Raise your hand if you love Chai!

written by Nicole Boyd

 

 

 

Everything about chai makes me melt so I was delighted when I was offered a cup at work the other day. My full-time job is customer service on the commuter trains. A family from India who just moved to Toronto joined me in my coach on their way to Brampton. Out for a day trip to Toronto, they brought a thermos of homemade chai along for the ride. They were generous to offer me a cup too. Traditional chai is made with black tea and a combination of the following spices.

 

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits:

  • - Cardamom: aids digestion and helps bring circulation to the lungs.
  • - Cinnamon: helps prevent unwanted clotting of blood platelets, helps the body utilize blood sugar and it is also an anti-inflammatory food.
  • - Ginger: helps eliminate gastrointestinal distress and gives relief from nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • - Cloves: has anti-inflammatory properties and is high in minerals
  • - Nutmeg: has antibacterial properties and aids digestion

 

Unfortunately, some chai also contains sweetened condensed milk and refined sugar.   I went on the hunt for a chai-makeover because I knew there had to be a way to make this bevie healthier but still retain deliciousness. I came across a recipe for a warming chai inspired beverage while perusing other health and nutrition websites (I do that a lot for inspiration... how about you??). I added my own spin to the recipe and came up with something delicious and very chai-like. This drink has even more health benefits.

 

  • - Roobios tea: this tea made from a flowering shrub is in the legume family and it is high in anti-oxidants, flavanoids and has a soothing effect on the digestive tract.
  • - Maca root: increase energy and endurance and regulates hormonal processes. It is said that maca increases libido and acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • - Almond milk: high in calcium, iron and good fats. It is a great alternative to dairy milk.

 

Vanillla Almond Roobios Chai

Inspired by a recipe at be.Natural in Pemberton, B.C.

Makes 2 cups.

Ingredients

2 bags Rooibos tea 2 C almond milk ¼ of a vanilla bean (inside contents) or ¼ tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp cinnamon or ½ cinnamon stick 1 tsp fresh ginger, sliced pinch of grated nutmeg and clove 4-5 pods of cardamom pinch of cayenne 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp maca powder Make it rich option: once the tea has been strained put into the blender with 1 tbsp almond butter. Blend for 20 seconds and enjoy a rich, frothy beverage.

Directions

  1. Warm almond milk on the stove over medium heat until hot and steaming. Do not boil. Turn down to low.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except for the honey and almond butter.
  3. Steep tea bags for 5-6 minutes then take out.
  4. Steep for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the honey and almond butter. Stir until mixed in.
  6. Strain the liquid in to 2 mugs and enjoy