Habanero Sugar: Hot, Hot, Hot!

Many of you are wondering what’s up with the funky sugars we have at Stardust Tea and Spice. When it comes to salts, which we have plenty of and in all kinds of varieties to boot, most people understand quite well what that is and mostly how to use it. But the sugars seem to flumox most everyone. If it’s not the white processed kind, or at least the raw variety, we tend to scratch our head a little, perplexed.

Now’s the time to step outside the box and experiment some, especially with all the fun sugars we have. Because we’ll most likely feature each sugar with its own post, we’re going to start with the hot Habanero sugar first. Here is the first question we always get about this one: What do you do with it, exactly?

That’s okay, we understand. This sweet sugar, with the extra added zing that’ll set your mouth on fire, doesn’t have to be an enigma. First of all, you can use sugar in your general cooking, from rubbing on meats to adding to sauces. But let’s think about the properties of sweet and hot blended together. If you look at some of the products on the market today, you’ll see chocolate and pepper paired up to create yummy, gormet confections.

Adding this sugar to spaghetti sauce will definitely up the hot notch on your dish, while adding just a hint of sweet. If you make some hot chocolate, add just a pinch (and we do mean pinch) to your cup. Want to make a zinger of a chocolate cake, why not add some of this sugar to the frosting and make your dessert stand out among the crowd.

One customer said she threw a little of this sugar into her smoothies, and she enjoyed the taste and the twinge of sting hitting her tongue when she drank her juice. Now that was creative, for sure!

The best thing to do is to experiement and try things out. Because this particular sugar has fire to it, we suggest you go easy on it–very easy!

Tingle Your Tongue With Chocolate Mint Tea

Time for fun with Rooibos tea, especially when you have chocolate and mint playing together in the same sandbox . . . or teacup, I should say. I’ve always been a fan of the peppermint patty, devouring whole bags or boxes of them at a time. Let’s say York and I are intimate friends! But when I swallowed a mouthful of Chocolate Mint Rooibos, a blend of dark Cacao Nibs and Mint leaves, I found a new liquid version of a special friend.

Studies are showing the health benefits of chocolate, especially dark chocolates. Flavanols in the cocoa beans have been found to have anti-oxidant effects, which means they help reduce the cell damage that comes from heart heart disease. So now it’s time to run out and buy a box of Godiva chocolates to wolf down? Not so fast! Many of the chocolates we purchase have fats, sugars, and other additives which are not conducive to heart health, and they can be disaster for diabetics. So dark chocolate in moderation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, which makes sipping a chocolate tea even more fun.

Some of the benefits of drinking Rooibos tea are: improved cardiovascular fitness, helps increase insulin production after eating–also will help reduce fasting insulin levels, excellent bronchodilator, can help function as a light anti-spasmodic.

With this particular blend, the taste of chocolate hits your palate with a bang, leaving a cool, tingly aftertaste in its wake. Most delicious! Like the Orange Cinnamon tea I mentioned in a previous post, this one needs to steep several minutes to bring out the full taste. But it’s definitely worth the wait.