All New Tea Party Food – Healthy Honey Summer Slice

Tahini, Honey, Dried Fruit & Almonds

When you’re looking for original tea party ideas and want something simple, delicious and wholesome to serve alongside the traditional tea sandwich and scones, this all new Healthy Honey Summer Slice is the exciting new tea party food to include on the menu.

I love this tea party food recipe for its delicious taste, its versatility, its simplicity, its healthfulness and the ability it has to satisfy a sweet craving.

The Healthy Honey Summer Slice is an amazing tea party food addition for any tea party occasion – both morning tea and afternoon tea.

Tahini, Honey, Dried Fruit & Almonds

A very versatile tea party food – served in slice form or formed into balls

A Beautiful Serving Platter – Details Here

A Versatile Menu Item

Now, I wasn’t being entirely accurate when I called this tea party food a summer ‘slice’ – this recipe started life as ‘balls’! I make it both ways. Served in a ball shape looks so clever and appetizing, but the slice still looks good and because this amazing tea party food doubles as a lunch box menu item, making it in slice form is my current favorite. Both the ball shape and slice shape fit just as easily in the school lunchbox, of course, but the slice stores a little more easily and compactly in a sealed plastic container in the fridge.

And, being deliciously fruity and uncooked, this recipe is perfect for summer, but as it is also quite rich, it is very satisfying and packed with goodness and perfect to serve in the cool winter months as well.

Storage

As far as a “Use By” date goes for this tea party food, I would be happy keeping it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks – but I can guarantee that it is a favorite tea party food and lunch menu item that will not last as long as that! Being able to make this menu item in the day or day prior to your tea party adds to its appeal – no last minute scramble to get this one ready fresh.

Suitable for Vegetarians

There are no animal products in the recipe, so the Healthy Honey Summer Slice suits your vegetarian guests – another box checked! It cannot be claimed to be vegan, as it contains honey. I like to buy honey from small “hobby farm” producers in the hope they are more caring for their hardworking bees than the large commercial giants, but that still won’t sit well with a true vegan!

What Type of Tea Should One Serve With This Gorgeous Recipe?

I adore this particular tea party food served with a quality black tea, served steaming hot with a dash of milk (no sugar). An English Breakfast works well and I have enjoyed this – my current favorite tea party food – with a cup of delightfully sophisticated Assam tea. Because of the sweetness of the treat, I personally haven’t been tempted to try it with tisanes / herbal teas and not even with my green tea. But that is my personal palate and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else told me they have enjoyed it otherwise!

Ready to try it? Now for the recipe:

 Recipe – Healthy Honey Summer Slice

Message : If the ingredients for the Healthy Honey Summer Slice tea party food are new to you, never fear – I’ve provided information in the notes so that you know what they are and where you can get them if you can’t locate them at your local stores (or if you just love the convenience of online shopping, like me!). It will be worth it to find them, I promise you!

INGREDIENTS

Half a cup of light tahini (see Notes below)

Half a cup of honey

Half a cup of desiccated coconut (see Notes below)

Half a cup of LSA (Linseed/Sunflower/Almond meal – see Notes below)

1 cup dried fruit – chopped small (apricots, dates, currants together are what is used in my recipe photographed)

One quarter cup of fairly finely chopped (or blended) almonds

 

THE “MAGIC” INGREDIENTS

TAHINI

What is It? I didn’t learn about tahini until a couple of years ago – it’s a paste made out of sesame seeds.

Where Can I Get It?  Healthfood stores, some supermarkets, online.

Check Price and Options Online Here:

Tahini with See price
This is a very highly rated, popular product on Amazon.
Check Here to See Product Page

 

  Tahini Best Seller with See Price

Baron’s Kosher 100% Pure Ground Sesame Tahini 16-ounce Jars (comes in a pack of 2) is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon with 4.5 stars from 160 customers
Check Here to See Product Page


DESICCATED COCONUT

What is It? Desiccated coconut is quite different from shredded coconut – make sure what you get is desiccated, which is very well dried and unsweetened.

Where Can I Get It?  Healthfood stores, some supermarkets, online.

Check Price and Options Online Here:
(the McKenzie’s brand at the bottom is the brand I use in Australia!)

Desiccated  Coconut Ingredient
This is (importantly) unsweetened, desiccated coconut.
Check Here to See Product Page

Desiccated Coconut Aussie Brand with See Price
This is a brand of desiccated coconut popular in Australia – and the one I used  in this recipe.
Check Here to See Product Page

 

LSA – Linseed, Sunflower Seed, Almond (Meal)

What is It? In Australia, Flaxseed is called Linseed. This ingredient, LSA, is a “meal” (i.e. processed in a blender until it’s in a form able to be sprinkled!) made from Almonds, Sunflower kernels and Linseeds/Flaxseeds. If you can’t buy it, or anything like it, you can very easily make it. I like this link http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/lsa.htm for its description of how to make your own LSA.  This is an incredibly healthful product – to be sprinkled on breakfast cereal, added to smoothies/shakes and used in baking.

Where Can I Get It?  I found this available on eBay, just don’t search on “LSA” as you’ll get results for  ‘light sport aircraft’!

Check Price and Options Online Here :
(a reasonable alternative to LSA is this product)

LSA equivalent on Amazon with See Price
Check Here to See Product Page

METHOD

Mix all ingredients together well to make a firm but workable mixture. I use a Thermomix (on reverse) and it makes it a very quick task.  Mixing in a bowl with a spoon, wooden, metal – or even your bare hands – is just fine.  Use disposable gloves – latex or food preparation gloves – if you don’t like getting mixture in your fingernails and jewelry.

To make into balls, roll into shape between the palms of your hands and roll in desiccated coconut to give a thin coating. (Children love this step, so if you’re not too particular about the final shape and size…). Refrigerate until firm.

The honey ingredient in this recipe may make it a little prone to ‘flopping’ in the heat, so if the mixture seems a little sticky or soft, add extra coconut or even crushed almonds – whatever you have more of!

To make slice, sprinkle a layer of desiccated coconut in the bottom of a slice tray, press the mixture into the tray and when evenly pressed in, sprinkle more coconut on top. Cut into squares after about 30 to 60 minutes of refrigeration.

A healthy addition to your tea party menu

Thank you to TPG’s Husband for shaping the slice!

Baking Trays – Details Here

 

Why is the Healthy Honey Summer Slice so … Healthy?

Tahini and Sesame seeds are high in calcium. There is no cooking involved, so all the raw goodness of the nuts and seeds are present. It contains fiber and essential fatty acids, vitamins and other minerals in addition to the calcium. This isn’t only a tea party food – it’s a super-food – but shhhh, don’t tell anyone!  If an alternative meal sprinkle to LSA is used, such as one containing Brazil nut, the nutritional benefits will be just as wonderful.

So a few new concepts, but once you have your supply or source of ingredients, you can whip this lovely treat up in no time flat!  No cooking, little mess, ingredients easily stored in the pantry, a delicious reward with a cuppa – and healthy to boot!

Storage for Healthy Honey Summer Slice

Healthy Honey Summer Slice is easily stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Kitchen Food Storage Options – Details Here

A Scrumptious Vegan Tea Party

Celebrate Tea Time

Recently, I was asked by a new TeaPartyGirl.com member if there was any info on our site about a Vegan TeaTime or Vegan Tea Party Treats.

Since there wasn’t anything I could find, I decided to write one something for our Vegan Tea Loving Friends.
This article may be helpful to those who are eating gluten free as well.  Just be sure to make substitutions where necessary.

So, what is a Vegan?

The term “vegan” was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society, to mean “non-dairy vegetarian”; the society also opposed the use of eggs as food. It extended its definition in 1951 to mean “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals,” and in 1960 H. Jay Dinshah started the American Vegan Society, linking the movement to the Jainist concept of ahimsa, the avoidance of violence against living things

There are many great vegan blogs that will give you additional information including: http://www.Vegnews.com

Here is my Vegan Tea Party Menu:

Spring Salad with Glazed Pears
Spicy Cucumber Sandwiches
Currant Blueberry Scones
Sinfully Chocolate Cupcakes
Lemon Berry Cheesecake Delight
Spring Salad with Glazed Pears

 

1/4 cup vegan margarine
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon palm sugar (can use brown sugar)
2 firm brown pears (quartered and cored)
1/2 cup shaved almonds
1 cup mixed greens
Place the butter, vinegar and sugar in a frying pan over medium heat.
When butter is melted add the pear and shaved almonds and cook for 4-6 minutes until the pear is just soft.
Place the mixed greens on serving plates and top with the pear and almonds.

 

 

Spicy Cucumber Sandwiches
8 ounces vegan cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 loaf organic white spelt bread
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons sea salt
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, chives, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To make a sandwich, cut crusts off two slices of the bread. Spread with a layer of cream cheese mixture, and arrange a layer of cucumber on one slice of bread. Sprinkle Maldon salt over cucumber slices and top with the other piece of bread. Cut in half on a diagonal, and then cut each piece in half again, forming 4 small triangles. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Currant Blueberry scones
1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 Tablespoons vegan margarine or light oil
2 Tablespoons sugar, stevia or other granulated sweetener of choice
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon plain soy milk
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup dried blueberries
Mix together the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the margarine or oil cutting it in with a pastry cutter Stir in the sugar, Add the soy milk, mixing until soft but not sticky, then add the fruit.  Mix just enough so it is distributed throughout the dough. (don’t overwork)

Place the dough onto a floured counter top and knead lightly to pull the dough together. Press the dough out flat to about one-half to three-quarters of an inch.

Cut the round into 8 even triangles. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

 

Sinfully Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon  baking powder
3/4 teaspoon  baking soda
3/4 teaspoon  salt
1   avocado, pitted and peeled
1 cup  pure maple syrup
3/4 cup  plain soymilk
1/3 cup  canola oil
2 teaspoons  vanilla extract

Glaze
1/4   block soft silken tofu (from 14-ounce container), drained and patted dry
3 tablespoons  pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  salt
4 ounces  semisweet vegan chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Puree avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, soymilk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture. Spoon batter into preparedm paper lined muffin cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out near clean. Cool the cakes.

Glaze: Blend tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth. Add chocolate to tofu mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to bowl and then dip just the tops of cupcakes into glaze.

 

 

Lemon-Berry Cheesecake Delight
1 graham cracker pie crust (store bought or home-made)
1 cup silken tofu
1 cup strawberries, fresh or thawed frozen
1/2 cup mixed berries
1/2 cup sugar or sugar option
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine silken tofu, mixed berries and strawberries. Process until smooth. Scrape it down to make sure everything mixes up good. Add constarch and lemon extract, then blend until smooth. Then pour in the sugar combine until smooth.

Pour the tofu/berry mixture into the pie crust. Put the pie into the heated oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Chill for at least 5 hours, then slice and serve! Garnish with vegan whipped cream.

Tea Party Girl Asks: Do you have any Vegan Teatime recipes to share?

Like this article? Here’s another:
Gluten Free Tea Time Menu Options

Teatime in London

scone_tesco

teatime in london

Teatime in London Like The Natives – On The Top of A Double Decker Bus (while moving!)

The sun was partially shining through a range of menacing clouds in the distant sky.  “Welcome to London in winter,” I thought, wrapping my scarf an additional time around my neck.   We had just emerged from the underground tube station at Earl’s Court and were busily dragging our luggage behind us.  Over the years, I have gotten quite good at maneuvering luggage and today was no different.  I grasped my carry ons and hoisted them, up, up, up the six flight of stairs, into our tiny room.  “We are here.  Finally.”  I tore off my damp coat and kicked off my boots.  I was ready for a nap and then of course, a cup of tea.

==

scone_tesco

If you search the web you will find dozens of articles about teatime in London.  Most focus on an elegant affair with three tiered trays in lavish hotels.  My post won’t talk about the Ritz, the Savoy or the Dorchester. (though I like all of those), today’s post is about teatime in London, native style.

From the moment you step foot in the U.K. you are surrounded with tea.  Hot tea is on every menu whether you are eating at a small Greek food stall or a traditional fish n chips galley.  Tea is on every menu but you may be surprised to note that tea is usually second to coffee, in nearly every food establishment.  Costa Coffee and Starbucks are located everywhere, and while they serve tea, coffee is their focus.  So how do the British drink tea? 

First off, the British drink tea, white!  That is, they drink a strong black tea with a good portion of milk on top, blended with a spoon with or without the addition of sugar.  If you do not want “white tea” you will have to let them know when you order.  Also, be aware that the tea is very strong and thus blended specifically for the addition of milk.  Drinking the tea without milk could curl your hair!

Museum

Secondly, the British drink tea from a bag and rarely use loose leaf.  You will probably be served Twinings or P.G. Tips.  In some cases, you might be served “Tea Pigs” an up and coming specialty tea brand served at a variety of Tesco’s throughout the city.  Tea Pigs offers higher quality tea in pyramid shaped bags and was a welcome change to Twinings.

Thirdly, the baked goods in London have improved immeasurably in the last few years.  I was pleased to be offered fresh baked scones, tea cakes and even donuts all over the city.  These treats provide a quick burst of energy after hours of walking in the rain and are a welcome accompaniment to a cup of white tea.

Food in London is astronomically expensive.   The average cup of tea will cost you approximately $3-$4 for a paper cup and a teabag.  Elegant hotel teas now range from $40-$99 per person so taking tea like the native’s has the distinct advantage of saving your wallet.

muffin man

Cream Tea – a small pot of tea and a scone or piece of cake is readily available after 2 pm for around $10.  I purchased a small bag of almonds and carried it in my pocket to add a bit of protein into my afternoon repose which worked quite well.

Here is a list of great places to grab an affordable and delicious Cream Tea in London.  Go Native!  Save money and savor the atmosphere of real life in this bustling city.

The Muffin Man Teashop

 

Museum of London

St Martin in the Fields

 

The National Gallery

Tesco Euphorium Bakery

Kensington Palace Orangery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tea and Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookie Tea Party

 

Christmas Cookie Tea Party

 

Tea parties and Christmas go hand in hand.  The Joy of Baking is a great resource for holiday cookie recipes and I have chosen a few of their videos to share with you today.  Under each video I have given a suggestion for the type of tea that might pair well with the featured cookie.

Sugar cookies pair will with a variety of teas.  Many people enjoy a spicy tea during the holidays.  If that is you consider serving Market Spice Tea (from Market Spice)  or Christmas Cookie Tea (from Tea Source).  Sugar cookies also go well with a Golden Yunnan (try Rishi Tea ).

 

The sweet almond taste of the Candy Cane cookie pairs well with a hearty Assam or Keemun black tea.  These teas can be purchased from a variety of purveyors.  ( I suggest Teas Etc or Tea Source)

 

These mini whoopie pies are sweet and creamy.  They will pair well with an English Afternoon or English Breakfast tea with its robust flavor.  (again I suggest Tea Etc. or Tea Source)

Gluten Free Scones

Gluten Free Scone Recipe

 

Gluten Free Scone Recipe

Are you one of millions of Americans who are challenged to live a gluten free existence?   If so, this article will help you discover how to make delicious gluten free scones.  There are many gluten free afternoon tea adaptations for a variety of favorite foods.  In this article I have included two of my favorite scone recipes.  The first is from King Arthur Flour and includes a recipe for creating your own multi-purpose gluten free baking mix.  The second comes from an extensive source of gluten free recipes… GlutenFreeGirl.com  

 

King Arthur Flour ‘s   Gluten-Free Scones

These moist scones have delicately crunchy, golden-brown tops. We like to add dried fruit to these, but leave it out if you prefer.

*Note: thanks to some of your comments below, we’ve adjusted the amount of the brown rice flour blend, to make a firmer dough.

1 3/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or 2 1/4 cups brown rice flour blend*

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter

3/4 cup diced dried apricots, raisins, or cherries

2 large eggs

1/3 cup cold milk

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a divided scone pan, or grease (or line with parchment) a baking sheet.

2) Whisk together the flour or flour blend, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and nutmeg.

3) Work in the cold butter till the mixture is crumbly.

4) Stir in the dried fruit.

5) Whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla till frothy.

6) Add to the dry ingredients, stirring till well blended. The dough should be cohesive and very sticky.

7) Drop dough by the 1/3-cupful into the scone pan or onto the baking sheet; if you haven’t added dried fruit, use a slightly smaller amount of dough, about 1/4 cup. Let the scones rest for 15 minutes.

8) Sprinkle the scones with sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes or so before serving. Best enjoyed warm, with butter and jam. Yield: 8 scones.

 

*Make your own blend:  Many of our gluten-free recipes use our King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which includes ingredients that reduce the grittiness sometimes found in gluten-free baked goods. Our flour also increases the shelf life of your treats, keeping them fresh longer.The following make-at-home blend, featuring stabilized brown rice flour, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a homemade blend using regular brown rice flour.Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it’ll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).
Recipe summary

Tips from our bakers

Note: For a dairy-free version of these scones, substitute margarine for the butter; and soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk for the milk called for in the recipe. Results may vary from the original.

 

Gluten Free Scone

 

Gluten Free Girl’s  CURRANT  SCONES

Scones seem intimidating at first. However, once you have made them a couple of times, you’ll see there’s a rhythm to them. Combine the dry ingredients and the butter. Freeze. Break up the butter, a bit. Combine the liquids. Add the liquids until a dough forms. Pat it down, cut wedges, do an egg wash. Bake. Cool. Eat.

You’ll see directions to put flours and doughs into the freezer. Don’t skip this step. Working with everything cold means you’ll have flaky layers and a light dough instead of the hardened clumps so often sold as scones in coffee shops.

390 grams whole-grain gluten-free mix

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon kosher salt

(1/3 cup) sucanat

(1/2 cup) currants

(1/2 cup or 1 US stick) cold butter, cut into 8 to 10 pieces

(1/2 cup) thick Greek yogurt or crème fraiche

1 cold egg1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons raw sugar

Preparing to bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Or, if you want your scones to puff up higher, grease a 9-inch pie pan (preferably not glass). Preheat the oven to 350°.Mixing the dry ingredients. Pour the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sucanat, and currants into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix them together on low speed until they are well combined.Add the pieces of butter. Put the entire mixing bowl into the freezer for at least 5 minutes and no longer than 15 minutes.Mixing the liquids.

While the bowl is chilling, combine the buttermilk, yogurt, and egg. Whisk them together well.Making the scone dough. Put the bowl back on the stand mixer. Mix on the lowest speed until the butter has broken down a bit. The pieces of butter should be the size of lima beans.Slowly, pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour-butter mixture with the mixer running on low speed. As soon as the dough comes together — with loose flour remaining on the bottom of the bowl — turn off the mixer.Forming the scones. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Turn over the dough with your hands. It will be a bit wet, with the loose flour at the bottom. Gently, turn the dough in the loose flour until all the flour is mixed in. Do not over-mix.

You want to keep the buttery layers in the dough.Dump the dough onto the baking sheet (or in the pie pan). Pat the dough into a 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. Brush the egg yolk over the top, then sprinkle with the raw sugar. Cut the circle of dough into 8 wedges. Put the dough into the freezer for 15 minutes.Baking the scones. Slide the dough into the oven. Bake until the entire circle of dough is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 minutes. Allow the scones to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then slice the wedges.Serve.Makes 8 scones.
A few notes:

If you want to make cheddar chive scones, take out the sucanat and currants. Replace them with 84 grams of cheddar cheese, diced into ¼-inch cubes, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and a good handful (about ½ cup) fine-diced chives. Use about 100 grams of cornmeal and 290 grams of whole-grain flours. Brush the top with the egg yolk and a pinch of coarse sea salt. All the rest is the same.

All scones are best the day they are made, but they will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. After a day, heat them in a 300° oven for 8 minutes or so. You can also freeze these — plastic wrap works best — for up to 1 week. A scone a day!

 

Gluten Free Girl is a great source for recipes and basic understanding of the gluten free lifestyle.  Here is a helpful article on their website to help you get going:  http://glutenfreegirl.com/new-to-gluten-free/

 

Tea Party Girl asks:  Do you have a Gluten Free Scone recipe to share?  Place it in our comments box!