Our guide to all-things Chai
For anyone who is unfamiliar with this fab flavour, masala chai is a traditional type of tea, which originally comes from India. It is made by boiling black tea, then adding in milk and a combination of spices, including ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. It has been enjoyed in India for centuries, but in recent years, chai has skyrocketed in popularity across the world.
Along with being absolutely delicious, there’s actually a lot of health benefits that chai provides. Whether it’s in food or drink (or both), it’s actually a bit of a secret superfood.
Below, you’ll find our quick guide to these healthy chai benefits, as well as a recipe for a super spiced chai cake, which is both full of nutrients and completely vegan.
1. Chai’s health benefitsThanks to all the flavour-punching spices in chai, this blend boasts lots of great perks. To give you an insight into these all-round health benefits, we’ve provided you with a short summary.
Our top 8 health benefits of chai are:
- Reducing blood pressure. This is due to the cinnamon in chai tea.
- Reducing cholesterol. The cinnamon in chai tea helps to reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body.
- Improving your heart health. Thanks to the two points above, consuming chai tea can help drinkers to improve the health of their heart.
- Reducing your levels of blood sugar. The cinnamon and ginger in chai tea can help consumers to more effectively control their levels of blood sugar.
- Reducing nausea. The ginger in chai tea is renowned for its ability to reduce nausea in consumers.
- Improving digestion. This is thanks to the ginger in chai tea, which is a great option to help reduce pregnancy-induced nausea.
- Assisting with weight loss. The milk (whether dairy or alternative) that is used for chai milk can help consumers to feel more full, and so, this effectively reduces hunger pangs.
- Breaking down fat. The black tea which is used as a key ingredient of chai tea has been shown to help promote a more effective breakdown of fat within the body.
If you’re keen to find out more about chai tea’s eat health benefits, we’d recommend that you have a read of these intriguing resources:
- Healthline - How Chai Tea Can Improve Your Health
- Poosh - Ingredient Spotlight: Chai
- Simple Loose Leaf - 10 Chai Tea Health Benefits
2. Vegan chai loaf cake recipe
For the chai milk
- Plant-based milk, 320ml
- Loose leaf masala chai, 1.5 tbsp
For the loaf cake
- Chai milk (as made in step 1), 300ml
- Vegetable oil, 75ml
- Plain vegan yogurt, 120ml
- Vanilla extract, 2 tsp
- Plain flour, 350g
- Caster sugar, 145g
- Cornstarch, 2 tbsp
- Baking powder, 1 tsp
- Baking soda, ½ tsp
- Salt, ¾ tsp
- Ground ginger, ½ tsp
- Ground cinnamon, ½ tsp
- Ground cardamom, ¼ tsp
- Ground clove, ¼ tsp
- Black pepper, ⅛ tsp
- For the glaze:
- Chai milk (as made in step 1), 2 tbsp
- Powdered sugar, 120g
- Start by making the chai milk. Heat the milk in a saucepan, along with the tea. Brew on a low heat for 10 minutes, then strain.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
- Pour 300ml of the chai milk into a mixing bowl. Then stir in the oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and black pepper. Whisk until combined.
- Bit by bit, add the wet ingredients to the dry. Gently stir until combined.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes - the cake should be a lovely golden brown.
- Leave the cake to cool.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar with the chai milk. Then, pour on top of the cake.
This spiced and decadent cake is the perfect midweek treat. How do we have ours? We’d recommend it with a piping hot cup of coffee, during our morning work break.
It’s a deceptively simple cake which (when you’ve successfully got all the spices in stock) looks impressive, but is brilliantly easy to make. For the decoration, the vegan glaze only takes a minute to whip up, but provides a really classic finish.
Once baked, your whole house will fill with sensational aromas - so much so, you can expect this cake to be gobbled up super quickly!
The trickiest thing about this cake is the long ingredients list. Although it’s easy to combine them all together, ensuring that you have them all in stock, in date, and enough of each one is no mean feat. That’s where the FridgeCam provides a brilliant helping hand.
This handy camera is not just for fridges, it also works in your kitchen cupboards, too! With it, you can keep track of everything that you’ve got in your store cupboards. Then, when you head out to the shops to top up your ingredients, you can use the FridgeCam as a reference point, to double check precisely what you’re missing.
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Written by Josephine Walbank