Simple vanilla chai is the tea you need! Add this tea to your self care routine. At night when my children are in bed and I am winding down for the night, nothing is better that a comforting cup of tea and a good book. These days my book of choice is the Whole30 Day By Day as I reflect on my food choices and progress towards my food freedom. Any Whole30’ers out there? Are you doing the Whole30 At Home? I’m currently on Day 8 and feeling great (ha, didn’t mean to rhyme there). Interested in learning more about my Whole30 journey? Check out my post The Whole30 and me!
Where my love for Vanilla Chai Started
I was first introduced to chai by my cousin in law’s mother, Nani. See my cousin in law is from India and her children call her mother Nani. When I first came to the US I spent many days hanging out with my cousin and caring for his young children. I became close to them and started calling his mother in law Nani, just as the children called her. Nani made chai whenever she visited and it was so delicious. Better than any coffee shop replica. I stood in my cousin’s Brooklyn kitchen and watched her add spices to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil, then add milk. And like magic the creamiest and most delicious warm beverage came from that pot.
I can never get my vanilla chai to taste like Nani’s but this is the closest thing I have to those days. I will forever treasure those memories. Nani lives in Buffalo, NY and we are never fortunate to be in NY City at the same time. Except last summer when I was visiting my parents and she was visiting my cousin. It was such a warming feeling to see her and have her make me some chai.
This recipe is a Whole30 recipe so naturally I am using a non-dairy Whole30 Approved creamer. My creamer of choice is the Nut Pod Creamer. I am using the original and a bit of vanilla extract here but you can also just use the French Vanilla flavor and skip the vanilla extract. You may choose any creamer you like. If doing Whole30 check to ensure it is compliant.
Sugar in your tea?
Did your parents cool tea like this when you were little? I love doing this to my chai to add a bit for airy, frothiness to the chai. I am usually a plain tea type of gal, except for when I am making vanilla chai and even then I don’t add sugar. The only time I sweeten my tea is when I am making iced tea or an Arnold Palmer in the summer. Oh summer days, where are you? If you are not on a Whole30 round you can feel free to sweeten your tea with your sweetener of choice.
Make it your own
The longer the spices boil in the water, the deeper and richer the flavor of the tea. At night I like a mild spiced ,more creamy flavored chai but if I have this tea in the morning, I let it boil for quite some time and then let it cool and sit for a few more minutes (often, it is because I am busy with the kids and I’ve forgotten about the tea). You can boil it for however long you like. Want just a hint of spice flavor, bring it to a boil and let it boil for 10 minutes. Want more richness? Let it sit over night after boiling and enjoy it in the morning. There is no right or wrong way to spice or make chai.
- 3-4 cups of water
- 1 cup of Nut Pod Creamer
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tea bag (any kind of black tea)
- 2-4 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon of whole cloves
- 1 whole nutmeg (or a piece that's been grated down)
- Add water, tea bag and spices to a small saucepan on medium to high heat
- Bring to a boil, then continue to boil for 10-20 minutes
- Then add the creamer and vanilla extract and continue to boil for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat, then strain off the spices and tea bag
- Pour into your favorite tea cup or mug and enjoy warm
Letting the milk/creamer boil in the tea adds to the creaminess of the chai
For the nutmeg I use leftover bits of nutmeg that are too tiny to grate without shredding my fingers and I just add them to the water with all the other spices