Oolong Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oolong Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay so I forgot to take a picture this time but I swear they looked a lot like this!

I really enjoyed baking the Matcha tea cookies and dropping some off at family member’s houses for them to try. Since I love to experiment in the kitchen (especially with tea), I decided to use up the rest of the Oolong tea bags I had left to make another cookie recipe.

Here is the recipe if any of you are interested!

First, why milk chocolate instead of white chocolate?

I chose to use milk chocolate chips for this recipe because they go better with the flavors of Oolong tea. This type of tea has a stronger taste than green tea so the stronger flavor of milk chocolate is necessary (in my opinion).

Dark chocolate would probably be even better. I will remember that for next time if I choose to make them again.

No eggs for these either

If you read my Matcha cookie recipe post, you would know that I have issues with eggs. They make me feel very sick and give me hives.

This means that I can not use them in anything I make.

For baking, I typically use unsweetened applesauce to replace the egg but for this recipe I tried out plain yogurt instead.

What is the flavor like?

These cookies have a chocolatey taste with the Oolong tea undertones. You can make the Oolong tea flavor stronger by steeping the tea bags longer and/or adding another tea bag full of dried leaves to the flour.

They are a bit different tasting but very good! Even my 5 year old son loved them.

The recipe

Here it is!

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 5 Oolong tea bags
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp water (egg and egg yolk replacements)
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini milk chocolate chips

Instructions-

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and the tea leaves from one bag of Oolong tea together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Steep the four tea bags into the melted butter in a medium size bowl for four minutes. Take the tea bags out and squeeze the excess butter out of them in the bowl. Mix in the sugar, vanilla extract and egg/yolk substitutes until creamy.
  4. Mix the creamed butter in with the dry ingredients until just blended. Pour in the chocolate chips and use gloved hands to mix them into the dough.
  5. Drop 24 portions of the dough down onto the cookie sheets.
  6. Bake until edges are light brown-around 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a while after they are done.

Simple and easy treat

Treats are wonderful to have once in a while. You can still maintain a great figure with them in your diet.

These Oolong tea cookies are not your typical flavor but they will definitely satisfy a craving for something sweet.

Thanks for reading!

#baking #tea #cooking #chocolatechipcookes #cookies #recipes #cheatmeal #dessert

New Research Suggests Green Tea May Be of Use In The COVID-19 Fight

New Research Suggests Green Tea May Be of Use In The COVID-19 Fight

Yay for Matcha tea!

If you have read my other posts, you may know that I love tea. A nice hot, steaming cup is very therapeutic to me.

I came across recent articles from medical research sites that went over the possible use of green tea as a preventative and treatment option for COVID-19. Needless to say, this really excited me!

Health benefits of tea have been touted for a while now

Green tea has been gaining in popularity over the years. This is due to the benefits some researchers say that it has. They are as follows:

  1. May lower cholesterol
  2. May lower high blood pressure
  3. May help with weight loss
  4. Provides energy without jitters
  5. May help with skin conditions such as aging and acne
  6. May have anti-inflammatory effects
  7. May protect against cavities
  8. May help regulate blood sugar levels

These alleged benefits are said to be due to the tea’s content of a catechin called, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). To get as much EGCG as you can, here are things one can do:

  1. Drink multiple cups a day- Research says 3-5 cups is best.
  2. Drink between meal times- This is so you can absorb all of the EGCG instead of having it bind to the food you are eating.
  3. Pick green tea with the most EGCG in it- Loose leaf teas with the most EGCG are Gyokuro, Matcha and Sencha. Tea brands that sell tea bags with the most EGCG include Celestial Seasonings and Lipton with Stash having the lowest amount.
  4. Go straight for the EGCG- This catechin is sold by itself as a supplement from a few different brands.

What the articles are saying (extremely simple explanation)

Green tea has been known to have a possibility of treating viruses such as HIV, Influenza and the Rotavirus. There are now a few research articles stating its use in the war against COVID-19, too.

The constituents in green tea (EGCG being one of them) are said to have antiviral effects. When it comes to fighting COVID-19, it possibly does this several ways. These ways include inhibition, interaction and binding activity

But wait, I have had green tea daily for years

I have been drinking multiple cups of green tea per day for years now and I still got COVID-19 in March.

This is probably due to me not drinking the kind of green tea that has a high amount of the constituents discussed in the articles and because the research is not definitive.

Green tea may not actually do anything

Some say green tea has health benefits, some say it has absolutely no benefits.

I do not think it will do miraculous things to our health but I am still going to drink it. If in the off shoot it is actually doing my body some good (maybe it kept me from having to go to the hospital?), then great!

The main thing I really love about seeing these articles is that there are people working immensely hard on trying to figure this new virus out. This gives me so much hope.

Do you like green tea? If so, what brand/kind do you drink?

Thanks for reading!

Some articles-

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27545/this-is-how-much-green-tea-you-should-be-drinking.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367004/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32720577/

#greentea #health #covid19 #covidlonghaulers #supplements #virology

How I Practice Self-Care

How I Practice Self-Care

Happy fall!

This year has been so bad in my opinion. It also has seemingly dragged on for a very long time.

I just wanted to discuss the problems I have had throughout 2020 so far and how I try to make myself feel better from time to time.

This year can kick rocks

I, like many others, had hope for this year. Then the pandemic happened and that hope went flying away.

2020 was supposed to be a start-over year for me. I was unemployed all of 2019 due to the stress of running a home daycare. Things were going okay until I took a virtual assistant position that turned out to be a scam.

I lost a good deal of money that I had saved up and I still owe my parents money to this day because they helped me out. Talk about shitty!

Here are all of the problems I have had so far in 2020:

  1. Felt like I had to start doing daycare again because I have no other job prospects.
  2. The pandemic happened.
  3. Could not even get started doing daycare due to the pandemic.
  4. Got rejected from every single remote position I applied to.
  5. Got sick with COVID-19 in early March.
  6. I have been experiencing post-COVID symptoms since the end of March.
  7. I really want to get blood work and scans done but I can not get a referral due to my doctor thinking it is just anxiety.
  8. I am always worried about being reinfected and the next infection killing me.

Needless to say, I am not having a good time and I do not think many people are either.

Trying to feel better

It is a good idea to practice self-care in these times. I have been trying to do this more instead of constantly reading about all of the bad things that are happening and how I might die a horrible death soon.

In the past few months, I started getting into women’s fiction books. The specific author I really like the most is named, Barbara O’Neal. Her books leave me feeling good inside and have been a perfect escape for me.

Barbara has about 13 books available to buy on Amazon and I am quite certain that I will read all of them! Here are the ones I have read so far and my opinions on them:

The premise for this book is that of a woman finding out that her sister who she thought was dead, is very much alive. This prompts her to try and get in contact with her again.

This is the very first book that I read by Barbara and I am so glad I bought it! Its time on the bestselling list was rightfully deserved. The characters were well developed and the descriptions of the settings were beautiful.

It was an all-engrossing read that I highly recommend to others.

The premise of this book is that of a woman finding out that she inherited a large estate from her mother after her passing. As she tries to figure out what she is going to do about the estate, she gets to uncover her mother’s secrets.

I loved this book and found it really cool. I was very eager to find out what the secrets were and why her mom was hiding the information. It was hard to put down and I read it in about two days.

I highly recommend this book!

The premise of this book is that of an aging, food blogger who meets with other bloggers to decide who gets to inherit her farm. She has to choose between three women with different backgrounds and back stories.

I loved this book and it took me only a day to read it. The fact that it was about bloggers was what made me buy it in the first place. It had great character development and the graphics of their blog posts sprinkled throughout the book, made it all the more interesting.

I would recommend this one, too!

This is the book that I am currently reading from the author. It is just as wonderful as the other ones!

These are the books I have on deck. I am excited to delve into these stories next.

Books, a nice cuppa tea and ambience

I have been sitting down with these books with a cup of hot tea beside me. Doing this is unbelievably relaxing.

Another thing I added a couple days ago into my book reading times is playing nice ambience sounds. It just ties everything together for a great experience.

There are so many ambience videos on YouTube to choose from. This is one I really like:

Self-care is important for all!

We need to take care of ourselves, physically and mentally. Times are really rough right now and it is imperative that we stay as healthy as possible.

I have been struggling a lot this year and my self-care moments really give me some relief.

How are you guys handling this crazy pandemic and what are you doing for self-care?

Thanks for reading!

#selfcare #womensfiction #books #bookworm #tea #coffee #covid19

Chamomile: The benefits and Ways To Use It

Chamomile: The benefits and Ways To Use It

So beautiful!

I have loved tea since I was in the 8th grade. My first cup of the hot drink was actually chamomile and not green tea (which I am crazy about now!). I expected it to be gross, but it turned out to taste good to me.

I have not had chamomile in quite a while. Recently, I looked in one of the kitchen cabinets and saw a box of it in tea form sitting in there. Instead of just leaving it until I decide to throw it out, I figured maybe I should try and use it up.

I knew a little about the benefits of the plant before but I wanted to do some more research/Googling   on it. This post will show the information I learned and how I plan on using/consuming this lovely plant.

A little background on the plant

This plant is in the daisy family along with around 22,000 others! There are two types of chamomile- German (most common) and Roman. They both have flowers which include white petals and a yellow center.

It is native to Europe and some parts of Asia. In regard to traditional medicine, the use of it goes back to the 1500s.

Chamomile is much loved for its pleasant smell which is reminiscent of apples.

Its alleged benefits

This plant has some scientific evidence behind its use for health. Just like other plants/herbs, there needs to be more research done for definitive answers on whether it is helpful (I say that in every post, I think). It sure has a lot of positive good anecdotal evidence though!

Here are some benefits that chamomile may have:

  1. Boosting immune system
  2. Soothing cold and flu symptoms
  3. Acts as an anti-inflammatory for skin issues
  4. Helps with GI issues-stomach upset, gas, ulcers, IBS, nausea
  5. Eases pain
  6. Calms and reduces anxiety
  7. Acts as a sleep aid
  8. Eases PMS symptoms

Some research articles also discussed the plant having anti-microbial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects. The alleged benefits with the strongest amount of research backing them up are the calming and anti-anxiety effects.

How to use chamomile

Chamomile can be bought (if you don’t want to grow it yourself) in the form of liquid extract, loose leaf tea, powder extract, whole dried flowers, tea bags, essential oil and capsules with or without other ingredients.

Here are some ways that you can use it:

  1. Inhale it: Breathing into hot water that has been infused with chamomile essential oil may help with cold and flu symptoms.
  2. Drink it: You can sip on chamomile tea or other drink recipes that use chamomile in them.
  3. Skincare products: You can make your own or find products with chamomile in it. Here is an example of a product with it: https://www.dermstore.com/product_Renew+Overnight+Dry_1339.htm?gclid=CjwKCAjw7-P1BRA2EiwAXoPWA2wWVcXnCscXBDSqRfjQ1tbdMtjTt0vLSWnlf84HfD7OhQl4z4aNDxoCJeIQAvD_BwE&scid=scplp1339&sc_intid=1339&iv_=__iv_p_1_g_100438531618_c_424597322373_w_aud-306922727242%3Apla-295123931933_n_g_d_c_v__l__t__r__x_pla_y_6790012_f_online_o_1339_z_US_i_en_j_295123931933_s__e__h_9019794_ii__vi__&utm_source=fro&utm_medium=paid_search&utm_term=skin+care&utm_campaign=100113
  4. Hair care products: You can make your own or find products with chamomile in it.  One idea for an easy DIY hair care treatment is to do a chamomile tea rinse. All you do is brew up a few cups of tea, let it cool a bit and then pour it on your hair after washing. You will be left with soft, nice smelling hair!
  5. By capsule: If you are not keen on drinking tea but you still want the benefits, swallowing capsules might be something for you to consider.
  6. By liquid extract: If you are not keen on swallowing pills but you still want the benefits, swallowing a little of the liquid extract might be something for you to consider. It will also be absorbed quicker.
  7. Combine it with other essential oils: You could take chamomile essential oil and combine it with other oils to make a relaxing blend for a diffuser or simmering pot.
  8. Cook with it: There are a lot of delicious recipes that you can find that have chamomile as an ingredient. One idea is to mix the dried flowers or powder with white sugar and keep it around to add to sweet dishes.

How I will be using chamomile

After reading more about chamomile, I decided that I will be using it regularly. I have been having some pretty bad PMS (moderate nausea, severe anxiety, gas, skin itchiness and insomnia) these past few months and I am going to see if having some of this plant in tea form will help any.

I used to make some bomb honey chamomile infused donuts that my husband and son loved. Since I have so much time on my hands, I think I will start making those again along with other recipes using it. The taste of chamomile has always been delicious to me!

Do you like chamomile too?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-grow-chamomile-1402627

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074766/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6970572/

Check out these amazing looking chamomile recipes: https://www.yummly.com/recipes?q=chamomile&gs=30fdcd

#tea   #chamomile  #essentialoils  #covid19  #stayathome   #pms   #anxiety  #plants   #flowers   #herbs

The Ways Peppermint Could Be Useful and How To Use it

The Ways Peppermint Could Be Useful and How To Use it

Such a wonderful plant!

There are so many plants out in the world producing wonderful things that can be used in various ways. Some of them we do not know much about and some of them have been studied extensively.

An example of a really popular plant is peppermint. I personally love it.

Let’s take a look at how it can be used!

Its use spans back many years

Peppermint is native to Europe and the Middle east. It was first discovered in the mid-1700s and has been beloved ever since!

It needs to be grown in at least partial sunlight. Full sunlight is said to cause more flavor and nutrients to be produced in the leaves. It really spreads when it grows so it is important to have enough room.

Peppermint is just one of many different plants in the mint family. Other ones include spearmint, water mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, banana mint, lavender mint, Pennyroyal, strawberry mint and so many more!

Alleged benefits

Peppermint has been studied quite a bit. Like any other plants, further research could be done for more definitive answers. Many people seem to be happy with it though!

The following is a list of benefits that peppermint may have:

  1. Helpful for athletes: May cause faster reaction times and increase grip strength.
  2. Helpful for GI and bowel issues: May sooth issues such as functional dyspepsia and IBS.
  3. Has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial effects
  4. Helpful for general nausea
  5. Helpful for respiratory issues
  6. Helpful for aches and pains
  7. Helpful for hair growth

You can find various studies and anecdotal evidence behind the aforementioned benefits.

How you can use peppermint

There are different forms you can get peppermint in and different ways you can use it. Here are some of them:

  1. Using it as an ingredient in food: There are many different recipes that you can find that use peppermint leaves. From breakfasts to desserts!
  2. Chew the leaves:  You can chew on the leaves for instant fresh breath!
  3. Drink it in tea form: You can use the leaves to make your own or buy tea bags. Peppermint tea might help you with digestion if you drink it after meals and it may ease nausea.
  4. Smell it: Smelling the leaves or the essential oil can help ease nausea, headaches and breathing problems.
  5. Rubbed on parts of your body: Diluting peppermint essential oil (here is a guide:  https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/diluting-essential-oils) in a rollerball bottle is really useful to have around. It can be rubbed on places where you are experiencing pain (like on your temples for a headache) or on your belly/wrists for nausea relief. The diluted oil can also be used as a deodorizer for your armpits if necessary.
  6. Use on hair: For hair growth/health, you could put drops of the essential oil in your conditioner, use it as a hair rinse after washing, put it in a hair mask, use it diluted on your edges/eyebrows and as a hair deodorizer.
  7. Use in homemade cleaning products: If you like to make your own products to clean with, you can use peppermint essential oil as an ingredient. It could help give the DIY products a better smell and may provide some antibacterial action.
  8. Take it in capsule form: You can find peppermint oil gel capsules to swallow when needed for digestion, GI, bowel and nausea issues.

How I use peppermint

As I mentioned before, I love peppermint.

This is how I use it on a regular basis:

  1. Smell the essential oil for nausea.
  2. Drink the tea for nausea.
  3. Rub the diluted oil onto my head when I have my PMS headaches.
  4. Mix a few drops of the essential oil in my hair masks and handfuls of my conditioner (my hair requires a lot!).

I just ordered some peppermint drops from a company called, Tummy Drops (here is the product: https://www.amazon.com/Tummydrops-Natural-Peppermint-30-Drops/dp/B004BH503U/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=tummy+drops&qid=1588718115&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzVktOUThKRFVHTkhKJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDAzMzI4M0RFVjc1T1pQM0QyViZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNDU3OTc4MUdQQVRNVzdCMEZYSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=). These are candy made with peppermint and used for nausea. I want to try these to see if they work for my PMS sickness. If they do, I will replace them for drinking the tea (I cannot always handle drinking it).

One of my favorite dishes uses mint in it. It is called, Chicken Tagine and is a Moroccan recipe. There are different recipes for it out there but this is the one I like the best: https://thegoodheartedwoman.com/apricot-chicken-tagine-ginger-mint/

Maybe you will want to try using it

It is relatively easy to incorporate peppermint into your life. There are even more ways than what I put in this post. Some medications are said to have a negative interaction with it so make sure that you look those up beforehand.

I have had great results from using it in various forms and I hope you do too!

Do you use peppermint for anything in your daily life? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Some sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607906/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5814329/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16767798

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/mint/mint-plant-varieties.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289931/

#peppermint #essentialoils #plants #health #beauty #haircare #tea #stayathome