Twigs and Brown Rice? NOT ANYMORE!

If you can boil water, you can make the most wonderful Chai Tea.

July 8, 2012

Rabbit Food? Not Me!

 

Healthy eating has come a long way since I first started my journey in 1981. Then, the term health food conjured up images of bean sprouts, plain brown rice and bearded young men with glassy eyes and silly grins who wore homespun shirts and sandals. Fringe fanatics were gaining popularity claiming outlandish things such as, molasses and dried mulberries would cure everything from dandruff to polio.

 

See my blog Confessions of a Confetti Head – Before Biker Babe there was Hippie Dippie Hope for a belly laugh story of my days as a sticks and twigs eater.

 

Now, although there are some die-hard “sticks and twigs” devotees, healthy eaters generally take a more rational approach. When people come to my house for dinner, they are often surprised and may comment, “I thought you were into health foods. You call pot roast, and cheesecake health foods?” My reply is that it can be. The truth is that gourmet chefs have been cooking health food for decades. I call it “REAL FOOD.”

 

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Real Food's Chai Tea

Satya was an Amazing Woman with an Amazing Secret - Home-Made Chai Tea

 

Here in Southern California, Chai Tea is really popular. It's not a new drink, though, it goes back at least 5,000 years to the courts of Siam and India. One theory is that a king created it in his search for a healing tea. It has been used since in India's medical tradition—Ayurveda.

 

Is it a healing tea? Possibly. The main ingredient is black tea.
Black tea is rich in antioxidants that has been found to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It seems that everyday, a new healing property is discovered about black tea, including heart health and cancer prevention.

 

The spices in Chai also have a long tradition for their health and healing properties:

Black pepper (piper nigrum) is noted for its anti-inflammatory actions, among other things. It is also high in minerals.

 

Cardamom is also full of anti-oxidants. It aids digestion, and can help expel excess mucus in the body. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, which protects the heart and blood pressure.


Cinnamon is in many dental health products, including toothpaste and mouthwash, for its antibacterial properties. It has also been researched for a treatment for type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. It has also been shown to possibly prevent stomach ulcers. It has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiparasitic properties.  It is also effective in fighting yeast infections.

 

Ginger has been used for centuries as a health and healing food. It is an anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial food. It is traditionally used in the modern world to prevent or nausea and motion sickness. It has been found to be effective against diarrhea (E.coli), and to help with migraines. It is rich in vitamins B-6 and B-5. It is high in potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

 

Although you can buy Chai in a bag or box, or at a gourmet coffee house, it probably is made with flavorings rather than with the real ingredients. Making Chai isn't difficult, and it keeps fairly well in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it into ice cubes.

 

Typically, in India, every family has their own Chai recipe. Although the basic ingredients are the same, the proportions vary a bit from recipe to recipe. Here is one that was given to me by Satya Khaur Khalsa, an American Sikh who was a fellow NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) student in the 1980's.

 

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