Monday, July 9, 2007

Recipe - Chai-flavored iced tea

Here is another personal favorite recipe from my web site. In fact, I have used just the chai mix by itself to make delicious iced tea without even mixing it with milk or soymilk. It was very refreshing to drink after working in my garden (today was hot, hot, hot!). I made refrigerator iced tea by taking ~4 Tbsp. of mix, putting the mix into a small cotton bag with a pull drawstring (found this at my local food co-op), suspending the bag into a large glass canning jar that holds 6-8 cups of water. I then put the jar into the refrigerator and let it seep for an afternoon. The resultant tea is a beautiful clear light brown color, crisp-tasting, and delicious. I drink it "straight" without adding any milk or honey. I even re-use the bag of chai mix a second time with a smaller amount of water (4-6 cups).

Chai Mix

Most chai is either too sweet or too spicy for my tastes. However, it is a very healthful drink filled with natural compounds that have health-promoting properties. So I looked around for recipes and fiddled with some to come up with a drink that is mildly spicy and can be adjusted to one’s own level of sweetness desired. Just typing this recipe fills my senses with its robust aroma!

1 cup of bulk green tea leaves plus 2 Tbsp. of bulk black tea leaves (can often find in a natural food store or an Asian grocery store)
2 Tbsp. dried chopped ginger (I found this at a natural food store)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon chips broken into small pieces (put 2 sticks in a small zip lock bag and hit several times with a rolling pin to break into small pieces)
1 Tbsp. whole cloves
1 Tbsp. whole cardamon seeds (also found in a natural food store)
2 teaspoons whole anise star seeds (from natural food store – can purchase in bulk)
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Mix the tea and spices.
Add 2 Tbsp. of the blend to 2 cups of liquid in a small saucepan. I use one cup of unflavored soymilk and one cup of water if I am going to serve it hot.
I use 3 Tbsp. of mix and 2 cups of soymilk if I am going to chill it with ice cubes.
Simmer gently for 20 minutes and then strain out the tea leaves and spices. (Try to keep from boiling.) Don’t skimp on the time of simmering. Sweeten to taste with honey.
This recipe makes enough for 32 cups of chai and fits into a 4x6 plastic bag.
The teas and spices all have components with cancer-fighting activity, so feel free to enjoy this traditional drink from India often.

You may click on the title of this post to go to the page on my web site where you can easily print this recipe. Yum, yum!

Enjoy, enjoy! :-)

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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