I have yet to embrace the holiday season this year. I haven’t bought a single gift (not that I have many to purchase since it’s just Mr M and me). I haven’t even bought myself anything, which is usually how it begins. (Hey. Somebody has to do it – ha!) Maybe it’s because we don’t have the tree up yet. Or maybe it’s because I work through next week and have enough work to do over break that I doubt I’ll even notice I’m not “working” for a few weeks. But, most likely, it’s because of the wacky weather here in Ohio. Last weekend, the temperature was over 60F! That’s crazy for early December. Even today, the temperature is in the 40’s and raining. Supposedly, snow and colder temps are on the way, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
Maybe I should clarify. I love winter. It’s my second favorite time of year. Fall is my first favorite time of year, but only because it means winter is coming. I love, love, love the colder temperatures of winter. And, I love me some snow! But, I HATE ice. I’ve had too many car accidents to mention due to ice, and that’s just the tip of the slippery ice-berg when it comes to the frozen wet stuff: downed power-lines, cancelled classes, falling down – ugh. Now, on the other hand, is awesome! It makes everything – even the ugliest of trash piles – look beautiful. And the way lights twinkle through the snow really sets the holiday mood. The mood of which I am lacking. Sigh.
To help get me in the spirit, I’ve been indulging in some holiday cheer in the form of chai tea. Traditionally, I haven’t been a fan of chai spice, but I found this tea recently, and I’m hooked!
I cannot have caffeine, and I’m not a big fan of “decaffeinated” products, so any time I can find an herbal tea that makes me happy, I’m all over it. And, considering how much I love rooibos, and how much I love Numi brand teas, I figured this would be a hit. It is! Who wouldn’t love naturally caffeine free ro0ibos chai tea?!
Combined with some vanilla almond milk and a couple of dates and/or bananas and protein powder, this holiday drink is a pure delight 🙂
Chai Spiced Holiday Nog
2 c Rooibos Chai Tea (or your favorite chai tea)
1 c vanilla almond or other non-dairy milk (or add 1 tsp of vanilla for plain milk)
1 heaping scoop of vanilla protein powder (I love Sun Warrior Blend Vanilla)
2 jumbo dates, pitted (or 4 regular size) – or another sweetener of your choice
Optional: 1 TBSP chia seeds (for thickness and a healthy dose of EFA’s)
Optional: 1 super ripe banana (fresh or frozen) for a thicker nog
Lots of ice
Add everything to blender and blend away. Garnish with cinnamon.
Notes: This amount of ingredients makes two nice servings at just over 100 calories each (with the chia seeds). Not bad for an indulgent holiday drink – with an added protein boost! If you choose to use the banana, you might want to omit the dates. I tried it with both, and it was WAY too sweet. But, if you’re making this for children or non-vegan guests, the extra sweetness might be nice. Admittedly, the banana does add a nice touch. Additionally, if you want a thicker drink, try using a thicker non-dairy milk such as hemp or soy. I also find my homemade cashew milk is quite thick.