Spice of Life – Almond Milk Masala Chai

Posted by Healthworks Nutrition
Date: 16-01-2015

Did you know that spices do more than flavour your food, or give a warmth to your winter drinks?  They also have specific health properties that make them a very important part of your diet. {Recipe to follow}

Black Pepper  Can ward off colds and throat infections.  A digestive stimulant, antiseptic and antibacterial.  Warming and toxin-releasing.

Cardamom  Helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.  A digestive stimulant and antispasmodic, can prevent cramps and bloating.  Can also help to prevent coughs.

Cinnamon  Helpful in fighting diabetes.  Boosts circulation and lowers blood pressure.  Anti-bacterial, antifungal and antispasmodic.  Useful for digestive problems and in preventing colds.  (Warning: do not use therapeutically during pregnancy.)

Cloves  Antiseptic, controls tooth and gum infections. Anti-nausea, combats colds, strengthens nerves and improves the circulation.

Coriander  Eases indigestion.  Seeds can help reduce cholesterol.

Cumin  A good digestion aid, can settle the stomach after a heavy meal and reduces bloating.  Also said to help reduce insomnia.

Ginger  Improves digestion, helps lower cholesterol, controls blood pressure, inhibits cancer, prevents coughs and colds, and has anti-nausea and anti-clotting properties.  (Caution: Do not take therapeutic doses if you are taking any type of blood-thinner.)

Nutmeg  Commonly used in China for nausea, indigestion, chronic diarrhea and gastric upsets.  Said to relieve stress and is an anti-rheumatic.  (Caution: Large doses over 7.5g produce convulsions and palpitations.  Do not use during pregnancy.)

Saffron  An excellent heart and nerve tonic.  It has anti-aging properties and is said to cure anemia.  It can ease period pains, relieve indigestion and soothe urinary disorders. (Caution: Do not use large doses during pregnancy.)

Star Anise (Chinese)  Useful for respiratory tract infections, and lung inflammation related to flu/colds.  Helpful in relieving upset stomach.  Has been used to promote lactation, ease childbirth and promote menstruation.  Antibacterial & anti-fungal.

Turmeric  A potent blood purifier, it also improves liver function, prevents coughs/colds, improves skin tone and is antiseptic.

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Masala Chai Recipe w/ Almond Milk

(adapted from wishfulchef.com)

  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 pieces star anise or cloves
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2-3 dates, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf Rooibos Tea 
  • optional: honey or stevia (to taste)    

Lightly crush cardamon pods, cinnamon and cloves in a mortar and pestle.Put water in a pot and add crushed cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dates and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let the spices infuse their flavor for another 4-5 minutes.

Add the almond milk to the pan and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea. Cover the pot, remove from heat and let it steep for 4-5 minutes.

Masala Chai is ready! Use a fine sieve and strain it into a teapot or directly into serving cups. Add honey or stevia if you like sweeter tasting tea.

Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

 

 

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