Ever since the Vitamix entered my life, I have been making lots of smoothies, especially in the mornings. And since I also like to have tea or coffee in the mornings, I thought I’d combine the two. I love a good chai with frothed milk. It reminds me of my childhood – I grew up having tea in the afternoons with my parents, where the tea would get us talking, sometimes for hours. Some traditions never change.
I found a delicious chai – No. 33 Chai to be exact, made by Steven Smith Teamaker. It was one of the teas Eric and I tasted when we visited the Teamaker’s tea room/production site in Portland. This chai has a perfect balance of spices, including, ginger, cloves, and cardamom (not overpowering, but so flavorful), and a smooth, and almost vanilla-like finish. I had to order more when I ran out of my supply. Once the package came in, I knew I had to make a smoothie out if it.
Chai Latte Smoothie
1 cup chai tea
½ cup of coconut milk (or vanilla almond)
1 date (or 1 Tbs honey)
2 Tbs almond butter
1 pinch of cinnamon
Brew 1 cup (8 ounces) of chai. I boil the water in my electric tea pot and brew the tea for about 5 minutes. If you brew it for too long, it will taste bitter. Next, cool the tea. Once the tea is cool, pour the tea into the blender, add all the other ingredients, and blend on high.
Keep your eyes out for this Chai No. 33 at your local cafe; Steven Smith Teamaker teas are now popping up in California. If you are local, Ambrosia Cafe just started carrying them (no the chai though).
Next, I have a coffee smoothie creation for the coffee lovers. Although I try to stick to teas in the morning, this smoothie is a real treat! Cacao nibs are the key ingredient.
Coffee Cacao Smoothie
Cacao nibs are a raw superfood – they come directly from cocoa beans, which are the most natural form of chocolate. They are full of antioxidants and incredibly rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. Cacao nibs contain about 10g of antioxidants per 100g of cocoa beans while typical chocolate is about 500mg per 100g of cocoa beans! The antioxidants found in cacao nibs are said to have positive effects on blood pressure, circulation, and are associated with a reduction of the number of free radicals in your body that trigger heart disease. I must note that I’m a newbie when it comes to using these, but this smoothie may have just converted me.
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
1 Tbs chia seeds (I used Chia Goodness, chocolate flavored)
1 Tbs almond butter
1 Tbs cacao nibs
1/2 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
Brew a strong cup of coffee and let it cool. I put it in the fridge for a few minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend on high for about 45 seconds. You can also use an espresso machine instead of brewed coffee if you have one, but I don’t, so I make a very strong cup of coffee.
Hope you enjoy.