Hey, beautiful friends!
As I write to you, sitting in 80+ degree (F) Bali, I’m reminded that back home, the United States is in a frenzy as people finish off their last-minute Christmas shopping and prepare for feasts with friends and family members.
This year – like last year when I was at an AIDs orphanage in Cambodia – I am taking things easy and allowing it all to be quiet.
I don’t really get nostalgic around the holidays, as I believe every day is worth celebrating and appreciating, but do miss the fun of family during the snowy season.
Most regrettably, I miss curling up with a book near a fireplace (so cliche, so fabulous) and playing in the snow all bundled up.
Yes, I miss that.
But the wonderful thing about being abroad is that I’m making a lot of progress in my own soul growth and development. Every day, Spirit is teaching me more and more (a lot which I’m compiling and writing down for a future book, probably), and though I’m now feeling more inclined to live in the United States, there’s still much more to learn.
I appreciate it all.
Typing this, I’m sitting at Soma in Ubud, Bali, one of my favorite (though definitely not the best) restaurants in the conscious, Earthy town.
Why am I here for the third day in a row? Well, because they serve the best – and I mean, the BEST – authentic chai tea, but with coconut milk.
I’m an addict.
And hey – it makes me feel better than coffee, so no complaints. Blended with some dates and cashew and coconut milk, the spiced herbal chai tea is the PERFECT drink, especially during the holidays.
And guess what else? There are many health benefits of drinking chai tea. Following are some of the ingredients used in the tea and their medicinal properties:
Ginger: Great for digestion (and calming an unhappy tummy), super anti-inflammatory effects, immunity-boosting compounds, potential anticancer agents, potential alleviation of headaches and woman-cramps, and a DELISH source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, and vitamins C, E, and B6.
Cardamom: Used for digestive problems, mouth infections, and respiratory tract problems; an excellent source of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
Cinnamon: There are many benefits to this yummy spice. Briefly, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, helps with colds and unpleasant breath, may reduce the risk of colon cancer, eases digestive problems, and the list goes on. It’s packed with choline, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, as well as high in vitamins A, C, and E.
Clove: Like cinnamon, clove may aid in blood sugar regulation, but it’s also great for tooth pain, coughs and colds, and digestive problems. It’s full of calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
So, dear one, please enjoy this spicy, grounding, and tantalizing drink as you spend time with loved ones this holiday.
And, if you are celebrating solo during Christmas or Hanukkah, know you are not alone. There are many people, myself included, who I’m sure that are thinking of you and wishing you well.
Authentic Indian Chai Tea Recipe (w/ Coconut Milk)
Serving Size: 1-2
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
- 2 Cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 pinches of freshly ground peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated or dried ginger root
- 1 Tbsp loose leaf black or red rooibos tea
- 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cup slightly warm milk (preferably plant-based and raw: almond, hemp, coconut, etc…)
- Dates, Stevia, or Raw Honey for sweetness (optional)
- 1 cup purified water
- Place the water and herbs in a saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until boiling. Turn the heat down just a little, until the tea is very hot and gently boil for 10 minutes. In India, they boil the milk and water together, but if you’re using a raw plant-based milk (or raw dairy milk) then add this at the end.
- Once the tea is done brewing, strain out the herbs and discard.
- Add the milk and your choice of sweetener (optional). If you’re like me and enjoy dates as a sweetener (and are a fan of blended drinks in general), combine all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth and frothy.
- Add your milk and sweetener to the tea and stir the mixture well. Pour into mugs to serve.
- Make this a cold drink by refrigerating the brew and pouring over some ice cubes for iced chai!
That’s it! There are many ways to make Chai, but I love the time and effort that goes into making your own at home. (And sipping it, now that’s a real reward!)
Have a beautiful Christmas, dear friends! Much love,