Recipe: Chinese Tea Eggs

IMG_1722

These cute little marbled eggs are a great mid-morning snack. The addition of tea and spices adds some excitement to otherwise plain boiled eggs.

Ingredients

6-12 eggs

3 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf Chai tea (plain black tea works as well, but I like the spices in Chai tea)

Additional optional ingredients:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Place eggs in a pot and add enough water so that they’re entirely covered. Bring to a boil on medium-high, but be careful not to bring the water to a boil too quickly, or the eggs will crack and start leaking. Once the water reaches a boil, turn it to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the eggs from the burner.

Fish the eggs out with a spoon. Using the back of the spoon, tap them lightly to crack them all over. Don’t whack them so hard that the shells fall off, but hit them enough so that distinct cracks are visible. Place the eggs back in the pot of hot water, along with the tea and other optional ingredients.

Cover and simmer for one hour. Again, fish the eggs out with a spoon. I refrigerate them in their shells, but for hiking trips I peel them beforehand to save time.

You can also season them with a little salt or soy sauce. Save a few packets of salt or soy sauce the next time you order food to go, or use a refillable mini soy sauce bottle.

Pack the shelled eggs in a plastic bag or food container. Bring a thermos of black tea to go with your tea eggs, and you’re set for tea time on the mountain top!

IMG_1721

Tea time! Tea eggs, homemade almond milk Chai, and sesame honey glazed roasted almonds (check out my almond recipe here).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

cover-Easy-Hiking-RecipesAnd now a word from your sponsor:

Buy my e-book Easy Hiking Recipes for more recipes like this!

Advertisements

Chronicles of a Water Bottle Obsession

I have a slight obsession with water bottles, to the point that at one time I seriously contemplated starting a water bottle company. What’s not to like about water bottles?

  • They’re useful, so you never have to go thirsty, even when you’re driving or in the bathroom
  • They’re eco-friendly, except when you start to amass a large number of them (err, I may be guilty of that)
  • They’re a fashion statement, so you can say “Look at me, I’m eco-friendly, sporty, and I like [insert name of athletic company logo sticker you put on your bottle]

I think the water bottle craze started about the time I was in undergrad. I noticed all of my fellow classmates were carrying around “Nalgenes” wherever they went. A few of my friend were determined to break their Nalgene, because the company claimed they were indestructable. I joined the trend and started enjoying having a re-useable bottle. And this was way before I even knew what hiking was all about.

Since then, I’ve accumulated metal water bottles, flexible water bladders or “hydration packs, flip cap bottles, bottles with straws, and more. So when the company Zojirushi sent me a water bottle to review, I was thrilled! I already love Zojirushi because they make top quality hot water dispensers for making tea.

Here’s the bottle they sent me:

IMG_1571

Testing it out at the rock crags – Forgotten Wall in Cheakamus Canyon

Their Stainless Steel 16oz. water bottle is like the Cadillac of water bottles. It has more bells and whistles than most bottles, and the  giant instruction manual that came with the bottle was a little intimidating at first. But after a few minutes I got to know the basic features: In addition to a push-button flip cap, a locking lid, and a controlled pour so water doesn’t spill all over your face if you tip it too fast, this bottle is double-walled, so water stays cold for hours. Plus, the lid locks in the open position, so it doesn’t bonk against  your nose when you drink! Seems like the designers thought of everything.

I took this bottle on some hot summer day hikes, and my favorite feature on the bottle is the double walled insulation. It really works, and the water tasted so much better than the lukewarm water in the other bottle I was carrying. The locking lid is also handy, but it’d be nice if there was a color indicator so I could easily tell whether it was locked or unlocked. I could also use a bottle with a tad larger capacity, but perhaps it was designed with the Japanese audience in mind, since Zojirushi is based in Japan. 🙂

The Verdict: This is my new go-to bottle for shorter hikes and gym trips! Since it weighs a little more than bare bones bottles and has a smaller capacity, I probably won’t take it on heavy duty hikes, but I really love the extra fancy features for everyday use. It’s not often I get excited by new water bottle features, but this time I definitely swooned a bit!

Enjoying nice cold water at Lighthouse Park in North Vancouver, BC

Enjoying nice cold water at Lighthouse Park in North Vancouver, BC

~~~~

Check out my e-book Easy Hiking Recipes: Simple Meal Ideas for Day Hikes and Other Outdoor Adventures!

Tencha Green Tea Cucumber Water

tenchatea

This recipe is a real refresher after a long day of hiking, or anytime the weather gets hot! The cucumber and green tea meld well together to create a subtly sweet tea. I use a cold-brewing method to infuse the tea, which brings out the tea’s natural sweetness. I used DōMatcha’s Organic Tencha Green Tea, which has a particularly rich, sweet flavor, though you can use other types of green tea as well 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 DōMatcha Tencha Green Tea teabags
  • 8 cups water (cold)
  • 20 thin slices of cucumber (1 small cucumber or half of a large cucumber)

Optional:

  • Lemon slices
  • 1-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme, spearmint, etc.)
  • Agave syrup

Place the cucumbers, water, and teabags in a pitcher. If you’re adding herbs, “bruise” them by rolling them between your hands for a few seconds, and add them into the pitcher. Place the pitcher in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, remove the teabags and garnish with lemon slices. Add a couple tablespoons of agave syrup to sweeten to taste!