Herbal Teas – Tasty and Beneficial

The more I garden and learn about herbs, the more I want to know.  I enjoy learning about herbs, spices and plants of all kinds.  Once this box got opened for me, there is no closing it.  It continually spills over and over again with more and more information. A beautiful spilling of floral, culinary, medicinal informational delight. Today I want to share a little information on Making Herbal Teas or more correctly; making an infusion.  An herbal tea is called a ( tinsanes =  /tɪ-zahn).  In reality, it is not a tea without one of the tea plants Camelia Sinensis leaves in it.  Instead they are infusions made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices. I will continue to refer to them here as Herbal Teas or Teas.

Here is where the difference between herbs and spices kind of get thrown together.  As many spices are added to herbal teas too.  Some of those spices are cinnamon, ginger, turmeric which have been found as extremely beneficial for our health. The difference between and herb and a spice: Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. Examples of herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. Examples of spices include coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and turmeric.

Herbal teas can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.  Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple hot cup of steeped lemon grass.  This herb is a mild sweet citrus flavor that I find soft, pleasant and calming.

Most herbal teas are much more complex combining herbs and spices for flavor and health benefits.  Teas for fighting colds and flu, which by the way, really do make a difference!  Teas for cardiovascular health, blood pressure improvement, general immune system building.  Whatever flavor combinations you have or make to enjoy each and every component will have positive health properties.

Grow some Stevia plant’s to use as a natural sweetener.  This plant’s leaves are seriously sweet right off of the plant. Use your culinary Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Lavender and so many more for brewing your favorite herbal delight.  Steep the leaves, roots, bark or flowers in hot water (not boiling) for 15 minutes to ensure all of the flavor and nutritional oils have been brought out.  Then enjoy it hot or cold, either way is great.

One more thing to make mention for you to consider – most all true Herbal Teas are caffeine free. The plant, Camelia Sinensis, has caffeine.

You can blend your own as easy as harvesting the plants you have or using dried herbs from your pantry.  Grab your tea ball or tea bags and get started.  Whatever your reason, to have an herb garden, to enjoy herbal teas for flavor or for health and wellness; there is much to enjoy.  If you have never tried an herbal tea, consider starting today.

We keep organic blended teas made and ready to go at the farm store here at C & J Farms.   Some of the herbal teas we carry are – Happy Tummy Tea, Cold and Flu Tea (this is so effective!!), Lemon Tea, Red Rooibos Tea, Earl Grey with Coneflower (this has caffiene), Blues Tea and more.  We offer lists of ingredients in each tea, tea kitchen accessories and a great conversation on herbs, spices and herbal teas.

If you want to know more about what we carry you will have to come by the store,give us a call, or contact us via our email.  We will be happy to help you find an herbal tea delight to suit what you might be looking for.

lemon honey in lemon grass tea 2

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Peaches, Pork and Sage with Gravy

Did you know Sage is a perennial plant?  It prefers cool weather and thrives but will survive even in Texas hot summers.  It is one of my favorite herbs.   The flowers make beautiful cut flowers in the summer time.

I was at the Farmers Market yesterday and there were fresh peaches everywhere and the scent was heavy in the air.  I picked up some to work on a few new Jam recipes but couldn’t resist them this morning.  They had made my kitchen fragrant.

We slept in so I was late getting started with preparing food to eat.  I decided this would be the main meal of the day.

Boneless pork chops were already thawed in the fridge, peaches were fragrant and I was looking at the rain revived sage in my garden out the window.

Ingredients:

4 Boneless pork chops
½ cup of cooking oil (your preference)
1 cup of flour
2 cup of milk
1 ½ tablespoon of fresh chopped sage (optional, you can use C & J Farms dried Sage instead)
Sage Square
2 tablespoon of C & J Farms Scarborough Fair (Sage, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme) a bit extra as you go.
1 ripe peach
1 tablespoon C & J Farms Salt & Black Pepper mix

pork peaches sage 1

Put 1 cup milk in a bowl for dredging the pork chops.
Put 1 cup of flour in a bowl for dredging .  Add one 1 tablespoon of C & J Farms Scarborough Fair seasoning to the flour and stir it in.
Seasoning the pork chops on both sides with C & J Farms Salt & Pepper then add more Scarborough Fair on top of the chops. Now put each pork chop in the milk then in the seasoned flour. Set aside.

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Put the oil in the skillet and get the oil hot at a medium high.  Once the oil is hot put the pork chops in and let them get a good crispy brown.  Approx. 2 minutes before turning. (You don’t want to over cook because the chops will get tough.) Then turn again another 2 to 3 minutes. Check for browning and doneness. Remove the chops cover and keep warm.

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Once done set aside some of the oil from cooking the chops (about 1 to 2 teaspoons) in a small skillet.

While the chops are browning, slice up your peaches. Set aside.
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Now the Sage Gravy:

In the oil the chops were cooked in (should be about 2 tablespoons in the pan, if not add some oil).  Begin to whisk in the seasoned flour mixture (you want this to still have Scarborough Fair seasoning in it) from the pork chop dredge, approx. 2 tablespoons. Add 2 cups of milk. 1 cup from the dredge and add one more cup.  Whisk the gravy and cook until thickened adding the fresh cut sage and a little salt and pepper (to taste) at the end. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.

Now sauté the sliced peaches in the skillet with the oil from the pork chops adding a bit more fresh chopped sage when they are soft. Once done, (this only takes about 1 to 2 minutes) add them on top of the pork chops.

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Scramble the eggs in the same skillet.  Plate everything up and enjoy.

Blueberry Lavender Honey Smoothie

This is my favorite flavor combination; our lavender honey and fresh for fresh frozen blueberries.  I enjoy this often and thought you might too.

1 cup of blueberries
1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
2 heaping teaspoons of C & J Farms Lavender Honey
1 cup of 2 % milk (use whatever your favorite milk is)
Blend and enjoy. This makes enough for one serving.

 

Sweet Orange Baked Pork Chops

Our Sweet Orange and Herb seasoning is fresh and simple but has a huge flavor.  Just add to your pork chops prior to cooking for a very new flavor.  We also enjoy our combined Black Pepper and Sea Salt.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. These pork chops are center cut 1/2 thick chops.

pork sweet orange 1
Lightly rub some olive oil (or any oil you like) on the pork chops.  Sprinkle liberally both sides of the chops with the  C & J Farms Sea Salt and Black Pepper and the C & J Farms Sweet Orange and Herb.

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Cover with foil and place in the hot oven for about 1 hour.  After 1 hour remove the foil and place back in the oven to brown the chops.

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After the chops are cooked I put some of the juice from the chops over the chops and serve.

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Yum, Sweet Orange!