Thursday, December 11, 2014

Immune supportive chai tea

While everyone is pumpkin-crazed this time of year, I choose to obsess over everything chai-spiced. My chai tea recipe is amazingly healing: it kickstarts the immune system, aids digestion, reduces inflammation, improves circulation, has anti-cancer properties, regulates blood sugar, is high in antioxidants,  and boosts metabolism.  Coconut milk will keep you satiated longer and reduce food cravings.  If you don't have all these deliciously warming baking spices in your kitchen, you can always purchase a quality chai spice blend.  One of my favorite blends is through Savory Spice and can be found here.  I prefer a spicier, cinnamon-y chai, but you can always add more honey or coconut sugar for extra sweetness.

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Immune Supportive Chai Tea

It is really tough to mess this recipe up, so don't worry if your spices are not exact measurements.  I like to store some fresh ginger root in the freezer because it keeps longer and it makes grating the ginger much easier.  You may use a microplane or cheese grater to do this.  Lightly crush the tough pods with the back of a chef's knife.  This will release more flavor and nutrients into the tea.

Ingredients:
6 whole cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
2-inch piece of ginger root, grated
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise pod
1 bay leaf
1 tsp whole black pepper corns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup coconut milk (try my easy homemade coconut milk recipe)
1 tbsp loose Darjeeling black tea or 3 tea bags
2 Tbsp honey or coconut sugar

Procedure:
  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, add all spices to 3 cups of water.  Bring to gentle boil then reduce to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.  Add coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off heat.  Add black tea and let steep for 5 minutes.  Add honey or sugar.  
  3. Strain out the spices, pour into mugs and serve.
Yield: 4 small mugs or 3 generous servings

References:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5825/Why-Everyone-Should-Drink-Chai-Tea.html
http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/blends/chai.html