If you are a fan of hot drinks, you have probably spotted the many Christmas themed coffees available – from toffee nut and gingerbread lattes to orange flavoured mochas, there is plenty of choice for the coffee lover.
As wonderful as these are on occasion, with their high sugar and caffeine content they are not always the healthiest choice. Tea, with its rich antioxidant properties is a far healthier choice.
So if you want to reap the health benefits of tea while enjoying a more festive, spiced flavour, why not try a chai? Chai is simply the word for tea in Hindi and it’s an important part of the Indian subcontinent’s culture. Ranging from intense spiced black teas to delicate green teas, chai can be used to flavour curries and desserts, and is even used in hair and body treatments.
For the traditional spiced chai, Assam tea is used due to its full, malty flavour. Prepared using cloves, garlic and cardamom, the tea is packed with immune boosting and heart-healthy nutrients. When sipped after a heavy meal, chai can also help to aid digestion, something that will no doubt come in handy after a rich Christmas dinner.
On top of all these health benefits, a cup of chai offers you five minutes to yourself during the chaotic festive season. So when you next find yourself pulling your hair out because you got the wrong Barbie – take five minutes and brew yourself a cup of chai:
Spiced chai for two – ingredients:
- 2 cups of water
- fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-3 cloves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon of loose Assam tea leaves
- 1/2 cup of milk (optional)
- sugar to taste
Combine the water, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil the water for about one minute and then add the tea and boil for a further minute. If you’re adding milk, add this and then boil for another minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain into cups. Add sugar to taste and serve.
If you want to learn more about herbs and spices, take a look at our herbalism page.
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