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

stack of chai popsicles

Chai Walnuts via Live Best

Dark Chocolate Dipped Chai Almond Cookies via Rachael Hartley Nutrition

chai almond cookies dipped in dark chocolate with bowl of almonds

Cashew Chai Nut Butter via Laurel Ann Nutrition

Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Sauteed Pears via Rachael Hartley Nutrition

bowl of chai oatmeal with sliced pears and walnuts for garnish

Dirty Chai Spiced Pecans via Leanne Ray

Chai Latte Energy Balls via Smart Nutrition

bowl of chai latte energy balls with tea bag and jars of chai spice

Vanilla Chai Latte Smoothie via Smart Nutrition

Adaptogen Chai Tea via Wholeistic Living

Chai Tea Waffles with Sautéed Pears via The Foodie Dietitian

stack of three chai waffles with spiced pears on top

Blueberry Chai Protein Smoothie via Nutrition Twins

Sweet Potato Chai Muffins via Sarah Pflugradt Nutrition

plate full of sweet potato chai muffins with cup of tea and black and white towel

Chai Apple Pie Healthy Mug Cake via Spicy RD Nutrition

Chai Spiced Overnight Oats via The Healthy Toast

Mason jar filled with chai spiced overnight oats with stick of cinnamon and cup of coffee

Healthy Chai Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal via Lively Table

Gluten Free Banana Chai Blender Pancakes via Lively Table

stack of banana chai pancakes with sliced bananas on top and syrup being poured over pancakes

Chai Fruit Yogurt Dip via Laurel Ann Nutrition

Chai Spiced Carrot Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting via Hummusapien

chai spiced carrot banana bread with homemade icing and walnuts for garnish

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: 

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