There is nothing quite like finding the perfect treat to go along with your tea. While the tradition of afternoon tea is usually associated with the British, it is now a delight that is enjoyed around the world—there’s even a growing trend in afternoon tea in the U.S. And it makes sense that this tradition is transcending cultural barriers, as many Americans looking for nutritional choices realize that there are many health benefits to drinking tea, like the influx of antioxidants and boost to the immune system.
But no matter where or how you enjoy your afternoon tea, it can be an even more pleasing routine if you find a sweet treat to pair with your warm, aromatic drink. Though it may not always be the healthiest choice to indulge in a pastry or baked good with your tea, it is fine every once in a while to satisfy your sweet craving. Here is a guide to a few afternoon tea treats inspired by the British.
Buttermilk Scones and Jam
Scones are a staple of afternoon tea and of British pastries, and this comes as no surprise. Sinking your teeth into a delicious, warm buttermilk scone that crumbles in your mouth will be a real treat for your taste buds. Paired with the right tea, like a steeped, rich black tea or a cream tea, will be a true delight. Add some fresh raspberry jam to your scone, and dip some of it right into your tea! The combination of tastes will be like a symphony in your mouth.
Hot Cross Buns
Another signature British treat that is a perfect addition to your afternoon tea is a hot cross bun. A popular Easter tradition in the UK, these buns are made from rich, yeast dough consisting of flour, milk, butter, eggs, currant, sugar, and spices. Depending on the recipe you use or decide to try, these buns can be filled with other goodies, like yellow candied peels or mixed dried fruit. Their naturally sugary taste and salty seasonings will always go nicely with a warm cup of tea.
Healthy Tea Sandwiches
A third idea for an afternoon tea treat is to select some delightful finger sandwiches to eat. Choosing a finger sandwich over a pastry is a good way to make a healthier choice while still getting the British effect of the afternoon tea tradition. Selecting a sandwich that includes vegetables — like a cucumber-butter or olive-focaccia combo — is a good way to be more healthy at tea-time and is likely to pair well with whichever flavor tea you are drinking.
Thanks to the British, there are plenty of scrumptious snacks to eat alongside your afternoon tea—so why not try them all?
Photo “Assorted donuts…” is under an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to the photographer Brooke Lark and is being posted unaltered (source)
As I am always looking for healthy snacks, I often pair my tea with roasted nuts – cashews being my favorite. I take raw cashews and coat with healthy oil and then add salt and pepper and roast till lightly brown. I use avocado oil which tolerates high heat. The delicious salty taste is perfect with a hot cup of tea.