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Health Benefits of Tea

Part 2 0f 6 

Tea comes from the leaves of a flowering evergreen plant called Camelia Sinensis. There are four principal types of tea – black, green, white and oolong. All are from the same plant but the leaves are processed differently.

Tea contains enzymes that interact with the oxygen in the air when a leaf is broken or crushed. This reaction is called oxidation or fermentation, and it causes the leaf to darken and increases its caffeine level. Once the leaf is heated and dried the oxidation process stops.

BLACK TEA – is fully oxidized and dried and has a smooth taste. Most of the teas on the market use black tea such as Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey, English Breakfast etc. Generally you would add milk or lemon and a sweetener (sugar/honey) to black tea.

GREEN TEA – is unfermented tea. The leaves are quickly dried then heated and rolled, so it is not as processed as black tea. There is a great variety of green teas – some are light and mild tasting while others are grassy and vegetable tasting. You would not add milk to green tea. Green teas generally come from China or Japan.

OOLONG TEA – is a hybrid between black and green tea and is popular in China. The leaves are partly oxidized and some Oolongs are less fermented and more closely resemble green tea; other Oolongs are more fully oxidized and come closer to black tea. Generally you would not drink Oolong with milk or sugar – it has a strong flavour that holds its own.

WHITE TEA – has only recently become widely available and it is possibly the healthiest of all teas because it is the least processed. It’s picked before the leaf buds fully open, then it’s air dried or gently dried by steaming and that’s it. The buds are covered with fine white hair which gives the tea it’s white look. Like green tea, it is not fermented. White tea often has such a gentle flavour that it’s like drinking water. Now it is often blended with vanilla, spices and fruit flavours.

There are other teas on the market called herbal teas. Herbal teas are not made from the tea plant, so they’re really NOT TEA. These are TISANES or infusions of other plants, herbs, flowers, spices, roots and flavourings, for example; Peppermint, Chamomile, Rooibus (ROY-BOSS) or red tea, and different blends

to be continued… in the mean time join us for a cup of your favourite tea!



Creemore Spring Marinated Grilled Flat Iron

Creemore Spring Marinated Grilled Flat Iron is served on the Old Mill Toronto Menu  with warm potato salad, pairs great with a nice beer, a perfect indulgence on a summer’s eve!   

1 16 oz. pc Flat Iron Steak
8 oz. Creemore Springs Beer
4 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 bunch Thyme
1/2 bunch Rosemary

Mix beer with Garlic and Herbs, add the Flat Iron and let marinate in fridge over night.

Pre-heat BBQ to a high temperature 450 – 500 degrees

Add salt and pepper to flat iron liberally (or to taste)

Cook 3-4 mins per side until med rare

If you cook the flat iron past med it will become tough and chewy

Serve with warm potato salad and a nice beer, great on a summer’s eve! 

Compliments of Executive Chef Tim Dunnill



Health Benefits of Tea

Part 1 0f 6 

In 1840, Anna Maria Bedford, more commonly known as the Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, introduced a new concept of taking afternoon tea. This was the beginning of the tea craze in Europe and North America, and as tea became more popular, people wondered about this strange new beverage. Was it healthy or unhealthy?

In the 19th century, most water was unfit to drink, they didn’t have the knowledge and means to purify water, so tea was wonderful because it forced people to boil their water which killed the bacteria.

Throughout the 1800′s people used to drink beer or ale for breakfast and dinner because it was strong enough to kill bacteria and drinking cold water was simply not safe. When tea became popular beer brewers were threatened because tea was competing with their sales. The brewers started a massive crusade against tea. The church of England joined in because they also felt threatened by tea. (Maybe they thought people would just have tea parties on Sundays instead of going to church.) Don’t forget that tea was a new, foreign imported drink and aroused a lot of suspicion. The church denounced tea as a sinful drink, and according to one account, the church declared that “all men who drink tea will become impotent, and all women who drink tea will become ugly”.

In 1822 William Cobbett, who was a member of parliament and a social commentator wrote an article called “The Evils of Tea”. In it he declared, “I view tea drinking as a destroyer of health, an engenderer of effeminacy and laziness, a debaucher of youth, and a maker of misery for old age.” 

Interestingly, despite this bad publicity, tea became increasingly popular throughout the 1800′s. When scientists at the time were asked about the health benefits of tea, they simply stated that it was a pleasant, mildly stimulating drink and that in moderation thay could see nothing wrong with it.

This scientific view that tea was neither here nor there as far as health benefits was held for more then a century. In fact, scientists only started taking a real good look at tea’s health benefits in the early 1990′s. And what they found, and are continuing to find is astounding… 



Aromatherapy Basics

Definition of Essential Oils

An essential oil is a fragrant, volatile oil which makes up the essence of the plant. Essential oils are derived from various areas of the plant including fruit, seed, bark, flower, root and stem. The molecules of essential oils are very powerful and have been used for healing purposes over thousands of years.

Methods of Extraction:
Expression: used mainly to extract essential oils from the rind of citrus fruit. The surface of the fruit skin is broken and the sacs that hold the essential oils are extracted.
Distillation: Through a process of condensation essential oils are collected through the distillate.
Enfleurage: Mostly used for exotic flowers that are very fragile. A glass surface is coated with odourless fat and oil and the flowers and blossoms are placed on these oils. As the flowers wilt, they release their fragrance and it is absorbed into the fat, then extracted. 

 Evolution of Aromatherapy
 
Ayurvedic medicine has been used from 3000 – 5000 BC. Practised in India, plant extracts were used to achieve a balance between the body, mind and soul. It was believed that each person should be treated individually for their aliments.

In ancient Egypt, aromatic substances were used for their medicinal purposes, perfumes and in cosmetology. Herbs were used for incense and oils and resins were used for embalming. The Greeks brought essential oils to Greece after visiting Egypt. They started to incorporate oils into celebrations, rituals and religious traditions. The Greeks were instrumental in advancing the use of aromatherapy for medicinal purposes as they had discovered that the use of aromatherapy had a significant impact on the internal organs.

In the 1500′s the foundation of modern medicine was laid and although both traditional and holistic practitioners used essential oils and herbs, medicine began to advance towards chemical science and synthetically mimicing the healing properties of the essential oils. 

Methods of Essential Oil Application
Compress:
Essential oils are dissolved in a solution and applied to wounds, bruises, abscesses or pressure points.
Inhalation: Direct inhalation is when you inhale the aroma of essential oils directly.
Massage: 1% – 5% is diluted in a carrier oil and the oil is rubbed into the skin.
Toiletries: In lotions and creams, essential oils are absorbed into the body via the skin, and also through inhalation.

Essential Oil Families 
Citrus: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Tangerines etc.
These oils are known to be highly antiviral and they fight cold and flu germs that are in the air. They are uplifting oils that can be used for their antidepressant qualities, as natural diuretics and to reduce cholesterol levels. You should avoid being in direct sunlight when using these oils.
Herbs: Rosemary, Peppermint, Thyme
Herbs are known for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also good for the respiratory tract, for muscle and joint pain and for hives and itchy skin. Antifungal and antiseptic.
Woods: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood 
These are grounding oils and are used as aphrodisiacs for eczema, psoriasis, chapped and cracked skin. Good for varicous veins and circulation.
Flowers: Jasmine, Rose, Lavender, Geranium
Natural antidepressants, hormone balancing, tension relieving, sedative. If you like florals, these essential oils are among the most luxurious oils in the world. Natural antibiotics.
Root and Spice: Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove
Digestive aids and promote circulation. Analgesic and antiseptic, antifungal, antihistamine, antibiotic.



Team Building

The term “Team Building” conjures up various definitions to all of us, and what one individual considers “useful”, “relevant” and “motivational”, another may not agree.  When Team building is  done  effectively, we can consider this positive process as “Building a Team within a Workplace”. Why?  To promote office harmony; employee understanding; improve performance and working towards a shared goal.

We believe the purpose of team building is to encourage each team member as individuals and the group as a whole.  Providing on-going and annual evaluations are key to employee growth, however team building reaches a new level of individual and team engagement.  Goals and expectations must be made clear, otherwise working towards a team goal can get derailed if individuals work towards their own objectives.  

Team building is often thought of as being expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  There are numerous programs and ideas for every budget.  Don’t confuse team social activities with team building activities.  A structured environment giving direction and encouragement during a team building exercise, will infuse your team with energy and creativity.    

At the Old Mill Toronto, our team building partner is the “Frontier Team Building” group who label their programs “Edutainment”.  Their unique one of a kind team building experiences take full advantage of our indoor and outdoor surroundings.  Team building is a sure way to foster effective relationships, elevate morale and make your meetings experience unforgettable!



Smoked Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole & Red Chili Salsa

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4 lbs ripe tomatoes
olive oil
2 onions chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 6oz. can tomato paste
5 cups chicken broth
salt & pepper as needed
1/2 cup sherry or port
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 t. crushed garlic

Prepare 3 handfuls of wood chips, hickory might be best, by soaking them for 1/2 hour to an hour. Spray the 4 lbs of ripe tomatoes with olive oil and place in a grill basket, preferably one that can be turned. Add 1/2 of the  wood chips over the fire and wait for them to begin to smoke. Roast the tomatoes checking to see when the bottoms begin to blacken.When they have remove the basket and add the rest of the wood chips and roast the other side of the tomatoes until done. This process should take approx. 10 – 20 minutes. The secret is to make sure they get smoke without burning up. They can be covered and used 1 or 2 days later.

Saute 2 chopped onions in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, cut in half, with the tomato juice that has accumulated, 3 bay leaves and 2 t. crushed garlic. Cook together about 10 min. over moderate heat. Add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, 1 t. crushed red pepper, 1 1/2 t. cinnamon and 1 6oz can tomato paste. Cook a few minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of sherry or port and 5 cups chicken broth. Adjust the soup with salt & pepper. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and then puree in batches. Reheat when ready to serve.

Goat Cheese Guacamole
1/2 cup Goat Cheese
1 Avocado (peeled & pitted)
1 lime juiced
salt & pepper
In a bowl break avocado into small pieces, add goat cheese, lime, salt and pepper. Mix until folded in but still a little lumpy.

Red Chili Salsa
2 tomatoes (deseed and chopped)
1/2 shallot finely chopped
1 serrano chili or red chili chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped
Mix all ingredients together

Place Guacamole on bottom of bowl, then a large table spoon of salsa, pour hot soup over and enjoy!!!

Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Antioxidants have anti-aging effects because they are scavengers of free radicals which are linked with human diseases. Tomatoes are fast becoming one of our favorite modern foods, and for good reason–they can ward off certain kinds of cancer, prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and help maintain mental function as we age. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a relatively rare member of the carotenoid family, also found in pink grapefruit and twice as powerful as betacarotene. Other studies suggest lycopene can help prevent lung, colon and breast cancers. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant glutathione, which helps boost immune function.