Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Herbal Chai to warm things up

I admittedly have been horribly neglectful in the blogging realm. Besides the usual excuse of busyness, since September my husband and I have been living in a beautiful cabin in the woods that is pretty much off the grid. So all of my online time was carefully manged in email and www.herbmentor.com activities.
However, I soon got tired of needing to go to town all the time, so we opted for a phone and dial up internet. Now I can stay home for a week if I want! And that's pretty much what I've done this holiday season - stayed at home. During the day we get out to go snowshoeing and all other times I am nestled up by the woodstove drinking my favorite herbal chai.

Herbal Chai Tea
With the cold months I love to brew up my own herbal chai. I prefer to use cut and sifted dried herbs for this as opposed to powders, only because I prefer the texture better. This tea blend is very warming and great for digestion.

dried burdock roots, two parts;
cinnamon, one part. (a cinnamon stick or two works great)
dried or fresh Ginger root, one part
cardamon, pods ½ part
cloves – 3 or 4 whole cloves

I am fairly bad at measuring, but to make a medium sized saucepan of chai, I may double the recipe above. I let this simmer (not boil) on the stove for 20 – 40 minutes. You can also put this in a crock-pot on low at night and enjoy it in the morning along with a lovely aromatic house. I sometimes add a tea bag of black tea to my cup and I always add cream/milk and a little honey.

Although I prefer to stick to local herbs I do make an exception for the chai. In these cold months, my cold disposition can be miserable without warming herbs. When I make the above chai for both my husband and I, it's the same as above. (He is constantly complaining of the heat while I am shivering in my woolies.) If I am making it for myself, I cut the burdock and double or triple the ginger. Nice and spicy!