March 1, 2010   I am sitting here looking at the beautiful winter wonderland outside. Who would have thought we would have yet another snow day in Atlanta, Ga? But this makes me want to drink and talk about my warm cup of tea! Nancy and I spoke at the Annual Young Breast Cancer Survivor Conference on Friday. It was great! The women were so inspiring to me. They asked great questions and were a fun audience to cook/talk with.  Obviously nutrition and cancer is a hot topic and it showed by the 250+ people that attended our breakout session. We could not get to every question, so here is one I wanted to address: Do you have to steep green tea for a certain amount of time to get the health benefits?

Green and white tea are the two teas that have the most antioxidants to fight cancer. White tea is from China’s high mountain region and is the highest in antioxidants and lowest in caffeine. It is also the least processed. While manufacturing white tea, the leaves and buds are steamed rather than fermented, and then dried to produce a delicate flavor and light color. Research states that white tea could be capable of blocking DNA damage caused by some compounds. Green also has a variety of antioxidants in it. Laboratory studies show EGCG (a catechin in green tea) can also increase production of enzymes that protect us from cancer-causing substances, decrease levels of a substance key to promoting cancer development, and increase cancer cell self-destruction. You should try and brew your tea for about 8-10 minutes in order to get the most benefit. You can also make a big pot of tea and cook with the tea water to increase the healthy antioxidants in your day. So whether you are cooking with tea or drinking a cup on this cold day Cheers to your health!

And here’s a delicious recipe for chicken made with green tea:

Orange-Rosemary Green Tea Chicken

6 Green Tea Bags
4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, (cut in half horizontally – resulting in 2 filets for each breast)
3 Large Navel Oranges
1 Large Red Onion, Coarsely Chopped
2 TB Olive Oil, Plus more for cooking
1 TB Chopped Fresh Rosemary, Plus more for Garnish
1 TB Grated Fresh Ginger
Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
2 – 4 TBs  Honey to Taste
4 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced, Green Part Only

Step One

Steep the tea bags in one cup water for 10 minutes.
While steeping, cut the chicken in half horizontally and set aside.

Step Two

Zest and juice the oranges and place in a large zippy bag. 
Add the 2TB of olive oil, rosemary, ginger and onion. Add the tea, and mix well. Add the chicken, and let marinate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard.

Step Three

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper.

 Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron (or grill) pan on medium high heat. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, wiping off any excess marinade. Working in batches, cook the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes on each side, or until done.

Step Four

Top the chicken with a drizzle of honey, and garnish with green onions and chopped rosemary. (This chicken is excellent on a bed of nutty basmati brown rice.)

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