As you know from a few weeks ago, I have been really down about feeling so cold of late. I have done everything I can to warm myself. I’ve been wearing two pairs of socks, four layers of clothing and drinking only warm water. I’m keeping my protein consumption up and my eating of raw foods (like salads) down. Up with soups and warm roasted veggies! I have felt better this past week but I have also been needing something more.
I decided to throw together a simple Chai recipe that I am in love with. This chai has been helping me greatly! I have been drinking it in the early afternoon for a pick-me-up instead of having a cookie or a large coffee. I also feel really warm, almost hot, afterward. I love that feeling!
Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and the like, all have natural warming powers. Cacao powder (not to be confused with cocoa powder) improves circulation, gives an antioxidant boost and supplies a general blissful feeling. Black tea boosts the immune system and has less caffeine than coffee.
I hope you enjoy this warming cup of cacao chai and I hope spring comes soon!
Warming Cacao Chai
makes two cups
1-1/2 cups water
2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
10 cardamom pods
fresh ginger (I use about a 1-inch size chunk)
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk)
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder (Note: This is cacao, not cocoa)
honey (I add about 1 teaspoon per cup)
1 or 2 black tea bags (Use rooibos if you don’t want any caffeine)
Note: This recipe makes a very well spiced chai. If you prefer less spice, you can cut these spice quantities in half.
Pour water plus anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and ginger into a small sauce pan. Bring ingredients to a boil over high heat and then simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in milk and drop in cacao powder. Keep heat on low and stir with a spoon or whisk until the cacao powder is completely blended. Leave the mixture on the low heat, barely simmering, for 5 minutes. Important – Do not let the mixture boil; heat should be kept low. Turn heat off and drop in tea bag, as well as stir in honey. I leave my tea bag in for 3–5 minutes and then remove it. Pour mixture through a fine strainer taking out the cinnamon sticks and placing them into the mugs. Pour in your chai, add more honey if you wish, and enjoy.