Where do you buy your herbs and spices?
It’s important that we have suppliers whom we trust and who are trading fairly with their suppliers and with us.
Wherever possible we blend our Zen Blends using organic spices from a highly recommended supplier of organic herbs and spices in Oregon. They are certified organic by Oregon Tilth, Kosher Certified and are highly regarded in the industry.
Our supplier imports in small batches from their trusted producers. They test their herbs and spices in house.
Organic herbs and spices are in high demand with limited supply. We occasionally have to make substitutions for other premium spices which we are assured are non-irradiated.
Do any of your products contain additives or chemicals?
What is the best way to store my Zen Blends?
Store the spices in a cool, dark place until used. For our sweet and spicy blend which can be used more than once, reseal and replace in the tin. Store in a cool, dark place.
How long will my Zen Blends last?
We want you to enjoy the freshest herbs and spices so we put a 1-year shelf life on all our blends and recommend using them within this time.
How do I use your Whole Spice Infusion?
Our whole spice infusions have a similar application to steeping tea.
When removing the whole spice infusion from the plastic bag do not open the tea bag simply insert it into your slow cooker with the recipe ingredients and discard at the end of the entire cooking time.
How did you come up with the idea of a Whole Spice Infusion?
Thanks for asking. It’s a great story...
Under the the full assault of a hot Chicago summer in 2012, Jane was sitting on her deck leafing through books on spices from her local library when she ran across a little note: some spices and herbs contain oils which, when ground down and exposed to the air, instantly begin to degrade. They are therefore better left whole and cooked as such so that their oils remain stable and can infuse the dish slowly and without losing their real flavor. Scribbling away she realized a new potential for her slow cooker. The “little” note made sense and the zen of slow cooking signature spice blends took root.
With excitement, she went to her spice cabinet and selected a handful of whole spices, put them into a tea bag, tied a knot to secure the spices inside, tucked the bag into a mixture of sautéed chicken, apricots and chicken broth and let them cook in her slow cooker over the next 7 hours - the result was our delicious Moroccan Tagine.
The next few days she spent time refining this idea. It took a while to find the perfect bag for the spices and the slow cooker.
Before her next meeting with Meg she put her homemade Moroccan Tagine spice blend into a tea bag and shared her discovery - hence the whole spice infusion was born.
How are Zen Blends different?
We believe our carefully sourced small batch spices and herbs make the freshest blends for any meal you would want to cook.
We listened to our customers and crafted blends they were requesting.
By accompanying each blend with the best recipes and a shopping list right there on the tin, it’s bringing that Zen like quality into your kitchen and your shopping trip.
Our blends allow us to fulfill our dream of bringing employment to those with challenges. Each spice blend arrives at Planet Access Company already sealed and is then put in a pouch and labeled with care. Not only are you purchasing a premium spice blend, packaged with care, you are also helping a young adult move toward financial independence.
When you purchase one of our blends, we also make a contribution on your behalf to our Drishti Donation.
What does the word “Drishti” mean?
Drishti means an intentional gaze.
Drishti is a Sanskrit word that comes from yoga. Similar to other Sanskrit words, "drishti" can be interpreted on various levels. It can mean the quality of vision one might use around a planning table, it can mean the vision that unites values with action, or it can mean the vision or recognition of oneness between self and other. We employ Drishti when we merge insight with action.
Can you explain your Drishti Donation in more detail?
While the soul of the zen of slow cooking lies in our desire to help the home cook find a little more Zen in the kitchen, our heart lies in the dream of helping adults with developmental challenges find independence in life through slow cooking.
We have chosen to focus on adults with developmental challenges because Meg Barnhart, the founder and co-creator of the zen of slow cooking, was inspired to create a business that could employ individuals like her son Doug. We hope to expand our vision and embrace other underserved populations with workplace barriers.
If you are interested in participating or would like more information about our vision please email us information about your organization at: Drishti Donation.
Can you explain your relationship with Planet Access?
We would love to! When we created the zen of slow cooking we wanted to create a product that could make life a little simpler for the home cook, as well as to help chip away at the workplace barriers that often exist for individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities.
So after we started selling our premium spice blends online, we contacted Planet Access to enlist their help as our packaging partners.
Planet Access was founded in 1997 to provide training, development and employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Each spice blend arrives at Planet Access already sealed and is then tinned and labeled with care by four different pair of hands. Not only are you purchasing a premium spice blend, packaged with care, you are also helping a young adult move toward financial independence.
How can I get your recipes emailed to me?
Sign up on the zen of slow cooking home page via the BLOG tab. Enter your email address in the “Follow Us” box. Once you receive email confirmation and approve your free email subscription, you will receive a weekly recipe.
Can I buy Zen Blends wholesale?
We do sell our blends as part of a wholesale agreement. Please email us at Wholesale for more details.
Can I buy your Zen Blends in volume for my clients?
Yes, we would love to help you spread a little more Zen! We offer reduced rates for order over 4 cases (24 tins), please contact us at Customer Service
How will my gift be packaged?
Each Zen Blend will be packaged with care. They include a message from Meg and Jane, a cappuccino, espresso or beech colored box, a hand stamped seal or charm and a personal message from you. Please make sure you include your personal messages in the gift option/special instructions box on the checkout page.
What color gift box will my gift be packaged in?
All our gifts options are packaged at our discretion, in either cappuccino, espresso or beech colored boxes.
How much is shipping? (U.S.)
All orders over $50 are shipped for free. Our shipping costs vary from $6.50-$20.00 depending on your location and the number of blends you are ordering.
Do you ship Internationally?
Unfortunately, right now we only ship within the U.S.
When will I receive my order?
Please allow up to 48 hours for your order to be processed. Once processed, we package and ship twice a week.
All of our orders are shipped via USPS and have an estimated delivery time of 5 - 7 business days. If you would like your order expedited please email us at Customer Service.
How do I return a product?
All items are final sale, but if your product arrives in an unsatisfactory condition, please let us know!
We value you as customers, so we handle all of your personal information responsibly. Your information is encrypted using industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. We'd never share, sell or distribute your information in any way.
Where do you charge sales tax?
In our home state of Illinois.
How secure is my payment method?
We offer payment via credit card using Shopify payments through Shopify. We don't store your credit card information. However you can set up an account if you wish to view past purchases or re-order.
I received a package without the full ingredient list, what should I do?
A small number of spice blends are missing a full ingredients list on the pouch. If you purchased a product from us and the ingredients are not on the label, we are happy to replace the product free of charge. Please note that there is no issue with the spices inside the packet.
Please see below for the exact ingredients in each blend:
Coq Au Vin - black pepper, bay leaf, oregano, thyme
Daube Provençale - parsley, thyme, rosemary, orange zest, black pepper
Indian Dal - ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, Madras curry powder
Mediterranean - basil, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, celery seed powder
Moroccan Tagine - cinnamon, cumin seed, coriander seed, black peppercorns, annato, saffron
Mulling Spices - cinnamon, star anise, cloves, allspice berries
Smoky BBQ - smoked paprika, cayenne, celery powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, smoked sea salt, mustard powder, soft brown sugar
Southwest Fiesta - garlic powder, ancho chili, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper
Sweet & Spicy - ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
For any other questions please email us at Customer Service or call us at 1-847-735-8462. Please expect a response within 24 hours. Thank you.