Lately, I’ve been having consultations with the lovely Caroline Marie Dupont who wrote what is perhaps my favourite food book, Enlightened Eating: Nourishment for Body and Soul (Cheaty HIGHLY recommends):
In our most recent meeting, some mornings ago, Caroline invited me into her kitchen and made me a chai — because she knows I have that, erm, wretched little GRANDE STARBUCKS SOY CHAI LATTE addiction. I didn’t expect much, to be honest, because nothing thus far has compared to Starbucks’ chai, and I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING. But, I decided to humour her, and I watched with great interest as she pitted the dates (best sweeteners, by the way, for smoothies).
Much to my surprise, this chai FAR SURPASSED Starbucks’. Yes, Caroline did it again. So, I told her I HAD to share it with my readers. And, since this recipe is not in her book, she typed it up just for us. Enjoy! But, first, Caroline’s cat — because LOVE….
ALMOND CHAI (SERVES 4)
A richly spiced creamy treat. Enjoy!
1 cup soaked almonds
4 cups fresh water
1 ½ Tbs ginger
2 tsp cinnamon, or 2 inches cinnamon stick
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp black pepper, or 4 black pepper balls
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soft dates, or soak ½ hour
2 Tbs raw honey (vegans who don’t eat honey can substitute with 1.5 tbsp agave nectar, or to taste)
Rinse soaked almonds and blend with water and all other ingredients at high speed until smooth. Pour through a fine strainer, pressing with a spoon to remove all milk. Or, use a nut milk bag available through naturallyalive.ca (or do a search under “nut milk bags” on the internet). Taste and adjust sweetness if desired.
Serve slightly warmed, chilled or at room temperature.
Caroline and I sipped our smooth sweet chais during the consultation in THIS lovely room that OOZES spirituality (an area in which I have been GRAVELY lacking of late)….