Tonight is the longest night of the year; it’s the winter solstice. It’s also the last day on the Mayan’s long calendar, which lead some to believe the end of the world was a mere clock tick away. But, it’s already tomorrow in many parts of the world, and here I am, typing away. (I guess you can save your emergency bags for another day – ha!) Coo incidentally, today is also the first day of the season we’ve had measurable snow. Woohoo! The ground is still pretty warm, so the roads are clear – thankfully – but the wind and cold temps sure make it feel like the first day of winter 😀
To help keep you warm, I’m sharing two spicy winter drinks. If you use a non-nutritive sweetener, each drink is well below 100 calories, yet each is rich, creamy, and super satisfying! And, if you’re not into warm drinks, chill ’em! Chill all of your ingredients, toss them into the blender with some ice cubes, and ta-dah, smooth, creamy, chilly goodness in a glass!
Hot Chocolate Chai
1 c brewed chai tea
1 c almond milk, plain or vanilla, unsweetened
1 TBSP carob, cacao, or coco (unsweetened and not processed with alkali)
Sweetener of choice: 1 TBSP liquid, nutritive sweetener (maple syrup, agave, etc) or 1 pkt (1/4 tsp) stevia or other non-nutritive sweetener
Optional: 1/4 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg and/or cacao nibs (crushed slightly)
Brew your favorite chai tea. While brewing, combine carob or cacao/coco powder with almond milk and sweetener either by blending or briskly whisking. After tea reaches desired level of strength, slowly add it to the chocolate mixture, whisking to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon/nutmeg. (Option: Add cinnamon/nutmeg to drink)
Keepin’ it Raw: Make your own almond milk, use raw cacao or carob powder, choose a raw sweetener such as date paste or raw stevia (dehydrate your own stevia leaves and process into a fine powder), and steep tea in water less than 115F. Please note, however, depending upon the brand of tea you’re using, it may or may not be raw.
Smoothie: Turn this into a smoothie by chilling the tea and blending ingredients with a couple handfuls of ice. Add protein powder and chia seeds for some some staying power.
Spicy Chai Latte
1 c chai tea
1 c almond milk
1 c coffee (regular or decaf)
1 TBSP nutritive (maple syrup, agave, date paste, etc) or non-nutritive sweetener (stevia – liquid or powdered)
1 t vanilla
Optional: garnish with cacao nibs
Brew your chai tea and coffee. While warm, combine with almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla. Gently blend everything together (string should be fine) and garnish with cacao nibs for a chocolate kick. Serves 2 (or one giant mug)
Keepin’ it Raw: There’s not way to make raw coffee because the beans are roasted, but you can cold brew your coffee in a French press over night in the fridge. Cold brew your tea at the same time, and don’t forget to soak your almonds, too. Warm everything before serving.
Mocha Chai Latte: Turn your Spicy Chai Latte into a Mocha Chai Latte by adding some raw cacao powder (or coco powder not processed with alkali).
Smoothie Time! Add your chilled ingredients to the blender along with some ice, chia seeds and protein powder (for staying power) and blend away.
Iced Chai Coffee: Combine your extra chai tea and left-over coffee, add some non-dairy milk, and poor over ice. A little sweetener and a dash of vanilla really brings out the flavor.