I’m a huge fan of iced coffee but I can’t get away with drinking it as often as I would like. I’m an avid tea drinker too and often get a craving for a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer day, but sometimes I miss all the flavourful combinations that you can have with iced coffee. So, I decided it was time to stray from my usual favourite iced tea and start coming up with some flavoured versions. My first stop – chai!
James isn’t really a fan of iced tea. Which I think is perfectly fine because it just means more for me! But this is one iced tea that he actually enjoys, which means that now I actually have to share. Boo. :( Ok, deep down it might just make me happy because maybe I kind of like to share and also, it gives me that much more of an excuse to make it. :)
The thing I love about this version of iced tea is that it’s creamy, which is something you don’t usually expect in an iced tea, and the part that I usually crave in an iced coffee. I also love that it’s on the healthy side but still tastes like a treat. This is a life saver because it goes down oh so easily on a hot summer day.
Iced Chai Tea Latte
This tea is lightly sweetened. Feel free to add more honey, to taste, if you prefer a sweeter beverage.
- 4 cups water
- 6 black tea bags
- 1/3 cup cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch pepper
- 2 cups milk (or almond milk), cold
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in tea bags. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Stir in honey and spices until honey is dissolved. Allow to cool a bit and then cover and refrigerate until cold. Stir before serving to mix in the spices that have settled on the bottom.
For a pitcher full: Stir 2 cups milk directly into the cold tea. Pour into glasses over ice.
For individual servings: Fill glass with ice. Top with 2/3 cup cold tea and then with 1/3 cup milk. Stir to serve.
Makes: 6 (1 cup) servings
Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are all the rage these days, every year you see new recipes for homemade versions popping up everywhere. I’m sure if you’re a fan, you’ve already found your favourite homemade version, so I’m not going to venture there. But, I do enjoy a good pumkin-y warm fall beverage and since I don’t drink coffee everyday (as much as I’d like to) I wanted to do something with tea instead, and a Pumpkin Chai Latte seemed like the logical step.
The thing I love about recipes like this, is they help you use up those little bits of extra pumpkin that there always seem to be after a pumpkin baking session. It feels like a special treat yet you’re helping to reduce waste, always a good excuse right? Plus, it’s virtually guilt-free so you can enjoy it as much as you like.
I made this a couple times until I got it just right for me, but feel free to adjust the amounts of spice and pumpkin to your liking. As it is, it’s lightly spiced so that it complements the more delicate flavours of tea. I know I’ll be enjoying this often over the coming months and I hope you do too!
Pumpkin Chai Latte
Use your preferred milk alternative to make this dairy free.
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- small pinch ground cloves
- crack of freshly ground black pepper (or a small pinch of pre-ground pepper)
Mix together all ingredients, except for tea, in a small saucepan. Bring to just barely a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, drop in tea bag and let steep for 4 minutes. Remove teabag and serve immediately. Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.
Remember how I wanted to hold onto summer? Well summer didn”t want to hold on to me. Around the same time I was professing my love of summer and how I was going to hold onto it and my garden forever, it decided to frost and kill half my garden. And, it was just about to start bearing all sorts of deliciousness. Boo. Ever since then there”s been a chill in the air and its never quite warmed up again. Ha ha. Serves me right for thinking I had control of the seasons. :)
I decided I better start embracing fall in all it”s glory because winter lasts about 8 months out of the year here in Alberta and I just needed to buckle down and face the facts. I usually love all the seasons when they come but I haven”t lived in Canada for almost 4 years and I”m not conditioned to these cold, long winters anymore. I”ve become a winter wimp and once fall hits here you know that winter is really only a month away. Despite my anxiety over what”s coming, right now it”s fall, so here I am embracing it with some warm fall spices.
After making this recipe I don”t know that I”ll ever be able to go back to my regular banana bread. I took my go-to recipe, made it a little healthier by adding whole wheat and added some chai spices for a fall spin. The result was one of the most delicious banana breads I have eaten, and I”ve made my share of banana bread. Even my not-so-banana-bread-loving husband was raving about how good it was. I think it has to do in part with the fact that the spices are strong enough to overpower that distinctive banana bread flavour and the whole wheat keeps it from becoming too sticky, as a lot of banana breads seem to be. The crumb is tender and soft, hearty yet light, and the spices are the perfect combination to ring in the new season.
Chai Spiced Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup sour cream (full fat)
Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla. Sit together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to banana mixture in three additions, alternately with sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture, until evenly combined. Pour into 2, greased, 9×5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from loaf pans and transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes: 2 loaves