Everything Was Chai and Nothing Hurt.

I have to say, one of my favourite things about chilly weather, is drinking a well-crafted cup of Masala Chai. Something about all of my favourite spices mixed together with a strong Assam (or less conventional Rooibos) feels real cozy. So, I present to you, my homemade stovetop chai, alongside a chai cupcake.

There are numerous ways to create a solid stovetop Masala Chai, some more time consuming than others. For the purpose of convenience, I have come up with a chai concentrate recipe, which I can add to a non-dairy milk whenever I am craving some goodness! This is much more cost effective than heading over to my local coffeeshop everytime I am craving some warmth. Plus, this saves us antsy vegans the risk of possibly being served honey, milk ingredients, or anything else that some places may include in their own mixtures.

Ingredients:
3 cups water
2 tbsp strong black or rooibos tea in secure steeping device, or two teabags
4-5 tbsp your favourite sweetener (agave nectar, maple syrup, raw sugar etc)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp cardamon
pinch of cloves
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp vanilla extract
*grind cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamon, cloves together with spice grinder.

In a small pot on medium heat, bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add tea, and allow to boil a couple minutes, until you have a beautiful, dark infusion. At this point, add your spices to water and mix until thoroughly dissolved, leaving no clumps. Add bay leaf, and sweetener. You do need to include a sweetener of some sort in this recipe, so that the mixture can thicken up into a nice syrup.
Stir mixture constantly, for about 15-20 minutes, or until mixture is noticeably thicker; you’re looking for the consistency of soup/syrup. Remove from heat. Remove tea bags and bay leaf from mixture, and thoroughly mix vanilla extract. Transfer to a mason jar or suitable container, and let cool before placing lid on top.

yaaaaaay! chai!

Now, you have a chai concentrate of your own, to add to hot or cold “milk!” I like to include one part chai mixture to two parts almond milk. However, many people like it sweeter and may use half and half, or maybe might use less!

I am currently keeping my cupcake recipe under wraps, but if any of my friends in the area are interested in trying one, I have some extra in the fridge to share! Seriously, I’m impressed with my self control with these little dudes, because they’re kind of like an icing topped hug on a frosty Calgary day.

Also, I thought I would mention I do  have a couple of favourite chai infused vegan products for this drying weather! One of my favourite lip balm companies, HURRAW!, makes a fantastic Chai Spice lip balm! These are honestly the perfect raw vegan balms, and I don’t leave my house without one. They have a ton of different flavors- I’ve tried at least half! I highly recommend them! Another once of my favourite vegan friendly lines, Desert Essence, has a chai line as well! These guyse put out a Spicy Vanilla Chai hand and body lotion, body wash, hand wash, and lip tint!

So there you have it, darlings. Many ways to get your fix of chai as the leaves fall and the frost sets in! ❤

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