My winter warming caffeine-free chai

For me, chai is the ultimate comforting drink on cold, crisp winter days. It brings back memories of an early morning road trip to Falls Creek with Darren, sipping on the warm, spicy milk as we ascended up the hill and it started snowing. Heaven!

Now that I’m pregnant I’ve to come up with a caffeine-free version and it tastes just as amazing. I used Darren as my guinea pig because he won’t eat or drink anything unless it tastes good! I didn’t tell him my chai is made with dandelion and he loved it. As long as you have all the spices at home, it’s really easy to make.

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I think it tastes the best with home-made almond milk but if you don’t have time to make it or haven’t soaked your almonds the night before, then organic full cream milk is also delicious. For a super fast dairy free version, macadamia milk only takes a minute to make! Check out the recipe below…I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Ingredients:

2 cups filtered water

5 star anise

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp chopped ginger

6 cardamon pods

1 tsp nutmeg

2 cinnamon sticks or 2 tsp cinnamon powder

I generous tbs honey

2 tsp dandelion tea

3 cups almond milk (or any nut milk/full cream dairy)

Method:

1. Put the star anise, cloves, ginger, cardamon, nutmeg, cinnamon and water in a pot and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the dandelion and simmer for another 3 minutes.

3. Strain the liquid and then put it back in the pot. Add the almond milk and honey, and heat to your liking. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

4. Enjoy!

Making Nut milks: 

If you don’t have almond milk or forgot to soak the nuts, macadamia milk is super fast and easy to make as you don’t have to soak the nuts or strain them. Simply put a cup of maca’s with 4 cups of filtered water in a blender with a pinch of cinnamon and a little honey, and that’s it!

To make almond milk, soak a cup of nuts in filtered water overnight. Rinse them in the morning and then blend with 4 cups of filtered water, a pinch of cinnamon and a little honey. Next, strain the liquid through a sieve or muslin cloth.

What to do with the almond pulp? Don’t throw it out! Lightly bake or dehydrate it to take out the moisture then use as almond flour/meal. Or add the pulp as is to a casserole, smoothie or protein ball mix for an extra dose of good fats.

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