Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Get Autumnal and bring the warmth inside this season with Faith's Caffeine-Free, Vegan Soy Oat Chai
Whose starting to feel cosy?
Last night, at 8pm, I suddenly realised the sun has set already! That was a quick jump from last week! We are now 1/3 of the way through September, the nights are drawing in and we are beginning to fantasise about cosy blankets, wearing scarves, pumpkin lattes and Halloween costumes.
For us at AyurLife, Autumn is our absolute favourite season. As the dusk of the year, everything begins to slow down after a busy summer. We begin to draw inwards physically and emotionally and, the very best bit, we can start enjoying delicious warm, milky, lightly-spiced drinks; the perfect remedy to rising vata in Autumn.
Before you get too excited though, a word of caution! Contrary to what our taste buds would have us believe, those delicious, caffeinated, sugary, cheap (and cruelty derived) milky drinks popping up in every Starbucks and Pret near you are not your friend! They may call to your soul with their deceptive promises of being warming and nourishing but once inside your body, they are far from!
The high sugar content messes with your blood sugar levels, the cheap 'cinnamon' flavours fail to give the health benefits that real cinnamon drinks offer and the mass produced milk in your mainstream morning joe are pro-inflammatory and high in chemical and bio-waste adulterants. This means they create Ama, deplete Agni and increase likelihood of seasonal allergies and disease. Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but better to know the truth. Best to make these 'dessert drinks' an occasional treat then leave yourself susceptible to seasonal infections due your daily dose of delicious, digestive doom.
So, whats the alternative?
Let's start with the milk. In Ayurveda, milk is revered as a nutritive (brmhana), vata and pitta-pacifying, immunity (ojas) increasing and life-giving nectar (rasayana). Not all milk, however, is created equal and in the 21st century, milk is rarely extracted humanely. Modern mass milk farming means that the dairy we find on the shelves today is often less than a shadow of its former self. As such, those looking to be their best and most beautiful selves seek only the purest organic dairy or turn from milk products entirely. For those of you who are doing this, we salute you! And, to encourage others to join us, we provide this beautiful, vegan alternative to classic chai. Some may consider this twist on a long-standing recipe profane but at AyurLife we are all about bringing ancient wisdom into modern life! It's a simple fact that the ancient the Vaidya's of 5,000 years ago never had to consider how inhumane the farming industry would become!
Why soy AND oat? A few simple and sensible reasons. They both have a different nutrient profile. Oat milk is high in carbs and low in protein, soy milk is high in protein and low in carbs. Together they give a broader spectrum of nutrition. Oat milk is extremely thin but creamy and moist while soy milk is thick but quite dry. Again, they work together as a fab team to give a really delicious taste, texture and mouth feel similar to real milk. Also, soy milk, being astringent/scraping, is more cleansing than regular milk so is a much better choice for pitta and kapha types if consumed daily while oat is nourishing and grounding for vata. For extreme Vata types, feel free to add a more oil rich milk such as almond or cashew to keep you balanced (side note, cashew milk sometimes splits).
The spices... Do do you feel heavy, sleepy and dull when you wake up? Most of us do... so what do we do? We reach for the caffeine - but this is the wrong answer my friend! What you really need is a little spice to stimulate and motivate! That's why Chai was invented! Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and clove, all being warming and fiery in nature, increase Agni (digestive fire), cleanse the senses, clean blockages from the gut and stimulate digestion and gut movement - all in all making them the perfect addition to your morning drink, cereal, porridge or other breakfast.
The tea... Have you ever had a cup of coffee instead of breakfast? Or tipped down that double espresso on an empty stomach and felt awful? That's because caffeine is pretty strong stuff and unless you are a solid kapha type, having tea and coffee first thing is going to cause some pretty nasty effects (including everything from gas, bloating and weakness to diarrhoea, long-term constipation and caffeine dependency). So, as many of you are needing to shed a few pounds after lockdown (covid stone anyone?) or are joining the ancient Ayurvedic intermittent fasting band wagon and breaking their fast with a cuppa, we created this recipe so you can start your day right - with proper nourishment, easy to digest spices and caffeine free goodness.
Added bonus - Rooibos tea comes with a host of its very own health benefits including (according to healthline) being low in tannins (which impact nutrient absorption), free from caffeine (which causes the problems outlined), free from oxalic acid (which can contribute to kidney stones), is high in antioxidants (boosting the immune system), reduces the risk of cancer and may benefit those with heart disease and diabetes - looks like a winner to me!
The sugar/sweetener.... Sugar is a killer; we know it yet we pretend we don't know it. We pretend not to know it every day when we add a spoon (or 6?!) to our tea, coffee and lord knows what else. But there is good news! It's not that hard to swap to something else, we promise! We made the move to coconut sugar and date syrup 2 years ago and haven't looked back, they are delicious and (yes, we really did say this) actually nutritious. Rather than being empty calories, sugar alternatives can actually contribute to your daily dose of vitamins - it really is worth looking into!
Faith's Warming Autumnal Vegan Oat Soy Chai (makes 2 cups)
250ml Oat milk (we like Oatly)
250ml Soy Milk (we prefer Alpro for this, it doesn't boil over as easily)
2 rooibos tea bags/2 tsp leaves. Or, if you want caffeine, normal tea is fine
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 cloves crumbled
1/3 tsp nutmeg
Coconut blossom sugar or date syrup
Soy Oat Rooibus Chai - Cooking Instructions
Choose a medium sized pan (ideally with a measurements in millilitres etched inside)
Shake your soy and oat milk to mix evenly and measure using a measuring jug
Add the soy milk, oat milk and water to a pan
Add the tea bags or loose tea (unless using black tea, add this after 15 minutes or it will be very dark and bitter)
Add the spices into the pan and whisk until they are all mixed well with the milk and water
Put the pan on a medium heat and heat the mixture until it boils, watching carefully to see if you need to adjust the temperature. You want it to be cooking on a low (not too slow) bubble without it boiling over
Leave to cook for 20-30 minutes (depending on heat) or until it has reduced by half to 390ml (give or take)
If you like a fluffy head on top, whisk for 2 minutes, soy milk gets nice and bubbly!
Add you preferred sweetener (we just love coconut sugar!!)
Sprinkle with cinnamon, curl up and enjoy :)
Loving this and want to learn more?
EATING Ayurveda: 🎃Need inspiration on what to cook in Autumn? Check out our Autumn Recipes here
Not sure where to start with organic? Check out the amazing, incredible RIVERFORD FARM - they stole my heart many years ago for being a beautiful, authentic, ethical, democratically-run business with the best interest of the planet and farming at heart.
Living Ayurveda: 🎃Do you want to know how to stay healthy and well this Autumn? Check out our Autumn Lifestyle tips here
LEARNING Ayurveda: ✅ Do you want to learn more about Ayurveda? Want to know about your mind body type and imbalances, your Agni (digestive fire) type, your mind type, how to detox and the best daily and seasonal routines for you? Join our next Introduction to Ayurveda for Self-Healing Course.
GROWING with Ayurveda: 🤝 Do you want a whole unique meal-plan created just for you with foods specific to you, your Agni and your dosha? Or, could you really do with some 1-2-1 support on diet or a health related issue? - Contact Faith at email@example.com
NEWS: 📰Want our blogs straight to your inbox at the end of every month? Subscribe to our mailing list and we'll make sure you never miss a thing!
#vegan #caffeinefree #ayurvedadrinks #weightlossdrinks #spices #ayurvedicspices #learnayurveda #ayurvedicliving #ayurvediceating #ayurvedacooking #healthyeating #chairecipe #veganchai #planetbased #vegandrinks #healthrecipe #healingfood #spices #guthealth #lowercholesterol #loseweight #autumnrecipe #dosha #ayurveda #kapha #vata #pitta #bodytype #agni #agnirecipe #nutritionrecipe #nutrition #dietfood #weightloss #lowcalorie #homecooking #eatwell #losebellyfat #healthyheart #wellbeing #fitness #ayurvedarecipe #vatapacifyingrecipes #kaphapacifyingrecipes #pittapacifyuingrecipes #intermittentfasting