You can’t beat a nice cup of tea. These days I am a ‘caffeine avoider’ (apart from chocolate! Please don’t take that away from me!) and mainly drink rooibos tea. It’s a beautifully uplifting, fruity, nurturing drink, made all the more special as a simple fennel and cardamom chai, which makes it extra anti-inflammatory and wonderful.
With Christmas firmly on the horizon it’s important to take a deep breath, sit quietly and treat yourself to a home-brewed nurturing drink like chai tea. Listen to this, this, or this. Take a moment to relax, to listen to the music and feel human, to think about something other than the demands of your life, to think of nothing much. Or, if helpful and needed, make a list and order your mind. What is important, what is less important? Think about what you can achieve, without over-stretching. Allow yourself a chance to unwind, you have as much right to do that as everyone else, adult or child. What does Christmas mean to you? How can you simplify life and be as focused, happy and as healthy as you can be? I worry about people feeling over-stressed at Christmas, feeling over-burdened and under-appreciated, when it should be a time to nurture, to withdraw, a time to put things in perspective and celebrate the achievements of the year, or to put it behind you and look forward to the New Year, hoping it will bring better things, knowing that whatever it brings you’re capable of coping and will give it your best shot.
The released scent of fennel and cardamom seeds is so beautiful. I can’t smell cardamom without smelling the sweet milky chai tea of my childhood that this brew is based on (the difference being rather than cow’s milk, white sugar and black tea, I use the healthier coconut milk, coconut sugar, stevia and rooibos tea). The scent is redolent of wonderful memories. Vats of cardamom chai made by experienced hands, wooden floorboards and expectation. Occasional Indian sweets! Cardamom is such an uplifting, homely spice. And fennel too. I love to look at them in their jars on the shelf as I pass them in the kitchen, so beautifully, chaotically ordered behind the glass.
Outside, Autumn is moving into Winter with haste. Last week the trees were a haze of golden leaves, now the wind is up, rain makes for a warmer spell, but already we have seen snow settle this year, and the forecast if for months of snow, more than I’ve ever known.
A warming drink of cardamom chai is just what everyone needs as the cold nights close in ♥
Or as the morning nears afternoon and the washing up is done… a pick-me-up before the next task of the day. Let the sweetly spiced aroma fill your home with its warmth, as you anticipate something deliciously reviving. Or share with family and friends over the festive period, and enjoy others enjoying how beautiful your home smells, and what a delicious treat you have made for them, because you care ♥
Sip it out of your favourite cup, and enjoy the moment ♥
- 1 cup carton coconut milk, or milk of choice
- 2 1/2 cups or so of filtered water
- fennel seeds 2 tsp
- about 7 crushed cardamom pods
- tea, I use organic rooibos
- 3 tsp coconut sugar, or natural sweetener of choice, to taste
- 7 drops of stevia, or agave, or to taste
Simply bring the water, milk and seeds to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or so. Or longer if you like, it is delicious as a quick brew but only improves in flavour when left. If using rooibos tea you can add it at the beginning to simmer, or add five minutes before taking the tea off the heat (which I would do if using black tea).
Sieve and serve, sweetening as desired.
Alternatively you can use a greater proportion of, or entirely, nut milk.
Chai keeps very well and is also delicious cold.
You can use a dash of tinned coconut cream, which is good but makes a fattier drink and can show a residue of oil on the surface, but it's super creamy.
I have been listening to… Future Sound of London ‘Lifeforms’
I have been reading… Iris Murdoch ‘The Black Prince’
I have been watching… Bridget Jones’s Diary