Chai Crazed? Here’s Why Chai: Health Benefits, Creative Recipes, and More of This Fall Fav

With exotic Indian heritage, masala chai is known as “spiced tea” in Hindi. Historically, chai stems from royal roots and is thought to be credited to a king in the noble royal court of India. Traditionally, chai was served both hot and cold. This sippable and savorable Ayurvedic ambrosia boasts a long list of health benefits.

Chai’s Health Benefits

  • Both black tea and spices are rich in anti-aging and antioxidants, preventing damage from harmful free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammatory action can alleviate chronic pain and muscle soreness, as well as reduce risk of developing inflammation-related diseases like autoimmune disorder, IBS, and arthritis.
  • Heart healthy, black tea is full of flavonoids that prevent buildup of plaque in arteries, reducing stress on the heart. Also, cinnamon is known to lower harmful cholesterol.
  • Find your focus. . . The brain boosting properties of chai can amp up mental alertness, improve concentration, and enhance cognition, all without the negative side effects of excess caffeine.
  • Tummy troubles? Soothing to the stomach, chai black tea can improve digestion and is supportive of gastrointestinal health.
  • With antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, chai can help combat common colds and illnesses and ward off bacterial baddies from invading your immune system.
  • Peace out period pain. . . No need to be miserable with your monthly menstrual cycle. A research study concludes that ginger, which plays a main role in chai, provides more effective pain relief than over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Another study has concluded that ginger offers a pain-relieving effect on both the duration and intensity of period pain.
  • Say “no” to nausea. If you’re feeling queasy, a cuppa chai can help you nix the nausea and provide relief from morning sickness.
  • Stay sustained. . . Reduce insulin resistance, increase insulin sensitivity, and maintain blood sugar levels with the help of cinnamon and ginger in chai.

DIY Chai Tea

Classic Chai – Make your own classic chai with your black tea of choice (like Assam, Ceylon, Keemun, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast or a combo), pu-erhs, oolongs, green teas (sencha, bancha, genmaicha, hojicha, gyokuro, or gunpowder), rooibos red tea, and/or honeybush. Add whole or ground spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and/or black peppercorns. Other spices add variation and complexity of flavor such as fennel, coriander, and nutmeg.

Fall Flavors for Perfect Pairings With Chai – Try adding apple, orange, pumpkin spice, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, ginger, fennel, almond/amaretto, hazelnut, and pecan to your classic chai blend.

Ginger Orange Spice Chai Black Tea – Add fresh grated or ground ginger, orange zest, and orange flavor extract (optional) to your classic chai blend.

Dirty Chai (For Tea & Coffee Lovers) – Simply add some of your fav ground coffee to chai black tea. Adding a dash of cinnamon is a spice-alicious addition.

Chai Breakfast – Work chai black tea into batter for French toast, pancakes, and waffles. A yummy surprise!

Chai Cocktails

Amaretto Chocolate Orange Chai CocktailCombine cool strong steeped chai tea, creme de cacao, Grand Marnier, amaretto liquor. Add orange zest and orange slice/cinnamon stick/star anise to garnish.

Easy Does it Cocktail – Simply add cold chai black tea into your fav cocktails and mocktails or concoct creatively crafted chai cocktails with chai simple syrup. Be as original as you want.

Sparkling Chai Spiced Cider (Cocktail or Mocktail) – Combine cool strong steeped chai tea, spiced/spiked cider, and effervescent prosecco, champagne, or sparkling rose for cocktails – or seltzer, tonic water, or soda for mocktails.

Vanilla Chai Rice PuddingOn stovetop cook 2 cups brown rice, 1½ tablespoons maple syrup, honey or blue agave, 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground or grated ginger, 2 cups steeped chai black tea, 2 cups milk or plant-based milk, and 1¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Recipe adapted from: https://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/chai-latte-rice-pudding/

Festive Fall Citrus Spice Chai Potpourri & Sachets Combine orange or lemon slices (dried), cinnamon sticks, dried ginger pieces, cardamom pods, any color peppercorns, cloves, star anise, loose black tea, essential oils (like cinnamon, clove, orange, lemon, and ginger), for potpourri. Add the potpourri to drawstring tea filters or fabric secured with ribbon, raffia, hemp, or jute tied in a bow.

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