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Hong Zao Bread and TeaVivre Giveaway

Hong Zao Bread

Today's post is going to be a world of fun. I have a delicious Chinese Hong Zao bread recipe to share, a fun story and even a worldwide TeaVivre gift set give away for five lucky followers.

TeaVivre Giveaway

I made a Chinese Hong Zao Bread to share during my last language exchange session. My Chinese Hong Zao bread has big delicious chewy Chinese (Hong Zao) dates, bananas, Chinese five spice powder, and is lightly sweetened with honey. The Chinese Hong Zao bread is sprinkled with white sesame seeds just before baking and this gives the bread a crunchy topping but a deliciously moist interior.

Hong Zao Bread

I have made this recipe in a 8x4 loaf pan but this recipe would also work well in muffin tins so you can bring a delightful breakfast/snack to work or school. Hong Zao also known as Jujube or Chinese red dates are very sweet and are good for your health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that red dates (Hong Zao) helps build up yangqi (阳气), or the warm half of the yin-yang balance, in the body, and have the power to strengthen the spleen and stomach, replenish qi, nourish and produce blood and tranquilize the mind. Hong Zao also enriches and replenishes your blood and women eat red dates especially during their special time of the month.  I have the perfect cup of tea to accompany this Hong Zao bread but you have to keep on reading to find out how to get your delicious free tea samples from TeaVivre.

Chinese Dates

Every week, my dear friend and I meet for a Chinese/English language exchange. We share languages, drink tea and sometimes eat a little treat while I struggle with my tones and word order...

My friend is now fluent in English, meanwhile I am over here still struggling with my Chinese characters and have high aspirations to at least be able to speak as well as a 4 year old by the end of the year. I know you are all laughing, but learning Chinese has its trials and tribulations.Hong Zao Bread

I think however the best gift that friends can give each other is a true appreciation of each other's culture. Cultural exchange is more than just learning the language. It is about learning what makes them tick, what do they enjoy to eat and drink, what do they like to do for fun and somehow making both of our cultures mold into one.

Hong Zao Bread

My Chinese Hong Zao bread is the perfect melting pot of cultures. The bread has the basic ingredients for a banana bread but is warmed with Chinese spices and fruits.

Another way we blend our cultures together is our love for tea. My friend and I had the fine opportunity to sample some delicious TeaVivre tea.

TeaVivre Giveaway

TeaVivre is a group of tea lovers and aficionados from China, Canada and France, who all share a passion for drinking great tea and appreciate the healthy life style it brings.  The TeaVivre group resides in China, frequently travel through the country visiting China's tea plantations and track down only truly exceptional teas.  Their mission is to ship to you directly the highest quality Chinese teas that are, wherever possible, 100% organically grown and produced. TeaVivre is an online store that features a diverse selection of teas such as Green, Black, White, Oolong, Puer, Flowering Tea, organic, herbal, fruit and many beautiful tea pots and tea supplies. They ship all over the world. Here is the link to their website..

TeaVivre Giveaway

I am a bit of a tea connoisseur so I am quite picky about the types, taste, fragrance, mouth feel, clarity and appearance of my tea. Living in Asia, I have come to have a true appreciation for the brewing the perfect cup of tea.

We decided to start with a light and fragrant flower tea from TeaVivre called True Love.  True Love is made from high quality Silver Needle Green Tea, Jasmine, Marigold and Amaranth flowers.

TeaVivre Giveaway

After about 2 minutes of brewing, 3 beautiful flowers blossomed with one in the centre middle and 2 rising to the top of my glass tea-pot. True Love was mild, floral and delicately balanced for several pours. Both of my teenagers loved this tea as well.

TeaVivre Giveaway

The next tea we sampled from TeaVivre was the Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha. I rinsed twice and then started with a 10 second brew time for our first pour and with each and every pour it was mellow, smooth and had an earthy complex flavor.

TeaVivre Giveaway

This tea was a perfect match for my Chinese Hong Zao bread and trust me after lots of tea drinking you need a little something to nibble on. My youngest teenager loves Pu-erh teas as long as they do not become bitter and this one stayed smooth and lovely for several pours.

TeaVivre Giveaway

With mother nature sending cold arctic blasts our way, it is the perfect time to sample some warming, comforting, good for your health teas.


TeaVivre is sponsoring a tea giveaway for 5 lucky Bam's Kitchen followers.

This giveaway opens to EVERYONE (worldwide)!  Please read carefully and follow the directions below to enter this giveaway.

Mandatory Entry:

1) Please leave a comment here on this post stating what kinds of teas you like or if you are a coffee drinker.

Four Extra Bonus Entries (Optional):

2) Like Bam's Kitchen on Facebook and leave a separate comment here stating “I’m now a new fan.” or “I’m already a fan.”

3) Follow Bam's Kitchen on Twitter and leave a separate comment here stating “I’m now a new follower.”or “I’m already a follower.”

4) Subscribe Bam's Kitchen via E-mail and leave a separate comment here stating “I’m now a new subscriber.” or “I’m already subscribing.” If you just signed up, you will receive an email shortly and make sure to confirm subscription.

5) Subscribe TeaVivre via facebook, twitter, or pintrest.

You have the potential of entering a total of 5 entries.  Please make sure to use your email address so that I can contact you.

This giveaway will be opened until March 4, 2014, 10am Hong Kong Time. I’ll use to select five (5) winners and the winners will be announced in the post on March 8, 2014.  Good luck!

I have not received any compensation from TeaVivre. My review of TeaVivre is a honest assessment of their products. Tea Vivre has offered 5 lucky Bam's followers winners a trial of the following teas...

Organic Superfine Dragon Well Long Jing Green Tea 7g*2
Peach Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea 7g*2
Bailin Gongfu Black Tea 7g*2
Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea 7g*2
Ripened Aged Pu-erh Mini Tuocha 10g*2
Unbridled Love Fruit Tea 10g*2

Good luck!



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Hong Zao Bread and TeaVivre Giveaway

By HWC Magazine  ,

February 22, 2014

Chinese Hong Zao bread has big delicious chewy Chinese dates, bananas, Chinese five spice powder, and is lightly sweetened with honey.

  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


banana - 2-3 very ripe mashed or about one cup

butter - 1/3 cup melted

honey - 1/2 cup-3/4 cup (I like my breads only lightly sweet so I add only 1/2 cup but add 3/4 cup if like a real sweet bread)

egg - 1 beaten

vanilla - 1 teaspoon

five spice powder - 1 teaspoon

cinnamon - 1 teaspoon (optional)

baking soda - 1 teaspoon

salt - 1/2 teaspoon

flour - 1.5 cups all purpose

Chinese dates - 1 cup soaked, chopped and deseeded (can exchange with regular dates, raisins or even dried cranberries)

sesame seeds - 1/8 cup white (optional for garnish)


1Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2Place your dates in a bowl and cover with hot water and allow to soak for about 1/2 hour or until softened. Drain the dates and set aside. (If your dates are super fresh and moist you can skip this step of soaking but mine little a help)

3Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, five spiced powder and cinnamon. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and mix. Add and stir in the drained Chinese Dates (Jujubes/ Hong Zao). Pour mixture into a buttered 8x4 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack.

4Remove Chinese Hong Zao Bread from loaf pan, slice and serve with delightful cup of your favorite tea/coffee.

  • Joanna

    This bread looks soooo good! I already subscribe dahling! 😉 xo

  • Eha

    Absolutely fascinating!! Am more coffee than tea, and if tea, then green! What a learning curve this poses!! What an interesting ‘recipe’ I’ll very soon follow! And would it not be tremendous to have tasted the ‘right’ thing’!! Unbelievable photos!!!!

  • Eha

    I am already subscribing!

  • The bread you made looks so good! I love all kinds of tea, but mainly drink herbal, green, or rooibus tea!

  • Gin

    I adore tea! I enjoy a nice black blend, and sometimes a very good quality green. I’m also partial to a nice oolong! Basically, I like any good-quality tea!

  • Gin

    I’m now a new fan!

  • Hi BAM – I am already subscribing – and I am a huge tea drinker, I love my black tea and roiboos in the morning! Thanks!!

  • Gin

    I’m now a new subscriber!

  • I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and bookmarked a few recipes, but I’m just too lazy to try them. Shame on me! Maybe next time with a cup of Tea Vivre tea I could give myself a go and start cooking?! 🙂

  • The amount if times I have squidgy bananas left lying about. Next time this will be getting made. I love the thought of a cake tasting of chai tea!

  • All the while reading through your post, I could not stop thinking of this fabulous bread. Scrumptious! Also how lovely and special to meet with your friend. I take my hat off to you learning Chinese – good for you!
    I LOVE my tea and generally stick to “regular” black tea and fruit teas.
    Have a super weekend Bam.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • Wow!
    The bread looks awesome Bam. Would love to get some of that tea too.
    I am your facebook fan already.

  • What beautiful bread! And tea!

  • Your bread looks delicious and I have a sudden craving for dates! They go so well in bread too. What really got me though was that true love tea – the way it blooms in the hot water! That is absolutely stunning!!! I’m drinking my tea right now. This morning is a lemon green blend. I usually get my tea from my Chinese medicine doctor. She carries a local organic brand. So far my favorite is the peach ginger white tea, but there’s also a “serene dream” blend that is wonderful before bedtime. 🙂

  • We have become primarily tea drinkers here lately, after so many years with coffee, so I am rediscovering my love of different teas, though I never stopped drinking herbal ones. My favorites are Lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, green teas and Oolong. I just finished my last cup of tea, and do REALLY wish I’d had a slice of this fabulous looking bread to go with it! Love the banana-date and spice mixture.

  • I’m already a fan.

  • I’m now a new follower.

  • I’m already subscribing.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    That bread looks like cake and I want some. 🙂

    The last time I was in Hong Kong I bought some wacky teas and one was the flower blossom. It looks pretty awful going in but a few minutes later it’s the most beautiful thing to look at – and drink.

  • kitchenriffs

    I so admire you learning Chinese! That’s a tough, tough language for most of us in the west to learn. Super looking bread — I like the idea of making this in muffin tins. Mrs K R is allergic to coffee (just the beverage — it makes her sick to her stomach; when used as an ingredient in something she’s fine) so we always drink tea in the morning. Our fave is Earl Grey, although there are so many wonderful teas out there it’s hard to choose!

  • Ah, those pictures…. I’m thinking of travelling and sun and holidays already… 🙂

  • Robyn

    Hi Bam,
    Your Hong Zao bread looks fantastic. I don’t drink tea or coffee but I am a subscriber, lol. I’m in awe of your pictures, especially the one with the ocean in the background – gorgeous!
    Btw, the halibut dish was a huge hit. I wasn’t able to get the keffir lime leaves but the flavour was sublime! I will be making that dish on a regular basis. I just loved it! Thanks so much. Hope you’re having a great weeend.

  • Wow learning Chinese is so difficult, good on you! 😀
    Lovely looking bread as well, so flavoursome!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • First, that bread sounds awesome. Second, I can’t tell you how impressed I am at your efforts to learn Chinese. From everything I’ve heard, it’s one of the most difficult languages to learn plus has so many dialects. That has to be so much fun to have those sessions & really learn about the culture. What an experience.
    As you know, I have my new $100 coffee pot so of course I’m a coffee drinker, but when I want to really relax or am not feeling well I prefer tea. It seems that special tea shops have started to open in the nicer malls nearby which is pretty cool because they have some very different teas and plenty to sample while you’re there. That True Love sounds like it would be my favorite – mild & floral.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Diane. My boys have to study Mandarin in school so I feel like I need to be able to support them through their studies or at least understand the pain they are going through. I wish I could also learn Cantonese but it is very difficult learning 2 languages at the same time. I used to drink way to much coffee and since I have moved to Asia I have converted to drinking tea and I feel so much better. Many teas are good for your health. Take Care, BAM

  • Oh wait… I think I also follow you by email so I guess I’m already subscribing.
    Twitter? What’s that darling? I think I’m too old for twittering.

    • Bams Kitchen

      LOL Diane you are always making me laugh.

  • I’m a new Twitter Follower!

  • I’m a new fan on FB!

  • This bread is utterly intriguing. I am not familiar with this type of date. And the tea is really beautiful!l! Thanks for the introduction!

  • I have just subscribed to TeaVivre on FB.

  • I am now following TeaVivre on Twitter!

  • Hi BAM — I love those flowering teas (although I’m not a tea drinker unless I’m feeling under the weather) 🙂 The bread sounds delicious — love dates and I would always have the sesame seeds on top 🙂 Hope you are well!!!!!

  • Eha

    Most here do learn Mandarin ~ but that may be ‘Australia’. Our ex-Pm was fluent in it. When I was at High School Cantonese was the way to go – no people may prefer Shanghainese of Hokkien or Hakka or Hainanese – well, over 50 to learn : actually did not think they were any more ‘difficult’ than German, Italian or even French . . . I suppose Indonesian is the easiest . . .

    • Bams Kitchen

      I think the huge difference between learning a romance language and an Asian language is learning the characters. I swear I can write a whole page of characters and turn my paper over and forget what I was writing. It can be maddening. I am glad I can laugh at myself and keep plugging along. Have a super weekend!

  • Safie

    Yummy and pretty.I feel starving now.

  • That bread is to die for! I love dates a lot, a lot, a lot, but never mix them with banana. And it’s such a great combination together with the 5 spice. Learning languages is amazing, especially when you get to know another culture and way of living.

  • Hi-When do you add the dates? Do they just go in with everything – and does the soaking water go in also?

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Adri, I drain the Chinese dates first and then add the Chinese dates to the bread mix. The large Hong Zao (jujube/Chinese dates) are very soft when you first purchase them so you can skip this step if your dates are super soft. However, my Chinese dates needed a little help so I soaked them first in hot water. I will make sure I update the recipe directions to clarify. Take Care, BAM

  • Your bread looks terrific. And I’m a big fan of tea! I love chai, and orange pekoe, and I’m starting to enjoy lemon-ginger!

  • I have dates in my fridge so this can go on my to do list. I am a morning coffee drinker but I love my tea in the afternoon. The pretty flower ones are my favourite. So nice that you can learn a new language like this BAM 🙂

  • I like earl grey tea!

  • I liked you on Facebook

  • I follow on Twitter

  • I subscribe to your emails

  • Katie S

    I’m more of a coffee drinker, but am trying to get in to tea.

  • Katie S

    I’m a new fan on FB

  • Katie S

    I am follo Teavivre on FB

  • I love the idea of adding red dates to the banana loaf! Perfect fusion of east and west.

  • I love oolong tea, green tea and white tea! I actually had a blooming tea today! They are so pretty! I would love to try these teas!

  • Followed teavivre on Pinterest

  • I already follow on twitter

  • This is such a great giveaway! Thanks for hosting it! Your bread looks delicious!

  • hotlyspiced

    I had a Chinese doctor who used to insist I eat almost nothing but those red dates. I’m not sure what they were supposed to do for me. I love a giveaway! I think my favourite out of those listed would be the Unbridled Love Fruit Tea xx

  • I’m a huge tea lover, especially chewy Chinese dates & Chinese 5-Spice powder! Miam!

  • I love any kind of tea.When I was 14, I worked at a bubble tea station in the mall, and I got to try SO many different kinds of tea. I developed a liking for matcha tea there, and will get some at every opportunity.
    This bread loos super fantastic 🙂

  • Buona notte, BAM! I give you credit for learning Chinese. It has to be one of the hardest languages for us in the West to learn. It’s just so different from any that we have experience with.How nice that you d your friend can learn each other’s language together.
    Your bread looks so tasty and those dates are so plump! I can only imagine how good the combination of dates with banana tastes.
    I’m not a tea drinker, BAM, and wouldn’t appreciate the prizes. Good luck to everyone and have a great week!

  • I do subscribe! Hubby used to love tasting tea in China, but he still remains a coffee drinker. He loves cups of tea, in his special tea cup, just so he can keep his hands warm. As far as the Chinese-that was my son’s degree! Every now and then we go to a Chinese massage place here in Denver. They are all talking under their breath and my son can understand most of what they say. Then he speaks up and they are in shock. Quite funny, I must say. And just hearing him speak makes me laugh out loud because it sounds so foreign coming out of his mouth. He will be heading there, probably sometime in May, to do some more studies and also to hopefully, find a job in the up and coming wine business! We will see!

  • Well, I *am* a coffee drinker, but I don’t not drink tea. Actually I absolutely love jasmine, but it’s hard to find a “good” jasmine tea. Cheap ones always seem to have this horrible catch in your throat which it really shouldn’t have. I had some lovely teas when I visited my sister in China, but that was many years ago now!

    Great post Bam, and a beautiful bread recipe – I love the idea of the sesame topping… bet it gives a beautiful texture and also a delicate flavour when eating! That photo of the teapot is so beautiful too… so incredible that it looks so perfect!

  • I love red dates..have never tried baking them in a cake. I should try this soon.
    I am a coffee drinker but I too, love tea.. The flower tea that you featured in the post sounds really lovely..and I love the dramatics of it ‘blossoming’ in the hot water!

  • I love five spice powder and pop some into almost everything these days, I crave the flavor. I’m impressed that you are trying to learn a new language, this is so challenging. I took Spanish once, in order to help my kids with homework.. and they ended up helping me:D As for that tea, I just showed my son that pretty flowering tea, I know if I sipped that it would become my new favorite. Here at home we have a company (doesn’t deliver) called David’s Tea and they have unusually exotic flavors like Red Velvet Cake. xx

  • This recipe looks so good! I love Chinese dates too! I’m a tea drinker too but I’ve tried those in tea bags only not the loose leaf kind. That True Love tea looks really romantci with the flowers blooming.

  • Oh, I’m so sad that I only saw your post now and missed out on the giveaway! I’ve only eaten Chinese dates once, and would have loved the opportunity to play around with them in my own kitchen. Ah well, I guess that’s another ingredient to look out for next time I get to an Asian market… I’m certainly feeling inspired now, at least.

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