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Monday, February 01, 2021

Homemade Chai Tea

There are many Chai recipes online, but my contribution is the addition of turmeric root.  This lovely yellowish orange spice boasts of many medicine properties and has been used in Indian food for thousands of years.  I personally suffer with very sensitive skin in the winter, so I was pretty happy to discover this has anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant, both of which are very much needed during the winter!  I'm so excited about turmeric that I want to grow it and make my own spice powder.  I can just imagine it in small jelly jars.  

Recipe for Chai Tea brew:

  • Ginger Root - 1 inch with skin removed
  • Whole Cloves - 1 Tablespoon
  • Cinnamon Sticks - 2
  • Whole Cardamom Seeds - 1 Tablespoon
  • Whole Allspice - 1 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric - 1 root with skin removed (they are about 1-2" long)
  • Water 3 pints
Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes, the idea is to simmer it down to one quart.  Once it's reached one quart, turn off the heat and add two large iced tea bags.  Let this sit for at least 30 minutes.  Strain the spices and remove tea bags.  This should finish as one quart of Chia Tea. Sometimes it's one quart + one cup which is nice because then I can drink one cup right away and still feel like I have a full jar for later.

I buy ginger and turmeric in bulk and freeze it.  Microwave for 10 seconds to thaw and then peel.

To make Chai Tea:
  • 1/2 cup of chia tea brew
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Oat Milk
  • Add honey or preferred sweetener (currently loving raw honey)
It's great cold or hot but my preference is hot.  

I've been experiencing with reusing the seeds (cloves, cardamom, allspice) and cinnamon sticks for a month now with no noticeable change to the flavor or intensity.  Once a week I brew a new batch, dry out the seeds and sticks, and use it again the following week.  

I try to make iced tea at the same time so I can reuse the tea bags in the iced tea at least once.  Then they go into the compost.

The turmeric and ginger roots go into the compost after one use.

I realized that making Chai once a week was resulting in our compost smelling much better!  But I was also concerned about rebuying spices so frequently so that's what prompted the testing of reusing spices.  I might try bigger batches, but I have limited fridge space and I really don't like the taste of iced tea when it's sat out for 2-3 days.  I guess what I'm trying to say is don't be afraid of experimentation. Chai is a forgiving and meditative experience to drink and make.  

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