lamb’.

Top Cooking Tips: moroccan chicken stew; vegetable stew; on scrambled eggs; stew; rub on chicken; rub on steak & lamb; Moroccan tagine; roasted veg; eggs; fish; chicken; chicken curry; lamb spice rub on rack of lamb; spice rub on chicken wings; with lamb; on hummous; roasted veg; lamb koftas with ras al hanut with spritz of lemon; Moroccan veg stew; pork steak with garlic; Couscous balls – mixed with olive oil then stirred into couscous, then formed couscous into a ball before eating;

Steenbergs organic Harissa with Rose

Steenbergs organic harissa with rose spice blend, blended in Yorkshire.

Another blend with North African origins, this was very different in character and also divided opinion with the addition of rose.  Most of you enjoyed it, one was pleasantly surprised after initial suspicion, one couldn’t taste the rose and one was definitely not convinced! However you did all give it a really good try in a fantastic range of recipes: from roasted chickpeas to Muhammara dip, and from butternut and harissa hummus to puy lentil dressing.  You also used it in tagines, as a rub and in a yoghurt dip showing the huge variety of meals that can benefit from this blend.  Again it whisked you all far away to a warm night in Morocco with friends, or maybe by yourself but you had everything from Algerian Rai to Reggae to entertain you!

 

Steenbegs organic Harissa with Rose comments from the Taster panel

 

Key phrases for Harissa with Rose: ‘Lovely, one of the nicest harissa’s I’ve had’;nice, warm, spicy hot with flavour’; ‘warm with hints of garlic & onion’; ‘there is an initial chilli flavour which mellows into a lovely fragrant flavour and leaves the palate with a warmth that hums on afterwards’.

Top Cooking Tips: roasted chickpeas; veg stew; grilled fish; stock for couscous; Shakshuka; marinade for lamb/steak; dressing for bulgur wheat & chickpea salad; spicy pork;in Muhammara dip – nicely set off the vinegar/sharp notes; Butternut & harissa hummous; harissa and sweet potato wedges; spicing for N African stews, mixed with olive oil for marinade for fish, chicken, meat and kebabs; puy lentil salad dressing; tagine; griddled veg; patatas bravas; pork steak and couscous

We always love to hear from our customers, what amazing creations you make in the kitchen with our spices and what you like (and don’t like), comment underneath about how you find these spice blends or alternatively email us direct, instagram, facebook or tweet your creations to us. Happy Cooking

  SPICE – SEASON – SAVOUR

For the full range of Steenbergs arabic spice blends, click here, all of these are created and blended at Steenbergs in rural North Yorkshire.