While I was sick with the flu a few weeks ago, I completely lost my appetite for coffee. And since then, it hasn’t returned. For a few years now I have been going back and forth with coffee. I would give it up for a while, usually because I was trying to quit sugar, and then go back to it. I used to drink my coffee with an obscene amount of sugar. I really love it that way. I have already admitted to you that I’m a sugar addict. But I finally forced myself to get used to drinking coffee without sugar. But now, I have found myself in a season of not wanting coffee again. So I have turned to my other love – chai tea!
A few years ago I found a good base recipe for chai tea, but it called for cinnamon sticks and crushing whole cloves and cardamom seeds in a mortar. Who has time for all that nonsense? I can find better uses for my time. Especially at 4:00 a.m. when I’m usually making my tea. I don’t need extra work. I buy all my organic spices either in the glass jars at Whole Foods or in bulk on Amazon.com. I also buy my organic loose leaf tea at a great bargain on Amazon.com.
The spices used in chai tea have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for centuries. Recent studies on these spices have confirmed their medicinal uses. I’m not a doctor, so please do your own research. If you are interested in trying to be more healthy naturally, make sure that you have a doctor who is on the same page. And remember that you know your own body better than anyone, so you will have to pay attention to what your body is telling you.
That said, I have developed my own chai tea recipe for my own taste and to include spices that help my body. Pregnancy at 40 years old did a number on my hips. I still get pains in my hips when I’m sleeping that wake me up. I did some research and found that turmeric can help with arthritis pain. In order for your body to be able to utilize turmeric properly, you have to combine it with a fat and a pepper, like black pepper or cayenne. I made turmeric capsules and took them with a black pepper fruit extract tablet in the morning when I ate my breakfast, which included the fat needed. Pretty quickly I noticed that I didn’t have those pains in my hips at night. But making those turmeric capsules was a pain, and a mess! Turmeric stains just about everything a neon yellow! Turmeric is not a traditional ingredient in chai tea, but it works out quite nicely. And it makes your chai tea, golden, thus the name I have given it.
Another spice that I have personal knowledge of its effects is cinnamon. Cinnamon is said to lower blood sugar. Being a sugar addict, I decided I would do myself a favor and take cinnamon capsules for while. I think I was taking 2 capsules in the morning and 2 at night. This was self-prescribed stupidity, but I didn’t think a doctor would really know how much I should be taking. I can attest that cinnamon really does lower blood sugar. I stopped taking the capsules because I woke up one Saturday morning in quite a state. My blood sugar had dropped so low that I had the shakes, and I was sweating and dizzy. The amount of cinnamon in my golden chai tea recipe is a normal level that will not send you into low blood sugar shock.
The other spices I use all have health benefits also. Ginger is best known for treating upset stomach, but it is also an anti-inflammatory. It is also being studied for it’s anti-cancer and anti-diabetic benefits. Cloves and cardamom round out the spices used in my recipe, and they are loaded with benefits also. Cloves can help with respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis. Cardamom has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure.
For the tea part of the golden chai tea, I use an organic gunpowder green tea. You would have to have been living under a rock for the past 20 years to not have heard anything about the health benefits of green tea. I like the gunpowder green tea, because it has great flavor. It is loose leaf, and is called gunpowder, because each leaf is rolled into a ball. I guess it resembles gunpowder, but I don’t know. I have never seen gunpowder. I order a 1-pound bag of Davidson’s here. I can’t believe how affordable it is!
Without further ado, here is the recipe:
Golden Chai Tea
3 cups water
1 cup organic whole milk (which serves as the fat for your turmeric)
1 Tbsp. organic gunpowder green tea
1/2 tsp. organic ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. organic ground cinnamon (I have Ceylon cinnamon, which isn’t as strong as Saigon cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. organic ground ginger
1/4 tsp. organic ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. organic ground cloves
1/8 tsp. organic ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
sweetener to taste
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Turn off your burner and add the tea and all of the spices. While you are waiting for your water to boil, I found it is helpful to measure all of these things out into a small bowl, then you can toss them in all at once when your water is done. Next add the milk. Give it a stir and put the lid on your saucepan. I usually fix my breakfast while this is steeping, so I don’t really have a set amount of time that I let this steep. I know that it is at least five minutes, but don’t freak out if you let it sit longer. It’s no big deal. There are tea fanatics who worry about the temperature of the water and the steeping time. I don’t notice a difference in the end product if these factors vary. I find chai to be very comforting, and making it shouldn’t be a hassle. Next, I usually put my sugar into a Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup. You can use your favorite sweetener, sugar, honey, agave, stevia, coconut sugar, etc. Then I use a wire mesh strainer and strain about 1/2 of my tea into the Pyrex measuring cup. I put the saucepan back on the stove and put the lid back on. Stir to dissolve your sugar, then pour into your favorite teacup. You could strain the whole thing into a teapot or a 4 cup measuring cup, if you would like. I imagine this could serve four people at a time, but I drink the whole thing myself every morning. It’s my coffee replacement. And I enjoy this so much more! If you wanted to drink this at night, you could make it without the tea or you could use an organic decaffeinated tea.
I hope you will try this recipe. You won’t believe how comforting and delicious it is. And you have the added benefit of it being really good for you. It’s nice to eat or drink things that taste so good and that are also good for you! And if you have made any of the recipes from my blog, please take pictures and share them and your experience of making it with my on my Facebook page at Organic Andrea. I would love to know if someone else other that my mom and my best friend are reading this. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and seeing pictures!