Hot chocolate chai

I made some more tea-free chai this week and have been enjoying it with warm homemade cashew milk, but today I wanted a little change. And so I made hot chocolate chai.



Basically, raw cacao powder plus the infused chai spices. No sweetener, no milk neither dairy nor non-dairy.  I'm drinking it as I type and its like music, with such a harmony of spices.


I've never been one for hot chocolate drinks - mainly because I don't like hot milky, creamy things - so this suits me fine.  You could always add some non-dairy milk to this however to suit your taste.

But the spices come together so nicely.  There isn't any that is trying to push its way to the front. It really is perfect harmony.

It's not that cloying sweet chocolatey taste either.  I'm finding it very satisfying!

Chai spices infusing
Here is the chai recipe from a previous blog post.  I added 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to 8 ounces of chai spice mix.

Have you tried chocolate chai before?  I remember my first ever experience of chai was a chai chocolate fudge I made!  It's taken me all this time to get back to combining chocolate with chai!.
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Health benefits of Chai Tea

Chai tea has many wonderful healing spices in it.  However frequently when you buy it, it includes dairy products and refined sugar.  Instead you can make your own and tailor it to your own tastes.  My own taste is that I don't like tea, so I make mine without green or black tea.  But there is still plenty of flavor in it as I include 7 different spices in my recipe - plus orange peel.

(Sorry - I forgot about photographing it and nearly drank it all!)


The spices have powerful healing capacities, not just by being antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, but also because they can switch off the Cancer Master Switch in the cells, namely the nuclear factor kappa beta (NFkB).

The spices in this recipe which have this activity are:

  • black peppercorns
  • cardomom
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • anise
  • nutmeg
  • and ginger

When free radicals, infections, or agents that damage DNA (eg carcinogens, toxins, etc) enter the body, they are all capable of activating NFkB which is a molecule inside the cell. On activation, NFkB increases inflammation and inhibits cancer cell death.  While pharmaceutical companies are busy looking for drugs to turn off NFkB, we need look no further than spices as many of them have this NFkB switching off capacity.

And Chai tea is an easy way to get 7 spices all in one drink.

Here is a recipe that originally came from Jeanne Wallace
Chai Tea

4 cups water
1 teaspoon cardamom pods – green
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves or 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon cinnamon chips
1 teaspoon dried orange peel or 4 teaspoons orange zest
2 whole star anise
1 teaspoon nutmeg chips or 2 whole nutmegs
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1 tablespoon dried ginger pieces
½ vanilla bean, chopped fine or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teabags or 4 tablespoons green or black tea leaves (TEA is optional!)
Coconut nectar or other unrefined sweetener to taste (optional)
Non dairy milk

Make the spice mix: bring water to boil, add spices but NOT tea, if using.  Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes or longer for a spicier flavor.  Remove from the heat. Add tea and steep for 3 minutes.  Strain into a pitcher or container.  Keeps refrigerated for up to 10 days.
To make one cup of chai, combine ½ cup of non dairy milk with ½ cup of the spice mixture.  Heat and add sweetner to your taste.  Can be served iced in the summer.



Let me know how you tailor it to your particular taste.
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Healing foods - garlic, onion, chives, leeks, shallots

Photo by janscheffner
Garlic, onions, chives, leeks and shallots all belong to the alliaceous family of plants - alliums.  Garlic is recognized as one of the oldest medicinal herbs (prescribed on Sumerian tablets from 3000 BC). Louis Pasteur observed its antibacterial properties in 1858 and during World War I, garlic was widely used in bandages to prevent infections.  Russian soldiers in WWII used it when there was a shortage of antibiotics and it garnered the name "Russian penicillin".

The alliums are great foods for cancer prevention and halting cancer growth.

The organosulphur compounds in this family of plants are seen to prevent the development of cancer by detoxifying nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds, which are created from over-grilling meat and during tobacco consumption.


They promote apoptosis (cell death) in colon, breast, lung and prostate cancer, as well as in leukemia and also block angiogenesis (- the formation of blood vessels needed to provide nutrients to the cancer tumor).

Epidemiological studies suggest a reduction in kidney and prostate cancer in people who consume the most garlic.

Photo by Sensinct
Moreover, all the plants in this family help to regulate blood sugar levels which in turn, reduces insulin secretion and Insulin-like growth factor, and thus reduces the growth of cancer cells.

Onions also contain high concentrations of health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants, predominantly quercitin, and red onions also contain at least 25 different anthocyanins. Quercetin slows tumor development, suppresses growth and proliferation and induces cell death in colon cancer cells.  Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention.


Photo by tallpines

Active molecules of garlic are released when a garlic clove is crushed and are more easily assimilated if they are dissolved in a little oil.

Try and include an alliaceous food every day, for example chopped garlic and onions mixed with steamed vegetables, or raw onion or chives on a salad or in a sandwich.

What's your favorite way to eat a food from the allium family?  Is it:

?

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