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Bigelow Tea Has The Lowdown On Going Gluten-Free

Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have made gluten-free diets seem chic and healthy, but health experts caution against making such a fundamental change without medical consultation. Since November is Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, health watchers here at Bigelow Tea would like to share some tips for making an informed choice about going gluten-free.

To be sure, the approximately one percent of the population diagnosed with celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet to avoid such symptoms as gastrointestinal problems, fatigue and severe headaches. But many people who test negative for celiac are convinced that they, too, react adversely to gluten – found in wheat products, barley, rye and triticale. Doctors who once dismissed these claims now recognize that patients may have “gluten sensitivity,” though there are still unanswered questions about how this occurs.

Doctors still emphasize the importance of being tested for celiac before giving up gluten. The test for celiac is highly sensitive, but a person needs to be eating gluten for the test to detect antibodies for celiac disease.

For those who are symptom-free and would just like to lose weight or “cleanse” as Oprah did on a gluten-free diet in 2008, Dr. Stefano Guandalini, director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, says beware of fads. “People think that gluten-free diets are more healthy,” he told WebMD. “This is, of course, not the case.” You may actually be depriving your body of important nutrients if foregoing gluten isn’t medically necessary.

If you do determine that going gluten-free is the right choice, one thing you won’t have to give up is Bigelow Tea!  With very few exceptions, most of our teas are naturally gluten-free. Just look for “gluten free” or “not gluten free” with the ingredients list on the box!

Image by Lori_NY via Flickr.com  

 

Have A Healthy Lunch With Savory Sandwiches From Bigelow Tea

Whether you’re having a little midday gathering of friends and family, or you simply want a new twist on some great school lunch options for the kids, Bigelow Tea has you covered! We’ve cooked up some unique (and nourishing) sandwich suggestions that are delightfully tasty and easy to make. Here are a couple of these great recipes options. And of course to compliment these yummy treats, have a cup or two of your favorite Bigelow Tea! Enjoy!

Ham and Pear Sandwiches

Ingredients:

6 to 12 slices French bread or sourdough baguette
2 tablespoons honey mustard
½ pound thinly sliced baked ham
1 large ripe pear, thinly sliced
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Instructions:

Spread bread with mustard.
Top with ham, pear and crumbled blue cheese.
Close sandwiches with remaining bread or serve open face.

Rosemary Egg Salad Croissants

Ingredients:

6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
½ cup grated radish (about 6 radishes)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
6 mini croissants or other small rolls
Leaf lettuce

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Instructions:

Combine chopped eggs, radish, mayonnaise and rosemary.
Season with salt and pepper. Split croissants.
Line bottom of croissants with lettuce.
Spread with filling.
Close sandwiches.

 

On Halloween Bigelow Tea Notes That Frankenstein’s Monster Loved His Tea Too

For HalloweenBigelow Tea decided to look back at some of the best horror flicks ever made, and we were delighted to discover that the most infamous monster in Hollywood—Frankenstein’s monsterloved his cup of tea!  Of course, it was actually the man underneath all that monster make-up and costume attire who was the real tea aficionado!

William Henry Pratt was born in 1887 in Victorian England, and later adopted the stage name we all now associate with horror films, Boris Karloff. Karloff had a distinguished acting career that included well over 100 films and 40-plus TV series.   Renowned for his deep, sonorous voice, Boris performed many narrations and voice-overs in the latter part of his life as his health and mobility began to decline. He died of emphysema in 1969.

Boris Karloff’s exotic, swarthy looks, thick eyebrows and unique voice made him a natural choice for the genre of films that became his bread and butter:  scary, sinister horror films.  But it was during his midlife (at the age of 44), when he took on the pivotal role in Frankenstein, the 1931 film classic that catapulted him into Hollywood stardom.

Contrary to the characters he played, Boris was not only a gentleman – he was a gentle man.  And, true to his English roots, his favorite libation was tea.  Whether it was between takes on a movie set or sitting quietly at home, a cup of tea was never far out of his reach. That’s the wonderful thing about tea:  not only does it taste good, but it also helps to relax the mind (and soul) at the end of a long day. Happy Halloween!

Images via Monstercrazy.tumblr.comWikipedia.orgYyoquemepongo.blogspot.com, and Teaandco.com

On National Chocolate Day, Bigelow Tea Indulges!


Choco-holics rejoice! There’s one day a year, National Chocolate Day, when you can indulge all you want with minimal guilt! Yes, October 28th—conveniently timed just before Halloween—is a day for all things chocolate! For those of us at Bigelow Tea with a craving for milk, dark, white (ok any!) chocolate, this day’s a real winner!

Not only do we make a chocolate-inspired tea, White Chocolate Kisses, but we also use chocolate in number of our tea-infused recipes! One recipe for Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots is extremely easy to make … and the pudding is rich and delicious! Give it a try on National Chocolate Day!

Darjeeling & Dark Chocolate Pots

Ingredients:

½ cup whole milk
Bigelow® Darjeeling Tea Bags
¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao content) or semi-sweet chips
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Yield: Serves 4

Instructions:

  • In a glass measuring cup, heat milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until very hot. Alternatively, this step can be done in a small saucepan over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  • Place the tea bags in the hot milk and allow to steep for 2 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze out tea bags into milk before discarding.
  • Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in a blender and process until finely chopped.
  • Pour the hot tea infused milk over the chocolate and blend until smooth, about one minute. Add egg and a pinch of salt and blend again to incorporate fully. Note: It is important that the milk is hot to ensure the chocolate melts completely and creates the right consistency.
  • Divide mixture evenly between four tea cups (or individually sized ramekins) and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the mixture will firm up to the consistency of pudding.
  • Serve chilled, with any combination of the following garnishes: whipped cream, fresh raspberries, or fresh mint leaves.

Last Chance To Enter The Bigelow Tea Recipe Contest!

The kitchen timer is ticking away for our fantastic Bigelow Tea Recipe Contest! If you haven’t yet submitted your Bigelow Tea-inspired recipe, remember that submissions are due by October 30th. No pressure! We just don’t want you to miss out on a chance to be named the Grand Prize Winner and receive of a year’s supply of Bigelow Tea, and a personalized tea chest filled with tea!

We’re looking for the best and most original recipe using brewed Bigelow Tea … it’s an opportunity to let your imagination soar to new culinary heights! Need a little inspiration? Check out this video, showcasing Cindi Bigelow’s cooking skills – and some of the wonderful recipes you can cook up with Constant Comment!

Plus it’s truly simple to enter the Recipe Contest: if you’re 21 years or older, submit your never-published recipe and photo (optional)  of the prepared dish on our Facebook page or our contest landing page here. And that’s it! Once the entries are in, Bigelow Tea will pick 15 finalists (no easy task!). The public and our distinguished trio of guest judges will then vote for the Grand Prize Winner from November 7th through November 18th!

So tea-loving friends out there … what are you waiting for? Enter today!

 

Bigelow Tea Taps Into A Decline in Bottled Water Consumption

There are signs that bottled water may be falling out of favor – with interest flowing toward alternative beverages such as plain tap water and iced tea! That’s according to a new report in Adelaide Now, an Australian online news service. The story notes that the amount of bottled water consumed in Australia has plummeted by one-third over the past year. Here at Bigelow Tea, we think the Aussies may be onto an interesting trend!

Market researchers speculate that frugality – coupled with environmental concerns about plastic bottles – could help explain the declining sales.  We do still have an undeniable thirst for bottled water in the USA, having consumed $21 billion worth of the stuff in 2009 … making our bottled water market the largest in the world. Yet tastes appear to be shifting on American shores, too; sales of bottled water in the U.S. have declined slightly in recent years as the bottled water quality has come under scrutiny and “ban the bottle” initiatives have taken hold with folks, highlighting the waste and cost of bottled water.

Tea, of course, has always been the great alternative to bottled water – for health, hydration and  sustainabili-TEA! In fact, research suggests that drinking three cups or more of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water, and may offer additional health benefits in the form of polyphenol antioxidants! And iced or hot, it’s tough to beat the taste and convenience of Bigelow Tea. Plus, those few extra minutes needed for heating the water and steeping your tea are worth savoring. Enjoy a cuppa – wherever you are!

Photo by Shrff14 via Flickr.com

Blossom Dearie’s Version of “Tea for Two” Makes Bigelow Tea Swoon!

Like a cup of Bigelow Tea on a cool evening, Blossom Dearie’s version of “Tea for Two” is smooth, mellow and soothing. This jazz singer and pianist, known for her girlish voice, recorded many songs over the course of her long career. Her rendition of one of our favorite tea-infused songs was included on the album Jazz Masters 51 in 1996.

Blossom’s songs have been featured in several modern films too, including Kissing Jessica Stein and The Squid and the Whale. When she died at the age of 84 in 2009, the New York Times wrote: “A singer, pianist and songwriter with an independent spirit who zealously guarded her privacy, Ms. Dearie pursued a singular career that blurred the line between jazz and cabaret. An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself.”

We encourage you all to take a listen to this wonderful rendition of “Tea for Two.” And we highly recommend sipping something silky and flavorful—like Chamomile Mint—while you do!

Image via sweetslyrics.com

Bigelow Tea Kicks Off The Halloween Season with A Decadent Caramel Inspired Delight!

In appreciation of  National Caramel Month, the culinary ghosts and goblins at Bigelow Tea have concocted a delicious dessert that combines the complex and complementary flavors in Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea with bittersweet chocolate and creamy custard!  Our Vanilla Caramel Chocolate Custard is a Crème Brûlée combination that is decadent and delicious and tantalizing to the palatewith or without that final crisp sugar topping!  It’s a fantastic treat, enjoy!

Vanilla Caramel Chocolate Custard or Crème Brûlée

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea Bags
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely grated
6 egg yolks
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

Yield:   Serves 6

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently heat the cream until tiny bubbles form at the edge of the pan. Add the teabags, infuse for 4 minutes, then remove them to a small strainer and using the back of a spoon, press to extract as much tea as possible back into the saucepan. Turn off the heat, whisk the chocolate into the cream, then set aside.
  3. Combine the egg yolks with ½-cup of sugar in a medium bowl and beat until the yolks are pale yellow and slightly thickened. Slowly whisk in the cream. Divide the liquid among 6 custard cups or individual ramekins. Place the filled cups in a large baking dish. Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven until the custards are set around the edge but a little wobbly at the center, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and let them cool in their water bath. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Make the sugar topping. Before serving, sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the custards. If you have a propane torch, heat the sugar until it bubbles and browns. Or, position the broiler rack as close to the heat as possible and broil until sugar melts and forms a hard top. Watch carefully that it does not burn. Remove and let stand a few minutes before serving.

  

Image (top) via Deepfriedkudzu.com

Bigelow Tea Wants To Know Which Sport You Watch Most On TV?

You know we’re huge sports fans here at Bigelow Tea! Whether it’s a fine evening watching our nation’s pastime or a winter night viewing a hockey game by the fire, we love cheering on our favorite teams and players. While some sports fans enjoy a cold beer when watching a game, we (not surprisingly!) swear by our tea! Sipping iced tea while viewing baseball and basketball make those events better, and we certainly enjoy hot tea during hockey or a mid-winter playoff football game! No matter the drink, we know you enjoy sports too. So tell us: which sport do you watch most on TV?



 
Image by Stephen Edmonds, via Flickr.com

Cooking With Cindi Bigelow and Constant Comment Provides Inspiration

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5tlSH91HW0[/youtube]

For Bigelow Tea, it all started in Ruth C. Bigelow’s kitchen more than 60 years ago with her splendid creation of Constant Comment. Bigelow Tea has been providing tea time traditions ever since.  We’re always excited to invite you inside Ruth’s granddaughter Cindi Bigelow’s own fabulous kitchen, where here she demonstrates how to take food and drink from ordinary to extraordinary with – you guessed it – Constant Comment!

You’ve got to try the Constant Comment Cosmo! It might just inspire you to invent your own original Bigelow Tea recipe and enter it in our Recipe Contest! Who knows? Maybe YOU could win a year’s supply of Bigelow Tea!