As we see the end of Summer, you may want to try this sweetly spiced tea, a warming drink – consider it a healthy, less sugar-laden and more cost-effective alternative to Starbuck’s Chai Latte.
This spicy sweet drink is loaded with turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, a dash of freshly ground pepper, honey and a squeeze of lemon. Aside from their comforting flavours, the ingredients in this vegan chai latte act in synergy to impart anti-inflammatory and immune boosting benefits. We use almond milk, which is easy to make if you’ve a high speed blender but store bought is fine. We find this a good recipe for making Almond Milk at home. Feel free to substitute with other milk alternatives.
Turmeric is a core component in Indian cooking. It is rich in curcurmin – a potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory molecule. Interestingly, it’s absorption is aided by piperine, something you find lots of in black pepper (which is why we add a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper at the end). Fat also aids absorption of curcurmin, and almond milk will have some good fats in it, but you can use full fat milk or a teaspoon of coconut oil if you wanted. You can read more about turmeric and links to useful sites on Kellie’s recipe for Turmeric milk which inspired my own version.
Cinnamon and ginger also have antiinflammatory activity. Cinnamon goes further in helping to regulate blood sugar levels (not to a medicinal effect, mind), keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Lemon and honey add flavour and lift the earthy base flavour of ginger and cinnamon. Honey (especially raw) is well known to have antibacterial and healing activity, so it sweetens with a purpose here!
When prepping, take care with turmeric, this bright yellow root can stain so use a chopping board.
It takes a few minutes to brew up and another 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse in. If you are short on time, make a paste of honey with powdered turmeric, cinnamon and ginger in equal quantities and then take a spoonful and mix into hot water or milk for a quick turmeric tea any time.
In this recipe though we want maximum goodness so we are looking at the fresh stuff.
- 1 inch (2cm) cube of ginger
- 1 inch (2cm) cube of turmeric
- 1 (250ml) cup almond milk (or milk alternative)
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey (preferably raw)
- Black Pepper
- Slice of Lemon
- Peel and chop the ginger and turmeric.
- Pour the almond milk into a saucepan and add the ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.
- Over a low heat, warm the milk until it is gently simmering.
- Allow to simmer for a minute then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add honey and allow the milk to cool, leaving the spices in to let them continue to steep and infuse flavour and goodness.
- When milk is warm, strain the chai into a mug, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
More ideas for winter cold remedies here: