My favorite warm beverage of choice on a cold day is a chai tea latte - hands down! I love how the spicy and sweet flavors come together to make each sip of the beverage satisfying and whimsical. Prior to making some really big changes to my diet about 4 years ago, I would swing through a Starbucks a few times a week and get a soy chai tea latte - usually a grande which adds up to 240 calories and 43 grams of sugar - WOW! YIKES! Not to mention, I was dropping around $80 a month on these high calorie/high sugar drinks. Sound familiar?! Hopefully now that I've confessed my chai tea latte sins...you will feel more comfortable to admit your sweet Starbucks beverage splurge.
These days when I need to get a fix, I will occasionally splurge and buy the Tazo Chai tea concentrate (or similar) and mix it with unsweetened almond milk. It's one of my favorite treats and about once a week I will gladly blow my entire sugar allowance for the day to have my chai tea.
Recently I started experimenting with making my own chai tea concentrate and after several batches, developed this fabulous recipe that I think comes pretty close the boxed chai concentrates but with a bit less sugar. YAY! This recipe comes in at only 77 calories and can be sugar free for a one cup serving size. OH YES! Take a peek...
Chai Tea Latte (PRINT RECIPE)
Makes 10 servings; Serving Size: 1/2 cup tea concentrate + 1/2 cup milk of choice
8 cups filtered water
2-inch piece in ginger root, peeled and chopped
3 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
20 whole cloves
7 cardamom pods, gently smashed with the flat of a knife*
3 whole star anise*
1 heaping teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
10-12 bags of black tea, preferably Darjeeling (depending on how caffeinated you want it)
½ cup organic honey or agave (for a sugar free option - substitute 4-6 drops of dark liquid stevia to each latte)
This recipe makes a pretty big batch...so if you are making this for one or two people, I suggest cutting it in half so that you can go through the tea within the 7 day window.
**Whole cardamom pods and star anise can be pretty tough to find in a regular grocery store, but almost all natural food stores will carry these spices.
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
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