Loving the BITE: Stay Warm with Super – Antioxidant Chai Latte

How about a Thanksgiving afternoon Chai Latte to keep you warm or aide in recovery after a cold ride?

If you’ve been to your favorite coffee house lately, perhaps Mocha Spoke, you may have been tempted by the wonderful smell of a Chai Latte.  It just smells like Winter and The Holidays to me.  Turns out, its black tea leaves are full of wonderful nutrients and powerful antioxidants, just like green tea.  These nutrients are incredibly beneficial to a cyclists’ health.

This week’s Loving the Bite Recipe will kick off the Holidays and Winter with a nice warm cup of Chai Latte.  Perfect for a warm recovery drink after a cold ride, a Thankgiving afternoon tea, or a Holiday party.

Recipe of the week: Homemade Super-Antioxidant Chai Latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp fennel or anise seed
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4″ ginger root, sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper corns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 Cups water
  • 2 Tbsp Darjeeling or other loose black tea leaves (can be decaffeinated if using before sleep for muscle-sparing option)
  • 4 Tbsp organic honey
  • 2 Cups organic dairy or non-dairy milk (such as coconut milk, almond milk, or non-GMO soy milk)

Instructions:

  1. Place first 8 ingredients in a pot (through water).  Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes.
  2. Add tea leaves, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Strain tea and spices.
  4. If you’d like to store it, place in the refrigerator and then mix individual servings of ¾ cup tea with ¼ cup milk and ½ Tbsp honey (you can adjust ratio of tea to milk as desired).
  5. To mix and serve, mix in full amount of honey and milk.  Enjoy. (Serves 8 1-cup servings)

To use for recovery: Mix tea and milk 1:1 with 8 oz. tea and 8 oz. organic milk.  Add 1 Tbsp organic honey.  This will provide 220 calories, 27 gm carbs, 8 gm protein.  You can increase the protein further, if desired with ½ scoop vanilla protein powder.

For “Skinny” Latte (non-recovery): Replace honey with Stevia.

Comments:

Since it’s a Holiday for many readers, and a good time to be with family and friends, I’ll keep it short this week.  While you know of the benefits of green tea (if you don’t, you can read all about it here), you might think less of black tea.  Turns out, black tea offers a lot of nutrition, too.  Both green and black tea come from the same plant, the Camelia tea plant.   The difference is in the methods used for drying the leaves.  Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo a crushing and fermenting process.  Nevertheless, black tea is still loaded with antioxidants that can have a big impact on our recovery from training, health, and longevity.

Drink 2 or more cups of black tea per day and you’ll:

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