Whole Chai Latte
Chai tea made giving up coffee bearable.
I love(d) coffee. I no longer drink it, but I find the smell to be so intoxicating as it hints at nostalgic flavours. I gave it up a couple years ago not long after I learned that the standard amount of caffeine found in coffee can be taxing on your adrenals and endocrine system, putting your body in hormonal stress. Then going off coffee for a cleanse illustrated the addictive properties it held – I experienced crazy, unnatural headaches due to withdrawals. When I went back to drinking it, I was more aware of the jitters or shaky/crazed energy I had (in some instances the caffeine was so strong, I experienced stomach pains), and the inevitable crashes I’d get (even with decaf!) made the whole thing seem pointless. It wasn’t an easy transition though. I tried multiple tea flavours before discovering chai’s spicy gingery-kick that woke up my senses and gave my taste buds a flavourful rush that could compete with the boldness of coffee.
After going through a couple more cleanses I discovered I don’t actually need caffeine in any form. I’ll treat myself to it once in a while, but if I sleep well, I find I now have the energy I need to get me through the work day.
But I still love that gingery-kick. So here is my newest rendition of the Chai in my life – blending whole ingredients to get the most out of them. Most days it’s caffeine-free and exactly like the recipe below, but I sometimes add the tea in for those groggier mornings, which I’ll explain below.
WHOLE CHAI LATTE RECIPE
- 1 tsp Chia seeds
- 1 tsp Cinnamon/Pumpkin spice powder
- 1 tsp Raw cacao nibs
- 4-6 Pitted dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1 tsp Goji berries
- 1/4 inch Ginger root
- 1/2 cup Heated Almond mylk
- boiled water
- seeds from 1 Cardamom pod
- pinch of Vanilla beans from the pod
- 1/4 tsp Maca powder
- dash of Stevia (if you like it particularly sweet)
- 1/4 cup of steeped black tea
- dash of cayenne pepper
- dash of turmeric powder
- Other food or herb powders (Chaga/Reishi mushroom, nutmeg, etc.)
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin puree (for a pumpkin spice chai)
- If using black tea, steep in 1/4 cup of boiled water.
- Heat up almond mylk and pour in blender, along with Chia seeds.
- If using tea, after the tea has steeped, remove the tea bag, and put all desired ingredients in your blender.
- Blend until smooth, pour into cup and top up with more boiled water, and enjoy!
- To make this a cold or iced latte/smoothie, simply don't heat up the almond milk and replace boiled water with ice.
- Optional step: because we're blending whole ingredients, the drink can be a little thick. So feel free to use a strainer to remove any bits and ginger strings while pouring into your cup.
A few fun nutritional facts:
DATES – High in fiber!
GOJI BERRIES – Great source of antioxidants and beta-carotene!
RAW CACAO – Even more antioxidant power and high in magnesium!
CHIA SEEDS – High in fiber, contains Omega-3 fatty acids, and helps boost collagen and elastin
CINNAMON – Antibacterial (boosts immune system), and regulates blood sugar, helping to control hunger!
GINGER – Relief from gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and boosts your immune system!
CARDAMOM – Natural detoxifier, it’s antibacterial properties help kill bad breath and cold symptoms!
MACA – Helps balance hormones and boosts energy!
VANILLA – Antioxidant and cognitive enhancing agent… mostly it just tastes yummy!
CAYENNE – stimulating (for digestion and circulation) and detoxifying
REISHI MUSHROOM – helps to regulate the immune system and has anti-cancer properties
CHAGA MUSHROOM – incredible amounts of antioxidants and has anti-cancer properties
NUTMEG – stimulates the brain and promotes restful sleep