Healthy & Delicious Chai Recipe – What’s In Your Cup This Holiday Season
Chai is authentically Indian and contains a whole host of benefits. I have a saying “drink one cup of chai day to help keep the doctor away”.
If there are 2 drinks that I promote for health & wellness, they are Chai and Kombucha – stay tuned to an upcoming article on the super healing komucha beverage.
Chai has a delicious smooth, milky and creamy taste – infused with exotic Indian Ayuvedic spices.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to use diary for your Chai; you can use almond milk, soy milk or my favorite – cashew milk.
Right now I want to share with you the health benefits of Chai, and also my personal recipe.
The health benefits of Chai are derived from the synergy of the spices and herbs.
Here is what I find are the most important and healthy Ayurvedic spices to be included: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds.
Ginger - is the spiciest ingredient and also extremely flavorful. Ginger is a known to be one of the most sattvic (harmonizing, balancing) of all spices. Ginger is widely used in aiding digestive and respiratory conditions. It is also good for arthritic conditions and it is a tonic for the heart. Ginger relieves gas and cramps in the abdomen and relieves all types of stomach aches.
Cinnamon – is a herb for strengthening and harmonizing the flow of circulation. It is an excellent diaphoretic and expectorant for colds and flues. Cinnamon is also a pain reliever for toothache and muscle tension. It promotes a healthy digestive fire, strengthens the heart, and warms the kidneys. Cinnamon is Sattvic (balancing) for almost everyone.
Cardamom – is one of the best and safest digestive stimulants. It awakens the spleen, stimulants digestive fire and removes excess phlegm and mucous from the stomach and lungs. Cardamom stimulates the mind and heart giving one clarity and joy. When added to milk cardamom neutralizes its mucus forming properties. Its quality is Sattvic (balancing) in nature and is good for opening and soothing the flow of the pranas (energies) in the body. Cardamom also helps to stop vomiting, belching, and acid regurgitation.
Cloves - are effective stimulant and aromatic for the lungs and stomach. They are energizing and heating. They are great for inflammation and relieving pain. Often the oil of cloves is used to treat tooth aches. The have a stimulating and healing effect.
Fennel seeds - are one the best herbs for digestion as they strengthen ones digestive fire without aggravating Pitta (fire energy). Fennel seeds stops cramping and dispels flatulence. They have a cooling and calming effect on the nerves. The aroma from the seeds acts upon the mind promoting mental alertness.
2 cups of spring or filtered water
1/2 cup of whole milk (or your choice of milk -non dairy beverage)
½ a pinch of grated ginger
4 cardamom pods
1 tsp of fennel seeds
Up to a half a stick of cinnamon (more if desired)
Organic black tea, or organic roobios tea
1 tbsp of honey
Heat 2 cups of water over stove and add ginger and fennel seeds. Grind up the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon and add it to the water. Bring the water to boil and let the spice become infused in the water for 1- 2 minutes. Then, turn off the stove, add tea and add half a cup of whole milk or more, letting it sit for 5 minutes. Add fresh honey or other sweeter if desired and serve hot or warm.
image courtesy of uteart