Who else loves the sweet-spicy taste of a chai latte? I’ve been in love ever since trying my first one in Warminster’s Costa when looking for non-coffee alternatives. It was like being hugged by a cinnamon stick… if a cinnamon stick had arms and could hug you.
Since then I have explored every version of a chai latte I have come across. Some have been too weak on the spices. Others have been heavy on the sugar. That’s not even starting on the ones that were too watery or too creamy. The one in the Information Commons (my chosen library) almost gets it right.
But I never found the latte to match the first one that hugged me with such intense cinnamon-y warmth.
If at first you don’t succeed, try making your own
As someone who loves to cook and try out new recipes, the obvious next step was to make my own chai latte. A bit of googling eventually found the Minimalist Baker’s recipe. The only difference with the recipe was that its vegan!
Yep, this recipe does not use cow’s milk. While this might be a concern to other people, I’ve been drinking almond milk at home since 2014. A vegan chai latte wasn’t going to put me off. If anything, it was a bonus!
The benefits of switching out the dairy
Since I switched out cow’s milk for almond milk, I’ve been on and off with how much dairy I can eat. There are so many reasons given out for why dairy is bad for our insides. From being a cause of leaky guts (sorry, but what the heck is a leaky gut?) through to disrupting our hormones, dairy takes a lot of heat.
I’ve been receiving some health coaching from Noemilates. Part of this was being advised to give up dairy for two reasons. Firstly, dairy can make eczema and other skin conditions worse because of something to do with the immune system (I really don’t understand the science). Secondly, apparently dairy products can disrupt our hormones because it’s food designed for baby cows, not humans. As I suffer from mild eczema, that seems intent on getting worst, and horrific menstrual pain that has forced me on to the Pill, Noemi recommended giving up milk and cheese.
While I’m still a little sceptical about giving up dairy, I figured that I may as well give it a go. Seeing as how this was happening at the start of Lent, a friend suggested I give up dairy for 40 days (46 including Sundays). Of course I don’t do anything by half! So for 46 days (well, almost) I have had nothing that is made from an animal’s milk. Not even butter on my toast for a cooked breakfast 😭
But has it made a difference? Yes! While I can’t speak for balancing my hormones as my body is recovering from the Pill’s effects, my skin has improved. My neck is no longer red and scratchy. My face doesn’t feel like a stretched rubber band after I’ve washed it. Caring for my skin doesn’t feel like a mission I can never complete.
I might not continue to be this strict after Lent is over (I love mozzarella too much) but I will definitely continue to limit dairy. Whether that is ordering soy milk in the coffee shop or having vegan mozzarella more often, going dairy free is restrictive life people think it is. You just need eyes open to the possiblities that come with knowing how to prepare and cook your own food.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp lose leaf chai tea
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- Honey (or other sweetener) to taste
- 1 cup almond milk
- Add water, tea and spices to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid into a separate saucepan or container. Throw away the tea leaves and return to the tea to the pan.
- Add the honey and almond milk to the pan. Gently heat through while stirring.
- Pour into your favourite mug or tea cup, grab a copy of your favourite magazine and relax while enjoying you vegan chai latte.
The post CounterCultural Kitchen || DIY Vegan Chai Latte first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.