When you hear the word botanical, the following words that come to mind are probably garden or flowers. But today, we’re talking about botanicals in food and beyond the botanical gin used in a world-famous spy’s martini. Consumer tastes have evolved over the last few years, and botanicals are a great way to add depth to dishes. On top of delicious, complex flavors, consumers are turning to botanicals for their health benefits.
Botanicals are commonly found in teas, cocktails, and beer, but they are now sprouting up in baked goods and savory dishes. They come from plant extracts and herbs and can be used to add flavor, fragrance, and color to food naturally. The addition of botanicals to your recipes doesn’t have to be complicated.
A simple compound butter made with garlicky chive blossoms is a great way to add flavor to a beautifully cooked steak. Place a thick slice of this compound butter on top of a ribeye straight from the Ovention Finishing Oven, and your guest’s mouth will be watering in no time. For an elegant and easy dessert, bake your favorite buttery shortbread recipe in the Ovention Matchbox and adorn them with pansies once they are out of the oven. These simple cookies will be both beautiful and delicious.
The most common botanical beverages are tea, like black, green, and yerba mate. Tea is an excellent source of caffeine and pairs well with ingredients like honey and citrus. However, bartenders are taking that idea to the next level by adding fresh herbs, edible flowers, and more to create garden-inspired, alcohol-free cocktails. While botanicals have been common in alcohol like gin over the years, they are also used for the newest lifestyle trend popping up on menus: Mocktails.
We’re not just talking about Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers. Nonalcoholic drinks have expanded well beyond that. As the weather gets cooler, there’s nothing like a Hot Toddy. Instead, try a N/A version made with water, lemon juice, lavender, ginger, honey, and green tea. This mocktail is delicious and comforting and also pairs well with butter and flaky pastries warm from the Ovention MiLO. So whether you don’t drink, are the designated driver, or are recovering from the night before, you can enjoy these botanical drinks.
We’re seeing an explosion of creativity in the sauce department with botanicals. Turmeric, wild fennel, sage, and hibiscus can create complex flavors in rich sauces and gravies to delicate vinaigrettes and broths. With football season in full swing, it also means that it’s hot wing season! Cook up a batch of wings and toss them in Tannebaum’s Botanical Hot Sauce for a flavor explosion. The Blueberry, Sumac & Cinnamon and Pineapple, Rosemary & Tumeric sauces are sweet, spicy, and anti-inflammatory. Are you looking for something more refined? Add orange and rosemary to your beurre blanc for a delightful twist on this classic sauce.
Botanicals may not be a new concept in cooking, but these herbaceous ingredients are getting more time in the limelight. Many consumers are seeking ways to better care for themselves, whether it’s their gut health, sleep and stress management, or an energy boost. Incorporating botanical herbs into your dishes can help your customers make better lifestyle choices. Check out other food lifestyle choices.
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