Dandelion Root Chai Concentrate

A good cuppa tends to soothe away daily stresses, even if just for the duration of those savoured sips. A chai always hits the spot for me, but the caffeine and cane sugar content of most commercial varieties doesn’t  sit so sweetly. Naturally, I started playing with alternatives…and a bitter one at that. Dandelion root has a rich, coffee-like bitterness to it when brewed into a tea or latte. Mixed with whole spices, natural sweeteners & a whole heap of home-made love…Sweet success.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups of purified water
6 teaspoons of dried dandelion root/granules
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup  of runny honey
2 inch section of fresh ginger
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthways
  2. Peel & then slice the ginger
  3. Add the water & honey to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the dandelion root & all spices + peppercorns . Simmer for 30 minutes (with no lid).
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, let it cool until & then strain the concentrate through hessian cloth, a nut bag or a sieve
  6. At this point, if you want a bit more sweetness you can add an extra tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. If you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.
  7. Allow the mixture to cool before pouring into an airtight jar or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to two week
  8. To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 2 part milk of your choice. Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink
  9. Enjoy!

Nutrition Bite: Dandelion root is a good substitute if you’re trying to eliminate caffeine from your diet as it has a similar flavour profile to coffee with the bonus of detoxifying benefits. Dandelion root granules act as a blood purifier that can help both the kidneys and the liver to remove impurities. Drinking dandelion tea can help to improve digestion. Combined with warming Ayurvedic spices & you have a healthy & healing cuppa at your fingertips!

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