Warm­ing Win­ter Chai

Provincial Living - - Home, Health & Harmony -

Makes 4 cups With a fra­grance that is sweet, woody and spicy, cin­na­mon has a long history of use in desserts and warm drinks, such as chai. Make home­made chai and add your own unique twist by ex­per­i­ment­ing to find the per­fect blend. Here is a ba­sic chai com­bi­na­tion to get you started. Other vari­a­tions in­clude star anise, fen­nel seeds and vanilla beans.

In­gre­di­ents

• 2 cin­na­mon sticks • 8 green car­damom pods, gen­tly cracked • 6 cloves • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 small piece (5cm) fresh ginger, sliced • 4 black pep­per­corns • 4 teabags – English break­fast, Dar­jeel­ing, Earl Grey or black tea of your choice • 6-8 tsp nat­u­ral sweet­ener or ste­via leaves to taste (see note) • 2 cups milk of your choice

Method

1. Put 2 cups of wa­ter in a heavy-based saucepan and add all in­gre­di­ents ex­cept milk and sweet­ener. 2. Bring to a sim­mer and al­low to sim­mer for 10-15 min­utes. 3. Add milk and warm it gen­tly but do not let it boil. 4. Add sweet­ener and strain into cups, mugs or glasses to serve. En­joy your cup of chai tea sit­ting by the fire­place with a soft blan­ket and can­dles burn­ing or out­side while soak­ing up the sun­shine for a mo­ment of win­ter re­ju­ve­na­tion.

Note: If you want to ob­tain the many won­drous health ben­e­fits of cin­na­mon, it is best to avoid adding re­fined sugar. For a sweeter chai, I rec­om­mend adding nat­u­ral sweet­en­ers such as ste­via, nat­u­ral sugar al­co­hols (malti­tol and ery­thri­tol) or ra­padura.

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