We all have our little rituals and things we look forward to when the days start to get nippy. For me, I ring in the fall by making up a big batch of my herbal root chai blend.
I've developed this dark, warming tea over the past few years, inspired by other herbal chai recipes I've seen and tasted, and tweaking this one to suit my own inclinations. This chai is not only one of my favorite brews, but it also has become a big hit among my clients and farmers' market customers.
So today I would like to share the basic recipe with you, so you can try your hand at making it at home yourself. Don't be daunted by the list of ingredients. If you can't find everything, just substitute in another similar tasting herb, or double up on one of the other root ingredients.
Without further ado, I present to you my favorite Herbal Root Chai blend...
You will need:
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp. black peppercorn
1-2 tsp. dried ginger root
1 tsp. dried orange peel
1/2 Tblsp. cinnamon bark (sweet or cassia)
1 Tblsp. burdock root
1 Tblsp. roasted dandelion root (roasted will yield a deeper, darker flavor)
1 Tblsp. roasted chicory root
1 Tblsp. astragalus root
First, grind together the cloves, cardamom and peppercorn in a mortar and pestle. This will help their flavor be dispersed throughout the whole tea. Combine these crushed pieces with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in a tightly capped glass jar. This will make about 5-6 servings of tea.
To brew the tea, add up to 1 Tblsp. of the chai blend per two cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer covered at for least 20 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level and don't let it evaporate too much. When it is as dark and spicy tasting as you would like, strain out the roots and add milk and honey to taste.
I love this chai so much because it is not only completely delicious, it is also very good for you. Dandelion, burdock and chicory roots are incredibly nourishing and also make our livers very happy. And astragalus is a sweet-tasting, tonic root that supports our immune systems - never a bad thing during cold and flu season. The spices in this recipe add a gentle heat that stimulates both our digestion and circulation. All in all, this root chai helps us stay toasty and healthy during the cold months.
I encourage you to make this chai brew at home and share with your friends! However, if you are not the DIY type I will be making up a new batch of Root Chai soon. You can sign up for my newsletter below to stay in the loop about when it is available!
And, if you are interested in learning more about root medicine in general and how these underground treasures can support us during the fall and winter, you might be interested in my upcoming class Returning to Our Roots on November 20th. We will learn about and taste several important herbal roots, and will also make root chai together in class!
Happy chai blending!