Move aside Starbucks, my Dairy-Free Iced Chai Tea Latte is coming through!
I’ll be honest, my go-to Starbucks order circa 2010 was always a Skim Chai Tea Latte (before fat became cool AKA before we recognized how absolutely necessary fat is for our vital organs and membranes). However, I wasn’t always thrilled about the amount of added sugar, the fact that my chai tea was derived from a peculiar mixed powder and that I was paying $5.00+ for that puppy.
So when some friends woke me up with a sample of this goodness after a wedding one sunny Sunday morning, I knew I had to make a nourishing version of my own. With minimal ingredients and little time, you too can whip up this delicious goodness. I whipped up a batch of this goodness in the Summer (because it’s truly delicious and appreciated all year round) for my gym pals and they were all big fans! (Note: Being one of my gym pals means being my recipe guinea pig. If that’s not motivation to work out in the morning, I don’t know what is!)
A couple years ago I developed a mantra (that later turned into a habit) to “only put things in my body that would nourish it from the inside and out”. If the “food” offered zero nutrition or was considered “empty calories”, I wasn’t interested in it. Mind you, there are exceptions, as sometimes you simply have to do the best you can. But by having a mantra in place that will instill healthy habits, you can set yourself up for long-term success. This is what has led me to creating delicious healthy alternatives to some of my favourite comfort foods including Pad Thai, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese and a Vegan Egg Nog. At the core of all of my decisions is balance, listening to my body and what it needs and I encourage you to listen to your body in a similar way. Indulge from a mindful place, not out of boredom. Remember that if you’re not happy eating a salad, your body won’t be either (you’re body actually won’t retain all of the nutrients if it’s in a state of stress or in “fight or flight mode”). All the more reason to create a healthier version of what you’re really itching for!
For me, a “healthy version” of a food or drink is comprised of healing ingredients that supplies the utmost nutrition (while still being undoubtedly delicious) and gives me another opportunity to make use of my homemade almond milk. Wondering what makes this Dairy-Free Iced Chai Tea so healing and delicious?
Cinnamon – If you already know and love cinnamon for it’s warming taste and sensation, you’re about to love it that much more! Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for carrying glucose (sugar) into our cells. When insulin is in play, we lower our blood sugar levels, keeping us from bouncing off the walls with short-lived rapid energy. As a result, it helps to keep our blood sugar levels balanced which ultimately keeps our mood and energy levels balanced as well.
Cardamom – Is there anything Cardamom can’t do? Both great for digestion and and detox, cardamom is can ease an array of issues including bloating, nausea, gas and heartburn. As an anti-inflammatory, this spice is incredibly healing for the body and has also been used as a cancer-preventative measure as it neutralizes free radicals. Fun fact: Because cardamom is considered an anti-spasmodic in the herbal world, it can also get rid of hiccups or ease muscle cramps or stomach pains.
Cloves –You may know these guys from their occasional appearance in Christmas desserts, but you’ll now be able to recognize them for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. Anti-flatulent. Did you hear me, everyone out there going on their first date but scared to death of the digestive troubles they’re going to cause themselves from holding in their “gas’ all night? Been there. I feel ya. Get your clove on and all will be swell!
Raw Honey – If there’s anyone who gets it, it’s nature. Don’t mess with it. This goodness is the result of thousands of hours of pollen-collecting by bees from over two million flowers (and that will give you just a pound of pure honey AKA liquid gold). It is packed with loads of minerals, antioxidants and is known for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to keep unwanted infections or bad bacteria away. It can also be used to make a soothing face mask if you have some extra honey leftover after making this!
This is also super awesome if you’re looking to kick coffee to the curb and give your adrenals glands (which regulate your stress hormones) a break, you’ll want to swap this one into rotation. Alternatively, if you just want a downright delicious drink to sip on every now and then, this is all you!
Dairy-Free Iced Chai Tea Latte
- 6 cups almond milk
- 3 cups filtered water
- 9 chai tea bags
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 4 tsp ground clove
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Begin by boiling 3 cups of water. Once boiling, add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
- Simmer on low for 20 minutes to allow flavours to blend with each other.
- Remove from burner and cool to room temperature.
- Remove cinnamon sticks. Add almond milk, vanilla extract, honey and tea bags. Mix thoroughly.
- Place into the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours).
- In the morning (or after 8 hours), squeeze any remaining liquid out of tea bag and remove completely.
- Pour blend into tall glass containers. When ready to drink, serve on ice.
What’s the best healthified version of your comfort food that you’ve ever made? Recipes are welcome!