Posts Tagged ‘Chai’

I made this recipe twice – the first time as a full cake for our Cherry Blossom Yoga vegan holiday potluck, the second time (after a little recipe tweaking) as mini-muffins for the Breakfast Yoga Club in The Woodlands. Both came out delicious, but I think after the recipe tweaking it’s now a supreme recipe! The original recipe was veganized from Food & Wine, plus I added in a Chai-spice upgrade. ūüėČ This recipe makes 1 10-inch crumb cake or 42-46 mini-muffins. Enjoy!


Spiced Cake
2 TBSP ground flaxseed in 4 TBSP warm water
1/2 C almond or hemp milk + 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 C + 2 TBSP AP (sifted) or Cake flour
1 C turbinado/sucanat sugar (or 1/2 C granulated + 1/2 C brown sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp mace
1/2 tsp each Cardamom, Cloves
1/4 tsp each Ginger, Allspice, Black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C canola oil

Crumb Topping
3/4 C AP flour
1/4 + 1/8 C turbinado/sucanat sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 C canola oil


1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350¬įF. In a small bowl, combine ground flax and water; set aside. In a small measuring cup, mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar; set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and spices.
3. Add in canola oil, ground flax combo, milk mixture, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine; set aside.
4. Make the crumb topping: Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Pour in canola oil, and massage together with your fingers until it becomes crumb-like.
5. Spoon the batter (it’ll be a little thicker, not so much pourable as scoopable – like a really soft cookie dough) to a greased/floured 10′ springform pan or lined mini-muffin tin (about half-full each mini-muffin). Top with crumb topping.
6. Bake at 350¬įF for 40-45 min (for the full cake) or 12-14 min (for mini-muffins).

Happy baking!

On this day in History: Chai Granola



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5 Day Autumn Detox

I’m quite fond of my springtime detox, and was feeling a bit weighed down and sluggish as the season transitioned into Autumn. So I decided to do a little research into Autumn detoxes. None of them really appealed to me, so I decided to simply create one using warming veggies that are known to possess detoxification qualities. I wanted something easy on the digestion so I created some pureed and brothy soups from the list of detoxing veg — one of the reasons for embarking was to give my digestion a break, a reboot, a clear slate with which to renew itself. Plan it according to fasting day falling on a day where you can lounge, sleep, rest, read..whatever you do to relax. You don’t want to exert too much energy — mentally or physically — on fasting day. As with the springtime detox, I find fasting to be more successful when I tapper off the amount of food over a few days before fasting, then slowly ramping up portions over a few days when breaking the fast. You can choose to simply fast for 1.5 days up to 3 days.

As I went through this detox, I slept quite a bit (even before fasting day)..reduced the intensity of yoga I practiced, but still taught some tough classes which didn’t help the fatigue/weakness factor — and because of my teaching requirements, I broke the fast Day 5. The mind tried to talk me out of fasting midday on Day 4 (as it usually does when I fast), but my body was happy..so I persevered with the help of hot lemon water and chamomile tea. I did a walking meditation on Day 4 when I walked Mocha – a slow and abbreviated walk (maybe only 1/4 mile over the course of ~15 min). It was most enjoyable. ūüôā ¬†If you want to extend the number of fasting days beyond 1-1.5 days, I’d recommend also incorporating an herbal vegetable broth once a day (after a full single day of complete fasting) to keep nutrients coming in, without reigniting the digestive system.

Disclaimer: This is only meant as a way to give yourself a renewed sense of digestive health..NOT as a way to lose weight. As with any protocol that calls for fasting, please listen to your body (but be wary, the mind can play tricks..the body doesn’t lie). If you need to break the fast sooner than expected, break the fast gently. If you are pregnant, refrain from fasting. If you have any medical conditions, please consult a physician before embarking on this detox. Typically with detoxing, salt is recommended as to be avoided — however, if you have serious low blood pressure please include a minimal amount of salt during the detox/fast to avoid black-outs and such.

Day 1: [Eat normal portions for each meal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (options: Green, Herbal) + apple (or other autumn fruit) + oatmeal or handful of seeds (options: sunflower, pepitas)
Lunch & Dinner: Roasted Veg (choices: Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Garlic, Onion, Artichokes, Beets) served with brown rice or quinoa and baby spinach salad (with baby tomatoes, carrots, seeds, drizzled with a small bit of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice).
Afternoon Teatime: Red Rooibos or Chamomile tea (or a detox tea blend)
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 2: [Normal portions at lunch, reducing the dinner portion to half of normal.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Green, Herbal, or Hot water+lemon wedge) + autumn fruit + handful of seeds
Lunch & Dinner: Butternut Squash-Cauliflower Soup [roast b. squash, onion, and puree with cauliflower. spices include: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom. veg broth to desired consistency.] OR Potato-Broccoli-Kale Soup [broccoleek soup+kale] + green smoothie at one of the meals (to make things easier, buying a Naked or Odwalla Green Monster or SuperFood smoothie will suffice..unless you want to make your own green smoothies).
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Evening Teatime: Chamomile, Red Rooibos, or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

Day 3: [Option to begin fasting after lunch.]

Breakfast: Cup of tea (Herbal or Hot water+lemon wedge) + glass of juice (if feeling you need some blood sugar love)
Lunch: leftover Day 2 Soup or Herbal Broth (veggie broth heated with herbs like turmeric, garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander)
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, or Dandelion Tea
Dinner: optional to begin fasting and skip dinner, or perhaps just have a green smoothie or Herbal Broth for dinner if you had soup for lunch
Evening Teatime: Cup of Chamomile or other light herbal tea

Day 4: [Fasting Day]

Anytime you feel the need for tea or a snack, have some hot water with lemon, Chamomile, a fasting/detox blend (pending it doesn’t have caffeine). As mentioned before, listen to your body — rest, relax, restore. Your mind will try to tell you to break the fast.. “why am I doing this? just eat!” yada yada.. but your body will tell you the truth. If you’re experiencing migraines (not just a slight headache, that is common), severe nausea (not just mild upset stomach), or black-outs, BREAK THE FAST with some light herbal broth or a smoothie.

Day 5: [Option to continue fast or reintroducing food.]

If continuing to fast, have a small bowl of herbal broth midday, then continue as Day 4 and use Day 5 as a guide for when you break the fast. I wouldn’t recommend fasting for more than 3-5 days — and always listen to your body and break when your body needs it. Don’t reintroduce too much food at once..go slow!
Morning Teatime: Hot water with lemon or any light herbal tea + glass of juice (if breaking the fast)
Lunch (about 1.5 C serving): Herbal Soup (see Day 3) + green smoothie
Afternoon Teatime: Herbal tea, Detox tea blend, Dandelion Tea, or Nettle Tea + apple
Dinner: Small portion of any leftover Day 2 soup, or Herbal Soup with the addition of peas or any leftover veg+rice/quinoa from day 1
Evening Teatime: Chamomile or Coconut Milk Chai using Rooibos tea

As with the Springtime detox, focus on calm breathing, positive thoughts, rest, and getting in touch with the change of the seasons. Autumn is a great time to reflect on seeds which we plant for a bountiful harvest in the spring, to let go of the high-heat energy of summer and linger in a slower-paced, mellow energy, to reflect on that which we should let go/release the way the trees release the leaves that no longer serve the health of the tree.

Happy Fasting!



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By now, regular readers are probably aware of my chai obsession (chai, chai shortbread cookies).  Today as I was deciding what flavor granola I want to have for breakfast this week, it suddenly hit me:  chai spice granola!


4 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter

1/2 C oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 C vegan granulated or turbinado sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 C thick-cut oats

1/4 C brown rice syrup

2 TBSP agave nectar

1/2 C whole almonds

1/2 C pecan halves


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a large baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

2.  Add the Earth Balance, baking soda, sugar and spices to your food processor.  Blend until the mixture clumps, about 10 seconds.

3.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended.

4.  Spread into prepared baking pan.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until toasty brown, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.

5.  Remove from oven and let thoroughly cool.  Granola will crisp up nicely as it cools down.  Enjoy!



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Iced ChaiJo graced us with her exquisitely delicious recipe for hot chai tea, using the coconut milk beverage from So Delicious – and boy, if there was never a more aptly named company! Anyway, as much as I love a hot chai in the morning or afternoon, sometimes you want a cool refreshing tea in the evenings. Instead of risking the caffeine keeping you awake, use a naturally caffeine-free tea (and a change from herbal)…our wonderful friend, Rooibus. I like drinking rooibus as my nighttime tea, to keep my taste buds on their toes from chamomile and valerian. But wait, it‚Äôs summertime and oh so hot….I don‚Äôt want hot tea to make me warmer… I say, go ahead and enjoy your Rooibus Chai…iced! I‚Äôve scaled up Jo‚Äôs recipe so you can have a stock in the fridge sitting right next to your So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, for chilled chai on demand. I would recommend keeping them separate until just before drinking, to keep things on the fresher side of life. This recipe makes about 1.5 qts of tea to be used with 1-1.5 qts CM beverage. Of course, I‚Äôm just quenching my own thirst, so if you‚Äôve got more mouths to fill..you could double it.


12-16 tsp rooibus
6 C (1.5 qts) boiling water
3-4 2-inch cin sticks
14-16 whole cloves (for anti-clovites, use 10-12)
2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 vanilla beans, split down center (or 3-4 tsp vanilla extract)
8 TBSP (1/2 C) agave


1. Boil freshly drawn water as you would for any tea. Place tea and spices in a pitcher/container, preferably lidded or one that’s flat that you could place a plate on top of to cover while steeping. Pour boiling water over the awaiting tea and spices, steep covered 5 minutes. **Alternatively you can place tea, spices, and freshly drawn cold water in the sun for 3 hours. I’ve tested both, and they come out equally delicious.
2. Strain into another pitcher/container for storage in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, mix either 50:50 or 75:25 of Chai:CM beverage (depending on how creamy you like your chai).

Iced Chai2

Happy Teatime!



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We’re big on tea here at the primate, as you may know. The second best part of afternoon tea is, of course, some cookies (that’s biscuits to my British friends) to go along with it. ¬†Sometimes you won’t be able to brew up a batch of homemade chai, so some chai spice cookies to go along with your regular tea can give you your cardamom fix.


2 C flour

1/3 C confectioner’s sugar

1/3 C turbinado sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla

2 sticks Earth Balance

few spoonfuls of cinnamon sugar


1.  Place all dry ingredients in a food processor, and give a few quick pulses to blend.

2. ¬†Cut “butter” into pieces and add to food processor, along with vanilla. ¬†Blend for 20-30 seconds, or until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.

3.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and kneed a few times to form a dough.  Roll into a ball.

4.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1 Р24 hours.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.

6.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.




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All the frequent flying vegans out there know that when you’re in an unfamiliar place, you may go a while between proper meals. ¬†On many occasions, I have been rescued from the brink of hunger madness by a soy chai latte, and for that I must thank Starbuck’s nefarious plot to take over the world. ¬†(Ever seen a Starbuck’s across the street from a Starbuck’s? ¬†What is that about?) ¬†Anyway, chai is not as mysterious as it seems, and you can enjoy it at home! ¬†For an after dinner treat, use rooibos tea instead of black tea, because it is naturally caffeine free. ¬†I’ve listed soy milk in this recipe, even though I never use it for anything else because hemp/oat/nut milks can have a grainy texture that is not ideal for drinking straight.


2 Cups water

2 Cups soy milk OR So Delicious’ Coconut Milk Beverage

4 tsp loose Ceylon tea

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1/2 tsp ground cardamom OR 3 cardamom pods

dash nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in pieces)

2 TBS agave nectar


In a small sauce pan, bring water to a boil. ¬†Add all ingredients EXCEPT soy milk, turn heat down to med-low and simmer for 5 minutes. ¬†Then add soy milk, turn heat up to med-high, just until the milk begins to boil. ¬†Remove from heat immediately. ¬†Strain through coffee filter, or wire mesh and enjoy hot! ¬†It’s also delicious over ice in the summer.



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