Posted by Andrea Nakayama
Almost everyone I know loves a good cup of chai.
The truth is your chai loves you too. Not only is the warm cup of herbs and spices the perfect antidote to a busy and blustery day, but those typical chai ingredients are also loaded with effective seasonal healing powers.
And I like to throw in a bit of turmeric for its great anti-inflammatory potential.
Sure, you can think of your chai as a blood sugar regulating, immune boosting, brain focusing, gastro-intestinal supporting, anti-inflammatory tonic. But I’d rather think of it as a treat with benefits.
Go ahead and try some of these yummy options by the fire this holiday season. I think you’ll agree. . .
Chai ~ off-the-shelf to in-your-pantry options
Good Earth Organic Original Sweet & Spicy Herbal ~ Caffeine-Free
This is my easy off-the-shelf tea of choice.
- When clients come to see me, this is the tea that we sip together. (They often leave asking:what was that tea?)
- When Sadie Lincoln, my friend, colleague, owner of Barre3 and collaborator on the January Core Values Challenge & Detox (see details below) asked me which tea to drink during her spring detox, this is the tea I suggested. (After trying it, she liked it so much I think she bought stock in the company!)
- When I hankering for a sweet treat but I don’t want an added caloric indulgence, I’ll brew an extra strong cup-a-this-tea and add a little coconut milk and liquid vanilla stevia. (I like to brew 2 or 3 bags at a time and let it sit and steep to accentuate the flavor.)
Yum! Yum! Yum!
Rooibos Montana Gold Loose Leaf Tea
If you prefer your tea loose and lovely, this is another favorite that tickles my taste buds with the flavors of cinnamon and orange.
Again, I recommend the strong-brew!
Chai Sweet Blend Concentrated Extract
I fell in love with this stuff after finding it in the Olympia Food Co-Op on my way from Portland to Seattle for a conference.
The conference was on cancer and nutrition and I especially appreciated sipping on my tea made with hot water and this yummy herb concentrate when we talked about the healing powers of herbs.
Note: The one problem with this option is its not easy to find!
I’m working on that and have been in communication with the owner of the company. Check your local health food store. Make a request. Let’s see if we can get this on your shelf!
This botanical water-soluble concentrate is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg and clove. Just a few squirts in your hot water does the trick. I’ve also been adding it to my homemade hot cocoa for a spicy chai cocoa elixir.
DIY Spice-Rack Chai
Now its time to get into your kitchen and make the best chai ever! While this is #4 on the list, its my NUMBER ONE choice for its flavor and health benefits. This recipe was inspired by a post by Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple.
- 1/2 tspn ground turmeric
- 1/2 tspn ground ginger
- 1/2 tspn Frank’s Dessert Blend
- 1/4 tspn cinnamon + 1/8 tspn nutmeg + 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 tspn cardamom
- 1/4 cup warmed coconut milk (use full-fat Native Forest)
- 3/4 cup hot water or hot brewed rooibus tea
- one half dropperful of vanilla liquid stevia
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
Add all powders to an 8 ounce tea cup. Pour in your warmed coconut milk and whisk to blend, making sure to dissolve any clumps. Add liquid stevia. Pour hot water over the top of the mixture. Carefully whisk, and enjoy.
(Alternately, use your Magic Bullet to blend the non-heated ingredients and then heat in a pan over the stovetop.)
I’m ready for a chai tea break. How about you?
P.S. This is your Consumer’s Report for the month of December. And this IS the month of consumerism (like it or not).
I’ve decided to help gear our consumerish tendencies in a healthy direction by posting some of my favorite gift and wish list items on the Replenish PDX Facebook page this month. Hop on over and give us a ‘like’ and you’ll not only see holiday recipe ideas, nutrition tips & tricks, but also some great gift-giving (or wish list worthy) ideas for the holidays.
Happy Healthy Holidays! Chai love you!
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