This morning, I was able to turn my winter's meal from the previous post into breakfast. I am really not a fan of the typically sweet breakfast foods. I would much rather have something more savory, or at least have sweet and savory together. To turn sautéed kale and roasted beets into breakfast food was as easy as adding a couple fried eggs over top of the veggies. Normally, I would have loved a piece of toasted crusty bread to munch with, especially to help soak up the slightly runny yolks, but I didn't have any on hand, so it was the eggs and veggies. Oh, and a large mug of Chai.
Ah, Chai. I try not to say Chai tea, as Chai means tea. Chai comes from India, and is comprised of black tea with a mixture of spices that include green cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. In India, it’s served strong, sweet and milky. While I'm at work, I'll use store bought tea bags. At home, I make my own.
I bought a large box of loose black pekoe tea. I blend about a cup and a quarter of that with a couple sticks of crushed cinnamon, a third a cup of diced crystallized ginger, a couple teaspoons of cracked black pepper and cloves, and a couple tablespoons of crushed green cardamom pods. A teaspoon of this mixture per six ounces of liquid (half water, half milk) and a teaspoon of sugar make the perfect cup. Of course, as I said large mug, it was about three times the amount.
I love my Chai. It relaxes, yet invigorates me. Whenever I am feeling stressed and at the end of my rope, this is my beverage of choice. Besides calming my nerves, the tea and spices provide antioxidants and the milk adds a touch of calcium. I find it better then coffee. While coffee also provides good antioxidants, I ended adding more sugar to coffee than to tea, and I also use cream or half and half, which has a decent amount of saturated fat. Not too mention, the amount of caffeine in coffee can give me heart palpitations and cause me to feel jittery, whereas the tea provides just enough caffeine for that little boost, and never gives me heart palpitation.
I recommend either making it yourself, or getting Tazo's version of Chai. I've become a bit of a Chai snob and have found many other versions to contain cinnamon oil, which ends up giving the tea that weird fake cinnamon candy flavor. I love Starbuck's Chai Latte, but can only imagine (I refuse to look) the amount of sugar and calories involved. That's why I stick with my mixture.
Thanks to my Chai and leftovers for breakfast, I felt nourished and invigorated.