This post is seriously overdue. I know I promised it last week so I apologize. Things have been a bit hectic between the holidays, family life, social events and a very cool little project I have been working on for you and plan to release next week (stay tuned!!)
You may remember me mentioning an Indian Cooking Class I went to last month (was that really only last month?). While it wasn’t on the agenda, our wonderful instructor decided to serve and discuss how to make her version of authentic Chai Tea.
Actually, seasonal Chai Tea.
She said that where she is from in India, the spices that are used in Chai Tea are determined by the seasons and what the body needs. So intuitive right? I love it!
Anyway, for Winter, we need warming and healing spices so Winter Chai is full of cinnamon, clove, ginger, fennel, star anise, black peppercorns and of course, cardamom.
Chai Tea is traditionally made with either Whole or 2% Cow’s Milk but since we don’t drink Cow’s Milk, I wanted to create a version that was dairy-free.
After testing a bunch of different milks, my absolute favorite combination is plain, unsweetened almond milk with a touch of soy creamer. If you want to simplify things and not buy two different products, my next favorite option was plain soy milk.
As much as I usually adore the taste of coconut milk, that was my least favorite by a mile. The coconut milk just overpowered the fragrant tea and spices. Plain almond milk didn’t work either – it was too thin and just didn’t have the body I wanted. Same goes for rice milk. But experiment, everyone is different and there are so many milk options out there – I encourage you to find the right combo for you!
This Winter Chai Tea is healing, warming, comforting, easy to make, delicious and only 1 Point Per serving. The only problem with it is that you may have trouble drinking only one serving. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
- I like to let the Chai Tea cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- If you are using tea bags like I did, be sure to remove the little tags with a scissor. The thought of the paper and ink boiling away in the tea just grosses me out.
- As our instructor said, “There are as many Chai Tea recipes in this world as there are Indian people…” so don’t get offended or crazy if you think you have a better version or one that is more authentic. My goal here is to give you an awesome Vegan Winter Chai Tea recipe. Period.
- 3½ cups water
- 1" piece ginger root, smashed
- 5 whole cardamom pods, smashed
- 3 whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 small or ½ star anise
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 4 earl grey tea bags
- ¾ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup plain soy creamer
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- Begin by cutting the ginger into quarters and using the back of your knife to smash each piece. Next, carefully smash the cardamom pods to open them. I say carefully because you do not want the insides flying all over since you are using them to infuse the water with flavor so cup the pods and gently smash.
- Combine water with all spices in a spice ball or spice bag. Alternately, just dump all the spices in the water and plan to strain the tea before serving. Whatever is easier.
- Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 5 minutes.
- Add tea bags, palm sugar, almond milk and soy creamer. Bring back to a boil, let boil for 1 to 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Let cool for a couple minutes, strain, serve and Enjoy!