Fall can encompass many different flavors including apple, pumpkin, maple, cranberry, ginger… the list goes on. But, have you ever considered chai a fall flavor? There’s nothing cozier than a warm cup of chai on a crisp fall day.
Introduction: What is Chai?
Chai is a blend of spices that can be made in a variety of different ways. The basic chai spice recipe will include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, and cloves. Oftentimes a combination of pepper, coriander, nutmeg, and fennel are also used to enhance the flavor.
Traditionally, chai is made into a tea. In Hindi, chai literally translates to “tea”. For chai tea, the basic components are black tea, milk, spices, and sweetener.
Chai Tea: Health Benefits
Chai is not only a tasty blend of spices and a yummy satisfying tea, it also has numerous health benefits. According to Harvard University:
- Tea contains powerful antioxidants that can help control the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
- Large-scale studies in both men and women have shown that the polyphenols in tea can reduce the risk of stroke, and death from heart disease by up to 21%.
- Flavonoids in tea have been shown to reduce the risk of developing hypertension by keeping the lining of the blood vessels smooth and flexible. Specifically, a randomized controlled trial found that black tea lowered blood pressure when consumed on a regular basis.
- A meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials found that antioxidant properties can help to prevent the hardening of arteries that lead to high cholesterol in both healthy men and women and those that had a diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
- Animal studies have shown antioxidants in tea can reduce the risk or delay the progression of cancer. Human studies however remain inconclusive.
How To Use Chai in the Kitchen:
Chai can be used for so much more than just tea! Once you have made your basic chai spice recipe, there are so many different ways to utilize it! Chai can pair well with milk chocolate, scones, brie, hazelnuts and almonds, popcorn, and surprisingly…beef jerky!
Other suggestions for utilizing chai include:
- Mix into plain yogurt and pair with your favorite granola
- Add into to a marinade for chicken or pork
- Blend to a smoothie with bananas, milk, and ice
- Add into your favorite cookie recipe for a hint of fall spice
- Toss on roasted sweet potatoes, and top with butter
- Sprinkle on a sliced pear (bonus: bake the pear for 10-15 minutes and add vanilla ice cream!)
Recipes Using Chai:
If you’re looking to make some chai tea, look no further than this blog post! The Dietitian on Wheels gives a great step by step for how to make chai tea. For more inspiration check out these awesome recipes using chai spices:
Chai Tea Latte Popsicles via The Foodie Dietitian
Chai Walnuts via Live Best
Dark Chocolate Dipped Chai Almond Cookies via Rachael Hartley Nutrition
Cashew Chai Nut Butter via Laurel Ann Nutrition
Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Sauteed Pears via Rachael Hartley Nutrition
Dirty Chai Spiced Pecans via Leanne Ray
Chai Latte Energy Balls via Smart Nutrition
Vanilla Chai Latte Smoothie via Smart Nutrition
Adaptogen Chai Tea via Wholeistic Living
Chai Tea Waffles with Sautéed Pears via The Foodie Dietitian
Blueberry Chai Protein Smoothie via Nutrition Twins
Sweet Potato Chai Muffins via Sarah Pflugradt Nutrition
Chai Apple Pie Healthy Mug Cake via Spicy RD Nutrition
Chai Spiced Overnight Oats via The Healthy Toast
Healthy Chai Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal via Lively Table
Gluten Free Banana Chai Blender Pancakes via Lively Table
Chai Fruit Yogurt Dip via Laurel Ann Nutrition
Chai Spiced Carrot Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting via Hummusapien
Chai Spiced Apple Muffins via Kiss in the Kitchen
Masala Chai Tea Scones with Vanilla Glaze via The Foodie Dietitian
For more recipe round-ups, just like this one, check out these below: