Chai this!

chai tea

Fall is in the air and thank goodness. Summertime is blissful, don’t get me wrong, but it can get overwhelming after a while. Too many plans and not enough sunsets to fit in all that awesomeness! When the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change colour, I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s time to exhale, slow down and get cozy with a cup of tea. It’s time to draw in your energy, refocus your attention and prepare for the change of season.

My beverage of choice for this time of year is chai tea. Once considered an exotic treat, it has now become quite commonplace. And no wonder! That warming blend of spices is comfort in a cup. But there is nothing ordinary about these key ingredients:

spices

Cinnamon

  • improves insulin sensitivity
  • lowers cholesterol
  • antiinflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • antibacterial and antifungal
  • may help to prevent certain types of cancer

Ginger

  • excellent for treating nausea
  • soothes digestion (gas, bloating)
  • antiviral
  • antiinflammatory
  • may help to prevent certain types of cancer

Cardamom

  • may help to lower blood pressure
  • may help to prevent blood clots
  • improves digestion
  • may help to prevent certain types of cancer

Cloves

  • antiinflammatory
  • expectorant
  • improve digestion

Black Pepper

  • improves digestion
  • antioxidant
  • antibacterial

DIY Chai Tea

I fell in love with chai tea lattes in university. Needless to say I spent a lot of money at the campus coffee shop. Now I make a healthier version that’s heavy on the spice. Unpasteurized honey adds sweetness without knocking your immune system on its butt (read: refined sugar suppresses white blood cell function). Make it dairy-free if milk makes your gut hurt, skin itch, lungs wheeze, sinuses congested, etc. Coconut milk = mmmm.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk of choice. I use full fat coconut milk from a can that I’ve previously diluted with water to fill a 1 L glass jug. Or try almond milk.
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized honey (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Add milk, tea bag and spices to a small sauce pan and warm over medium-low heat stirring occasionally for about 5-10 minutes until the tea has steeped to your desired strength.
  2. Add honey to the warm tea and stir to dissolve.
  3. Pour into your favorite mug, get cozy and enjoy!

*I like it spicy. Decrease spice quantities or add more milk-of-choice if this batch knocks your socks off.

If you’re looking to spice up your palate this fall, join me at The Naturopathic Kitchen for our October cooking classes on immune health. We will use all of these spices and more in our nourishing, restorative fall menu. One class date has already sold out so register soon to claim your spot at our kitchen island! Click here for all the details.

Cheers!

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