Chef and poet Annelies Zijderveld
became inspired to write her cookbook Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea (2015 Andrews McMeel) after working at a number of food festivals and chatting with chefs who took her seriously about cooking with tea.

“My take on cooking with tea is plant-based and mostly healthy, with an emphasis on flavor. It’s vegetarian because that’s the way we eat at home, as do so many tea-drinking cultures.

“To me, tea and reading go hand in hand. I knew from the beginning that I wanted this book to be infused with poetry. When I was in graduate school studying poetry, I would bring stashes of tea with me. During class breaks we’d congregate in the hallway, talking about writing technique while drinking tea. My poet friends knew me as the tea lady, though I call myself the Food Poet on my blog

“For this recipe, I wanted a breakfast with robust flavors. It’s an easy on-the-go healthy meal that you can take anywhere. This flavorful muesli is meant to soak overnight. Use any kind of milk desired, yogurt, or a combination of yogurt and milk. The raisins, dates, candied ginger and apple give this muesli sweetness, while the masala chai imparts a hint of spice.”

  • 3 C rolled oats
  • 1⁄2 C dried apples,
  • 3 T raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 T dried date pieces
  • 6 t chopped candied
  • 3 T raisins
  • 1 T loose masala chai, finely ground (contents of
    2 tea bags)

Recipe Key: T = tablespoon | t = teaspoon | C = cup

Stir the oats, apples, sunflower seeds, dates, ginger, raisins and finely ground loose tea until all the ingredients are combined. Store the muesli in a large glass jar. To serve, measure 1⁄2 cup of muesli into a bowl and pour 1⁄2 cup milk over it to soak overnight in the refrigerator. Makes six servings.

Source: Recipe used with permission from chef Annelies Zijderveld, author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea,

Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra Williams has taught fitness for 17 years and has a master’s degree in agency counseling, with an emphasis on marriage and family. Her professional training has forced her to scrutinize her own value system, especially as she attempts to raise ethical children. The author wishes to thank Jack Raglin and Jim Gavin for their helpful insights and suggestions.

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