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Spice & Tea Merchants: Spices, Blends, Teas, and Gifts

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We welcome all comments, questions, and suggestions you may have on our products. Please feel free to contact us via any of the avenues below:

If there’s a specific store you’re trying to contact, click here to view our store locations.

Web order questions: orders@spicemerchants.biz

For general inquiries, warehouse or product questions, please call our Corporate Office at: (616) 848-7760.

For franchise opportunities call (616) 848-7760, or e-mail: franchise@spicemerchants.biz.

Spice & Tea Merchants Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 130
Saugatuck, MI 49453

Fresh Spring Frittatas

Posted 03/31/2017

 

Frittatas are Italian in origin, and are very similar to an open-face omelet or crustless quiche. One of the greatest things about frittata is their sheer versatility – they can be boiled down to a basic formula and then customized to suit your tastes!

~The Egg Mixture~
The average frittata uses 6-8 eggs, which is usually sufficient for 1-1/2 to 2 cups of additional ingredients (cheeses, meats, veggies). Additionally, a bit of dairy, such as whole milk or heavy cream, makes for a rich and creamy texture – for 6 eggs use 1/4 cup, and for 8 eggs use 1/3 cup.

~Additional Ingredients~
In general, the additional ingredients (1-1/2 to 2 cups) going into the frittata need to be cooked beforehand. This helps to eliminate excess moisture, as too much will cause the frittata to become loose and prevent proper setup. Below are some common ingredients you’ll find in frittatas.

Asparagus Chives Onion, Red
Bacon Chorizo Onion, Yellow
Basil Cilantro Parsley
Bell Peppers Garlic Peas
Broccoli Green Beans Shallots
Cheese, Asiago Ham Spinach
Cheese, Cheddar Italian Sausage Swiss Chard
Cheese, Feta Leeks Tomatoes, Cherry
Cheese, Gruyere Mushrooms Zucchini
Cheese, Mozzarella Olives
Cheese, Parmesan Onion, Green (Scallions)


~Spice & Tea Merchants Seasonings~
Many frittata recipes use very little in the way of seasonings – typically just a bit of salt & pepper. However, this doesn’t have to be the case! By adding 2 TSP to 1 TBSP of a Spice & Tea Merchants seasoning, you can provide fun and interesting flavors to your frittatas – check out some house favorites below!

Basil Parmesan Pesto Mushroom Mania
Black Truffle Sea Salt Peppered Rosemary / Rosemary Rapture (salt-free)
Boater’s Blend Roasted Garlic & Wild Mushroom
Creole Spice Sesame Herb (salt-free)
Fire & Water Fire Rub (salt-free) Smoked Tomato
Great Lakes Blend Southwest Seasoning
Greek Seasoning with Feta Tuscan Blend
Italian Romano Voodoo Blend


~Frittata Combinations~
The types of ingredients and ways to season a frittata are nearly limitless. And with Easter right around the corner, serving up a variety of frittatas makes for a marvelous Easter brunch – create an assortment to pass around!

Here are several frittatas featuring fresh spring flavors:

  • Asparagus, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and Greek Seasoning with Feta.
  • Asparagus, shallots, green onions, feta cheese, and Fire & Water Fish Rub (has a bit of heat).
  • Ham, peas, yellow onion, fresh basil, sharp cheddar cheese, and Tuscan Blend.
  • Spinach, cremini mushrooms, Asiago cheese, and Great Lakes Blend.
  • Rainbow chard, leeks, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and Italian Romano Blend.

The fun with frittatas doesn’t stop there, if you’re looking for more tasty options, try any of the following combinations:

  • Chorizo, red bell pepper, yellow onions, cilantro, and Southwest Seasoning.
  • Italian sausage, red bell pepper, fresh basil, yellow onions, parmesan cheese, and Tuscan Blend.
  • Portabella mushrooms, leeks, gruyere cheese, and Black Truffle Sea Salt.
  • Red onion, black olives, cherry tomatoes, peperoncini, feta cheese, and Greek Seasoning with Feta.

Of course this only scratches the surface, experiment and see what you can create!

~Preparation and Cooking~
A cast-iron skillet is often preferred, but any nonstick pan or baking dish will do the trick. Also, be sure to use an appropriately sized skillet (ensures proper thickness and cooking) – for 6 eggs use an 8 inch pan, for 8 eggs use 10 inch pan.

To prepare the frittata, start by cooking your desired additional ingredients. Feel free to sprinkle a bit of seasoning on them as well.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now combine the eggs, dairy, and seasoning into a bowl and beat until well incorporated.

Pour egg mixture and additional ingredients into an appropriately sized skillet, briefly stir to evenly distribute the mix, and then cook over medium heat until the edges can be pulled away from the pan (5-7 minutes).

Transfer the skillet to your oven and bake at 350 until the frittata sets (16-18 minutes).

Let cool, slice, serve, and enjoy!


~Frittata Formula Summary~
6 to 8 Eggs
1/4 to 1/3 Cup Whole Milk
2 TSP to 1 TBSP Desired Seasoning
1-1/2 to 2 Cups Additional Ingredients

-Cook the desired additional ingredients to remove excess moisture.
-Beat eggs, dairy, and seasoning until incorporated.
-Combine the egg mixture and cooked additional ingredients in an 8 to 10 inch skillet.
-Cook on stovetop over medium heat until the edges can be pulled away from the pan (5-7 minutes).
-Bake in the oven at 350 until set (16-18 min).

Filed under Brunch | Breakfast |

Medicinal Teas

Posted 03/22/2017

Did you know that there are teas that act medicinally to heal common ailments?

Spice Merchants offers over 175 different teas including green, white, black and oolong blends as well as pu-erh, chamomile, hibiscus, rooibos and turmeric teas.

GREEN TEA BENEFITS

  •         Antioxidants may help block the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancer cells
  •        Prevents clogging of the arteries, helps with heart and cardiovascular difficulties by improving cholesterol
  •        Reduces risk of stroke
  •        Reduces risk of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  •        Helps prevents tooth decay

Try our Caribbean breeze, green tropical or gunpowder tea.

WHITE TEA BENEFITS

  •        Potent anticancer properties
  •        Protects the heart and circulatory system
  •         Keeps teeth strong and healthy, prevents plaque, tooth decay and bad breath
  •         Strengthens the immune system
  •        Helps lower blood pressure

 

Try our pineapple, meditative mind or champagne raspberry tea.

TURMERIC TEA BENEFITS

  • Boosts and strengthens immune system
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Aids digestion
  • Lowers risks of some cancers

Try our turmeric ginger, turmeric comfort or turmeric cider tea.

BLACK TEA BENEFITS

  • Reduces risk of stroke
  • Protects lungs from damage due to cigarette exposure

Try our cinnamon spice, breakfast blend or moonlight earl grey tea.

OOLONG TEA BENEFITS

  •       Helps lower cholesterol
  •        Weight loss supplement
  •       Keeps blood pressure levels in line

Try our coconut or pomegranate oolong teas.

HIBISCUS TEA BENEFITS

  •       Reduces blood pressure
  •     Helps to lower cholesterol and keeps atherosclerosis in check

Try our watermelon cooler, dewy cherry or blood orange tea.

ROOIBOS TEA BENEFITS

  •        Posesses cancer fighting properties
  •        Helps to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure
  •        Reduces cramps and gastrointestinal distres
  •      Aids in regeneration of liver tissue

Try our red rocks, turmeric ginger or African nectar tea.

PU-ERH TEA BENEFITS

  •        Helps lower cholesterol, boosts blood flow and improves circulation
  •        Aids in food digestion
  •        Shown to improve functioning of spleen
  •        Antioxidants help remove toxins from blood stream

Try our caramel dream or mocha pu-erh truffle tea.

CHAMOMILE TEA BENEFITS

  •       Helps stop gastrointestinal inflammation
  •        Assists in treatment for irritable bowel syndrome
  •        Helps prevent complications from diabetes such as vision loss, kidney and nerve damage
  •        Stunts growth of cancer cells
  •         Helps people fall asleep and assists with insomnia

Try our pink rose lemonade, chamomile citrus, cold comfort or blossom and berry tea.

 

 

 

If your health is important to you and you’re seeking alternative means of treatment, try some of Spice Merchants tea! 

 

http://bit.ly/1R38C4h
Picture: Vienna Austria, Unsplash



Golden Milk

Posted 02/24/2017

 

What is Golden Milk? In a nutshell, it’s a Westernized version of a traditional Indian drink called haldi doodh, which features turmeric and milk as its main ingredients.

If you’re not familiar with turmeric, it’s a yellowish-orange colored rhizome with a prominent place in the spice world. It’s used in a wide variety of products, such as Indian curry blends, mustards, relishes, tangines, and even as a natural food coloring. Turmeric has a complex and intense woodsy flavor with floral, citrus, and ginger notes.

Additionally, turmeric contains a component called curcumin, which gives turmeric its signature yellowish-orange color. Curcumin has also been the focus of much medical discussion, as many health benefits are ascribed to it – notable its potency as an anti-inflammatory. There’re even some preliminary studies suggesting links between curcumin and its ability to regular blood sugar, prevent depression, reverse liver damage, and even treat Alzheimer’s. However, these studies haven’t demonstrated concrete results in humans yet.

If adding turmeric to your diet is something of interest to you, then that’s where Golden Milk comes in! To prepare this delightful concoction, simply follow the recipe below.

Golden Milk
2 Cups regular milk or a non-dairy based milk, such as almond, cashew, coconut, pecan, or soy.
1 TBSP Honey Granules
1 TSP Turmeric
1/2 TSP Cinnamon (Korintje (regular) or Vietnamese (stronger))
1/4 TSP Ginger Powder
1/4 TSP Cardamom
1/8 TSP Ground Black Peppercorns

1. Blend together the black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
2. Add a small amount of the desired milk and stir to form a paste.
3. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until hot but not boiling. Be sure to whisk lightly while heating until all ingredients are incorporated.

Optional: Add a dash of cayenne to heat things up!

For enhanced flavor and potency, try steeping one of the following delicious turmeric based herbal teas in the golden milk: Turmeric Chai, Turmeric Cider, Turmeric Comfort, Turmeric Ginger Rooibos, and Turmeric Truffle.

Additionally, if smoothies are to your liking, then give our Matcha Turmeric Smoothie a shot!

Filed under Health | Tea | Beverages |

Decadent Grilled Cheese

Posted 01/26/2017

 

Have you ever wanted to turn a grilled cheese sandwich into something unique and memorable? By combining cheese, chocolate, and fruit you can do just that!

This is the sort of treat that has many flavor combinations. Below are just some recommendations, so feel free to customize to suit your tastes.

~The Bread~
A quality sandwich starts with quality bread, so use your favorite! We recommend a good multigrain baguette or sourdough.

~The Cheese~
For the cheese, we want something distinct that'll pair with dark chocolate, but won’t overpower the subtle fruit flavors. Brie or medium white cheddar is ideal, but a creamy blue, gruyere, or mild Swiss won’t disappoint.

~The Chocolate~
This is where Spice & Tea Merchants really makes things interesting! We’re not just using any old chocolate, but unique dark chocolate with complex flavors. Click here and here for our chocolate bar / disc selection – you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose!

Here are some recommendations:
Almond Carmel Bar | Coconut Bar | Raspberry Nib Crunch Bar | Midnight Mocha Bar | 95% Wicked Dark Bar | Chipotle Discs | Cinnamon Discs

~The Fruit~
Raspberries seem to be the crowd favorite, but you can certainly use apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and strawberries. Experiment with different chocolate and fruit combinations to see what excites you!

~Making the Sandwich~
Ingredients (for two sandwiches):
4 Bread Slices
4 Ounces Cheese
2 Ounces Dark Chocolate (broken into pieces)
1/2 Cup Fruit (lightly smashed)
2 TBSP Butter

Directions:
1. Butter one side of all bread slices (the side you intend to grill).
2. Layer on cheese, smashed fruit, and chocolate pieces (all on unbuttered side). Top with another bread slice.
3. Heat a pan over medium heat and add sandwiches. Toast both sides until golden brown and the cheese and chocolate have melted (about 4 minutes each side).
4. Enjoy!

Tip: Covering the pan during toasting will help melt the cheese and chocolate. Alternatively, if a cover isn’t available, reduce the heat to low and continue heating until the cheese and chocolate have melted.

Editor’s Note: I tried this recipe using sourdough, gruyere cheese, raspberries, and our dark chocolate almond caramel bar. Absolutely divine! For a sweeter treat, try this with a drizzle of honey. Or if savory is more to your tastes, the addition of caramelized onions takes the flavors in a totally different direction.

Filed under Chocolate | Fruit | Sandwiches |

Mediterranean Zesty Lime Chicken Wrap

Posted 01/04/2017

With the right ingredients, you can recreate a recipe that will take you to an exotic island in the Mediterranean. Enjoy the robust flavors of the Mediterranean with this perfect recipe full of flavor.Ingredients:

  • 1 box Near East Zesty Lemon Quinoa

  • 1 package of ground Chicken or Turkey

  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic

  • 1/2 can corn

  • 1 1/2 can black beans

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Spice Merchants Rosemary Rapture

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Spice Merchants Black Truffle Salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Spice Merchants Cilantro

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Spice Merchants Greek Seasoning with Feta

  • Tortillas

  • Tomatoes

  • Fresh Lemon Juice Sprinkled

  • Hummus 

  • Optional: Fresh cilantro, feta cheese

Enjoy this zesty treat with additional veggies and spices as desired! 




Hot Cocoa Ice Cream

Posted 12/18/2016

 

We believe it's safe to say that hot cocoa is one of your favorite treats during the holiday season. That said, we decided to experiment with hot cocoa and turn it into something a little bit more. We decided to make hot cocoa ice cream littered with marshmallows. This is a brilliant way to enjoy hot cocoa all winter long and beyond!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup of Spice Merchant’s hot cocoa (we recommend Almond Caramel)
  • 1 c. mini marshmallows, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken
  2. Mix condensed milk, Spice Merchant’s Hot Cocoa and mini marshmallows
  3. Transfer ingredients into a 9 x 5” loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and top the mixture with additional marshmallows.
  4. Freeze until firm, 5-6 hours.
  5. When ready to enjoy, let sit for 10 minutes to soften before serving

 

 



Buttered Moonlight Earl Grey

Posted 12/14/2016


In the mood for something decadent? Try buttering up one of our most popular black teas – Moonlight Earl Grey. By itself, this tea features bergamot citrus, vanilla, and cream. Blending it with a bit of butter and our Baker’s Blend creates a rich and creamy refreshment.

1 TBSP Moonlight Earl Grey
2 TSP Baker’s Blend
1 TSP Vanilla Bean Infused Cane Sugar
2 & 1/2 TBSP Butter

1. Soften the butter by letting it sit unrefrigerated for about 20 minutes.
2. Blend together the butter, Baker’s Blend, and Vanilla Bean Sugar.
3. Bring 16 oz of water to a boil, and then steep the tea for 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the butter mixture to the tea and stir until dissolved.
5. Serve and enjoy!

Share this rich treat with a friend…or keep it all for yourself – we won’t tell!

~Optional~
If you’re preparing this on a particularly cold winter night, feel free to add 2 ounces of dark rum to the mix.

This recipe may be used with other full-bodied teas, such as regular Earl Grey (or Decaf), Assam, Black Dragon Pearls, or Chai blends.

Filed under Holiday | Tea | Beverages |

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Posted 11/24/2016

This is the perfect fall inspired recipe! The tartness from the cranberries combined with the sweet citrus taste from the orange makes this recipe a great addition for your Thanksgiving Day meal!

This recipe is easy to follow, and your family and friends are sure to love them!

 

Directions:

To get started, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and pink Himalayan salt from Spice Merchants

  • Stir in 1 cup of chopped cranberries to dry ingredients

  • In a small bowl, add 1 egg (beaten), 3/4 cups of orange juice, 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil and 1.5 teaspoons of Spice Merchants Orange Zest

  • Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix well.

  • Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and fill 3/4 full

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned

  • Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar (we have a HUGE selection to choose from!)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chopped cranberries

  • 1 egg

  • 3/4 cup of orange juice

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1.5 teaspoon Spice Merchants Orange Zest

These muffins are so delicious and will add a festive taste and look to your Thanksgiving Day meal!

 

Turkey Rubs

Posted 11/17/2016

 

A roasted turkey is the cornerstone of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but preparing a memorable one can be a daunting task. So Spice & Tea Merchants is here to simplify the process with a straightforward method for rubbing and roasting your turkey.

Seasoning
Begin by thinking about the flavor profile you’d like to give your turkey. Are you looking for a traditional herbal flavor or something unique? Also, be sure to get a sufficient quantity of spices. If your bird is in the 14-16 lb range, you’ll need two or more ounces of dried spices.

Traditional Blends:
*Herb Poultry – A traditional herbal blend fantastic for roasting poultry.
*Herbs de Provence – This classic French blend is a house favorite! It boasts an herbal flavor with flowery lavender notes.
Tuscan – Our best seller! Reminiscent of Tuscan cuisine, this versatile blend can be used for nearly any meal.
Peppered Rosemary – An intense herbal blend for all the rosemary lovers out there.
*These blends are salt-free, so combine them with our French Grey Sea Salt for optimal flavor.

Unique Blends:
Berbere – Hailing from Ethiopia, this spicy (hot) mixture is primarily composed of chile powder and paprika. It’s great as a turkey rub, or as a seasoning for your leftovers in a turkey soup or stew.
Coffee BBQ – Coffee is a tenderizer, but it cooks out, leaving a sweet but complex BBQ flavor.
Raspberry Chipotle – Slightly smoky, a bit spicy, and has a sweet raspberry twist.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list – click here to view all our spice blends.

Rubbing
Rubs work best when they have time to sit. So the ideal rubbing time is 24 hours before roasting. Though, if your turkey is frozen, be sure to let it thaw out in the refrigerator – usually three or four days.

Start by mixing your chosen seasoning together with softened butter, olive oil, or a mixture of the two. Now apply the combination to the outside, working it in with your hands. Whenever possible, be sure to get the spices under the skin, and don’t forget to season the cavity as well. When finished, return the turkey to the refrigerator until it’s time to roast.

Roasting
Prepare the turkey for the oven by allowing it to come up to room temperature (ensures even cooking). Then wrap the wings in foil and tuck them behind the neck. Also, tie the legs together so they’ll hold their shape.

-Optional-
Stuff the cavity with a variety of veggies, such as carrots, celery, and onions. These are not meant to be eaten, but will flavor the drippings and make stellar gravy! (Depending on your chosen spice blend, these veggies may or may not be appropriate.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the turkey into a roasting pan, and add enough liquid (water, wine or broth) to keep the drippings from burning. Then loosely cover the turkey with foil.

Roast for approximately one hour, remove the foil, and continue roasting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours – basting occasionally. You’ll know your turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and 170 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a platter, tent with foil, and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Reserve any pan drippings for gravy.

Gravy
To make gravy, pour the drippings and browned bits from the roasting pan into a large glass measuring cup and spoon off the fat – reserve two tablespoons.

Add the reserved fat and 2 TBSP flour to a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until golden.

Add the drippings and stock while bringing to a boil. Add the stock in small amounts, and whisk until it reaches the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

So, after reading through the guide above, hopefully the only hard decision you’ll have to make this Thanksgiving is which turkey rub to use!

Filed under Poultry | Thanksgiving | Holiday |

Easy Crockpot Homemade Applesauce

Posted 10/24/2016

This homemade applesauce is super easy to make. With only TWO basic ingredients, no sugar added (unless you want) and no peeling necessary, it makes this recipe a Fall touchdown! 

With Fall being here, most families visit an apple orchard at least once to commemorate this beautiful season. Recently, one of our own visited an orchard and grabbed two types of apples:  McIntosh and Crimson Crisp. Orchard grown apples always makes the best applesauce in our opinion. There certainly is something quite magical about picking out your own apples to use in your recipe verses buying some from a local grocery store.

What's great about this recipe is that you can customize is quite easily. We opted for no added sugar, but we suggest to those that like their applesauce a bit sweeter to include our Spice Sugar blend. You also have the option to peel or not peel the apples. This batch we opted out of peeling the apples creating a thicker applesauce.

Check out this easy recipe below with step-by-step instructions:

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples
  • 1/2 tsp ground Spice Merchant’s Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

1.    Slice the apples into pieces-we recommend using an actual apple slicer that slices it safely for you

2.   Stick them into a Crockpot with 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 tsp of ground Spice Merchant's Vietnamese cinnamon

3.   Cook on high in a slow cooker for 4-5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours, occasionally stirring and mashing the apples as they cook

Optional:

  • You can peel the apples for a smoother applesauce
  • You can also blend the chunky applesauce 
  • If you want your applesauce a tad sweeter, add Spice Merchant's Spice Sugar blend to batch while cooking

 

For those chilly Fall days, resort to this easy homemade applesauce recipe to warm you and your family up.

 

Himalayan Pink Salt Slabs

Posted 08/31/2016

Ready to add some drama and beauty to your tableside food presentation and enhance the flavor of your dishes? Try using Himalayan Pink Salt Slabs which are harvested from the ancient sea salt deposits in the Salt Range of Pakistan. Crystallized for more than 500 million years and covered by volcanic lava which protected the salt from pollution and fully explaining why Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest. Both flavorful and beautiful, these Himalayan Salt Slabs are an exciting new way to cook and serve with salt!

These slabs are both dense and efficiently conduct heat which is why the slab retains the heat so well and seasons food evenly. Heat your slab, plate or brick to high temperatures and sear thinly sliced meats, vegetables, fish, seafood, eggs and other quick-cooking foods. You can also chill it for use in serving sushi, appetizers, cheese, fresh fruit, cold meats and desserts. Think of the endless possibilities!

Here are 20 benefits of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (source:fitlife.tv)

1.       Contains 80+ minerals and elements
2.       Helps control water levels in the body
3.       Helps balance electrolytes
4.       Promotes stable PH levels
5.       Boosts brain health
6.       Helps regulate blood sugar
7.       Anti-aging
8.       Boosts energy
9.       Promotes increased absorption of nutrients
10.   Aids vascular health
11.   Supports respiratory function
12.   Reduces risk of sinus problems
13.   Reduces cramping
14.   Promotes healthy bones
15.   Promotes healthy sleep
16.   Supports libido
17.   Boosts circulation
18.   Promotes kidney and gall bladder health
19.   Increase hydration
20.   Aids metabolism

 
SaltWorks, one of the largest distributors of salt blocks, suggests way for heating, cleaning and care as well as chilling.

 

 

 

HEATING:

Did you know that salt slabs can be used in the oven, on the grill or on a range making them convenient for nearly anyone

  • It’s recommended to heat the slab in three, 10-15 minute stages: room temperature to low (0-200), low to medium (200-350) and medium to high (350-550). TDrizzle cooking oil on slab or over food
  • Sear steak, scallops, shrimp, fish, etc until it reaches preferred internal temperature
  • The salt slab will remain hot for a minimum of 30 minutes once it’s been removed from its heat source, so be careful not to burn yourself!

 

CLEANING & CARE:

When you’re adding marinades to whatever you’re cooking on the salt, it can create quite the mess to clean up, which is why it’s so important to scrape excess food off the slab immediately following use. Allowing it to cool will make it easier to scrub clean. Once cleaned, wipe it off with a damp cloth. Allow the slab to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before using it again. Keep in mind that salt is a natural anti-microbial so cleaning them with cleaning products or soaps may cause damage. You can store your salt slab in a dry place.

CHILLING:

For those who intend to use the Himalayan Salt Slab for making or preparing dishes at room temperature, cooling or frozen make sure to place the slab in a refrigerator for at least an hour to lower the internal temperature slowly. If you’re preparing foods that require colder temperatures, you can place the slab into the freezer for two additional hours.

Try chilling or freezing for:

  1. cheese
  2. sorbet/ice cream
  3. sushi
  4. steak/tuna tartar
  5. chilled appetizers
  6. desserts

Note:Since Himalayan Pink Salt Slabs are natural and are a product from the salt range in Pakistan, it’s important to remember that not every slab has the same unique color and inclusions which leads to different temperature and pressure thresholds.

 For recipes using your salt slab, visit: https://www.seasalt.com/recipes/main-dishes.html

Picture Source: www.SeaSalt.com


 

 

Spice Merchants Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte

Posted 08/27/2016



This creamy iced Matcha Green Tea Latte lightly sweetened with vanilla almond milk and a hint of vanilla extract makes this a healthier version of deliciousness. 

There are so many reasons to incorporate this mega superfood into your daily health routine.

Here are TEN amazing benefits of MATCHA:

1.    high in antioxidants

2.    increases energy level

3.    enhances mood

4.    improves skin

5.    boosts immune system

6.    lowers cholesterol

7.    stimulates metabolism

8.    detoxifies

9.    boosts memory and concentration

10.  helps prevent cancer

This Matcha recipe is made with vanilla almond milk, raspberry match (we also carry regular Matcha and peach Matcha), a drizzle of honey and just a splash of vanilla extract. Choose from Tahitian, Madagascar and Mexican vanilla extract available for purchase in our store or online.

One thing we recommend is to make sure that you completely blend the Matcha to prevent clumps in your latte. You won't need a blender to mix the ingredients, but we do recommend picking up a Matcha whisk and bowl to make blending and mixing easier. We also sell these products for your convenience.

Matcha green tea is both refreshing and energizing. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, it's incredibly high in antioxidants, boosts metabolism and boosts memory concentration. 

Start sipping on this mega superfood, super tasty iced Matcha green tea latte.

 5 minutes

 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces sweetened or unsweetend vanilla almond milk (also feel free to use other desired milks as substitutes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Spice Merchants Matcha Green Tea powder
  • 2 teaspoons honey (add additional for desired taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (choose from Madagascar, Mexican or Tahitan)

Instructions:

  • place all ingredients in a blender (we recommend using the Matcha bowl and wisk)
  • blend on medium speed until all ingredients are mixed and the Matcha powder is dissolved
  • taste and add more honey is desired
  • pour over ice

 

 

Note: Feel free to double or triple this recipe to store additional Matcha Green Tea in fridge for later enjoyment.


Making a Better Burger

Posted 08/21/2016

 

The burger is an iconic American food, and we Americans eat about 50 billion annually. That’s a lot of burgers! Though, is there a way to improve this classic, so we’re eating quality ones at home? Absolutely! Here are some tips for making a better burger.

The Patty
The most critical element of any good burger is the beef patty. As such, the freshness and quality of the beef is paramount. If you have access to a quality butcher, ask if they’ll freshly grind the meat for you. Ground chuck is preferred, as it usually has a ratio of 80% meat to 20% fat – making for a juicy burger without being excessively fatty.

When forming the patty, the less you handle the meat, the tenderer it’ll be – overworking the meat just makes it tough. Another recommendation is to put an indentation in the center – roughly the size of your thumb. This causes the burger to stay flat while cooking, rather than forming a dome in the middle.

During cooking, don’t squish the patties, as this only drives out the juices. Use your spatula for flipping, not compressing. Speaking of flipping, feel free to flip as often as you’d like, the idea that you can “over-flip” a burger is just a myth.

Here’s a quick temperature guide for your burgers:
120F: Rare | 130F: Medium-Rare | 140F: Medium | 150F: Medium-Well | 160F: Well Done

The Seasoning
If you’re using quality beef, then you should be using quality seasonings to bring your burger to its full potential! Be sure to season after making the patties, and only minutes before being placed on the grill. If you season too early the salt will break down proteins, which draws out moisture and creates an undesirable texture. Below are five seasonings Spice & Tea Merchants offers for your perfect burger!

Butcher’s Rub – A traditional blend with herbal and peppery flavors
Coffee BBQ – Coffee tenderizes meat but cooks out, leaving a sweet but complex BBQ flavor
Korean BBQ – A spicy teriyaki profile, with sesame notes
Raspberry Chipotle – Slightly smoky, a bit spicy, and has a sweet raspberry twist
Saugatuck Steak – Paprika based with a peppery profile and hint of Worcheshire

The above should get you started, but is by no means an exhaustive list. You can click here to view all of our blends – check them out and experiment with something outside the box!

Filed under Grilling | Burgers |

Tea Cocktails

Posted 07/22/2016

 

Summer in Michigan is a beautiful sight! Though, our Michigan evenings can be rather muggy. A favored remedy for this is a tall glass of iced tea, and Spice & Tea Merchants carries a vast selection for making just that! Teas like Black Currant, Blood Orange Smoothie, and Pink Rose Lemonade are just a few favorites.

However, if you want to take it to the next level, try turning your ordinary iced tea into a memorable cocktail! Check out the recipes below for fun ways to transform your tea into an adult refreshment.


Chamomile Honey Whiskey Cocktail
1 TSP Chamomile Citrus or Wild Blossoms & Berries Tea
2/3 Cup Boiling Water
1 Ounce Whiskey or Bourbon
1/2 TBSP Honey Granules (regular honey may be substituted)
1 & 1/2 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
Ice
Fresh Chamomile, Mint Sprig, and/or Lemon Wedge for garnish

1. Place the tea in an infuser, and let steep in the hot water for roughly 5 minutes. Remove the infuser once brewed (steeping tea too long will make it bitter).

2. Stir in the honey granules until fully dissolved.

3. In a shaker, combine the brewed tea, whiskey, lemon juice, and some ice. Shake.

4. Strain into a lowball/rocks glass with ice cubes. Garnish with chamomile flowers, a mint sprig, or lemon wedge.


Lavender Peach Martini
1 & 1/2 Ounces Vanilla Vodka
1/2 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Ounce Peach Lavender Syrup (see below)
Ice
Flavored Sugar for rimming, we suggest lemon or vanilla
Lavender Sprig or Lemon Slice for garnish

1. In a cocktail shaker, add crushed ice, vanilla vodka, lemon juice, and peach lavender syrup. Shake.

2. Strain into a chilled martini glass (preferably rimmed with a flavored sugar). Garnish with a fresh lavender sprig or lemon slice.

Lavender Peach Syrup
1 Ounce Lavender Peach Tea
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Honey Granules

1. In a saucepan bring the water and honey granules to a near boil. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the honey granules. Remove from heat.

2. Add the lavender peach tea and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

3. Strain out the tea. Store the syrup in the refrigerator (keeps for several weeks).


Marrakesh Mint Mojito
1 TSP Marrakesh Mint Tea
1/2 Cup Water (near boiling)
1 & 1/2 Ounces White Rum
6 Mint Leaves
1 TBSP Fresh Lime Juice
2 TSP Honey Granules
Lime Slice and Mint Sprig for garnish

Prep: Place the tea in an infuser, and let steep in the hot water for roughly 3 minutes. Remove the infuser. Don't over steep the tea. If you prefer strong tea, use more tea when brewing – long steep times only make it bitter. Chill the tea until ready to use.

1. In a Collins glass, combine the lime juice, mint, and honey granules. Lightly muddle the mixture to release the oils in the mint.

2. Fill the glass with ice until it’s roughly 3/4 full. Add the rum, and top with the chilled tea. Stir well, and garnish with a slice of lime and mint sprig.

Filed under Tea | Cocktails |

Grilling Fruit

Posted 07/01/2016

 

Believe it or not, you can grill almost any fruit! The trick is to grill them just before they’re fully ripe and to leave them in their peel (if applicable). Some popular fruits for grilling include apples, apricots, bananas, figs, peaches, pears, pineapple, plantains, plums, strawberries, and watermelon.

1. Start off by cutting the fruit and removing all seeds/cores (see below for recommend cuts).
   -Apples, apricots, bananas, figs, peaches, pears, plantains, and plums: Simply cut them in half from top to bottom.
   -Pineapple: Cut horizontally into rings or vertically into long wedges.
   -Strawberries: Grilling these works best when placed on a pair of skewers.
   -Watermelon: Cut into wedges – the rind may be left on or removed.

2. Season your fruit by adding any desired spices. Some spices that pair well with fruit are allspice, cinnamon (Korintje / Indonesian or Vietnamese), clove, ginger, lavender flowers, nutmeg, star anise, and vanilla beans. Also, check out our Baker’s Blend, a cinnamon centric mix containing many of the afore mentioned spices. Adding a bit of balsamic vinegar, brandy, honey, or rum will really enhanced the flavor as well.

3. Lightly spread olive oil or melted butter over the fruit to prevent it from sticking to the grill.

4. Make sure your grill grates are clean – you don’t want to alter the flavor with leftover BBQ sauce.

5. Fruit grills best when using indirect heat, so place it on the grill after the coals being to die out or off to the side.

6. Grill for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Sugars burn quickly, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on your fruit.

Serve as a side dish with a dab of yogurt, as a dessert with ice cream, or just lightly sprinkled with our flavored sugars. Have fun trying new favor combinations!

 

Filed under Grilling | Fruits | Sides |
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