Spicy Warming Chai tea

chai teaSince we posted a smoothie recipe last week, and here we are in the middle of winter, we thought a warm beverage may be a great follow up this week. Sure, you can buy chai tea at the store or coffee shop, but it generally tastes better when you make it fresh.  Chai (which actually just means "tea" in Hindi and many other languages in India and the surrounding countries)  is a great beverage to enjoy in the winter as its packed with warming spices.  It is also a great alternative to coffee, which many pregnant women appreciate when looking for non-caffeinated beverages.  This recipe is also made with peppermint/peppermint tea which is a boon for pregnant mamas, as it can help with indigestion, nausea, and even headaches.  Do note that nursing mamas are better not to consume peppermint too much or too often, as it can diminish milk supply.  This tea contains ginger as well, which is excellent for nausea and should also be used in moderation, particularly in the first trimester.  All cautions aside, a cup of this tea on a cold winter day will likely do your body and mind good.

Enjoy this warming chai tea, preferably with your feet up, cozied next to your fireplace, partner, friend and/or pet.

Spicy Masala Chai Tea

Serves 4

6 cups of water

3 T of peeled and minced ginger

3 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

3 peppercorns

3 cardamom pods

1 T of loose peppermint tea (or 1 drop of high quality therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil)

2-4 T of coconut milk (ideally full-fat "real" coconut milk, not cartoned milk alternative)-- optional

2-6 drops of stevia, depending on your sweetness preference--optional

2T of blackstrap molasses for sweetening instead of or in addition to stevia (this is a great source of iron)--optional

Directions

In a saucepan, combine water and ginger and heat over medium until the water boils.  Lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients, simmering for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, strain water from herbs and pour into your favorite mug.  Add stevia, molasses and/or coconut milk as desired.  Enjoy and be well!