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ELIZABETH GILBERT’S MAGIC HOMEMADE CHAI

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. I read her books, I follow her on social media, I generally think she’s wonderful. So when she posted this magical-sounding chai concoction on her Facebook page the other day, I immediately made a mental note to try it someday. Chock-full of spices and a soothing mixture of coconut oil, honey and turmeric, it seemed like just the thing for a late December evening.

Turns out it is. Rob and I have been sick for the last week–first me, then him–and on Wednesday night, we were both feeling blah, despite the fact we’d gone out for a nice dinner to celebrate our wedding being just one month away (!!). On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store, and I decided to grab the spices to make the tea. After I’d steeped and strained everything, I frothed up some almond milk and sprinkled on some ground cinnamon.

Friends, I am happy to report that this drink is just as lovely as it sounds. It’s creamy and spicy and slightly coconutty, and the honey adds a nice sweetness. I’ll be making this again and again–it’s like a warm hug in tea form.

Here’s the recipe, if you’d like to try it yourself–we’re staying in for New Year’s Eve, and I’m looking forward to another cup of this while I snuggle up on the couch with Rob and Rambo. Happy 2016, friends. xoxo

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magical Chai

3 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 to 2 inches of fresh ginger, diced*
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
8-10 whole cardamom pods, crushed
1 star anise pod (optional)
1 vanilla bean or about 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 bags black tea
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. local honey (plus more to taste)
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup or so cow’s milk or non-dairy milk of your choice (I use almond)

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom pods, turn heat down, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add tea bags, star anise pod and vanilla (if using) and simmer for 5 minutes more. Strain mixture into a bowl.

Meanwhile, add coconut oil, honey and turmeric to the biggest mug you own. Add in a bit of the hot chai tea mixture and whisk until well combined. Fill the mug three-quarters of the way with the rest of the chai mixture.

Using a frother or a small saucepan, heat milk until warm. Stir into chai; top with cinnamon and enjoy (I recommend taking Gilbert’s advice: “Drink that mother down, preferably while reading a good novel”).

*I forgot to buy whole ginger at the store so I stirred in about a teaspoon and a half of the ground stuff and it worked perfectly fine.

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