Vegan Bulletproofish Chai
Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Chai Latte
It seems like most places you go people are ditching breakfast and sipping bulletproof coffee in the morning. Advocates swear by it for weight-loss, hunger-management, energy and increased mental alertness. Bullet proof coffee was made popular by Dave Asprey. Asprey branded the products that he promotes making ‘bulletproof’ coffee with and trademarked the name. The coffee is blended with grass-fed butter and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil. The idea of adding butter or oil to coffee or tea is not new. Asprey was inspired to make bulletproof coffee after drinking the infamous yak butter tea that is popular in Nepal.
Coconut oil is crazy popular right now and is being used for everything from a cooking oil to a personal lubricant. Many people will eat it straight off the spoon, but I prefer to have it in something. Coconut oil is digested in liver and triggers the production of ketones, which the body uses for energy, instead of glucose. After sleeping you awaken in a natural state of ketosis (fat burning mode). When you drink bulletproof coffee or tea in the morning instead of a carb loaded breakfast, your metabolism stays in fat burning mode. You will lose weight as the body will burn stored fat, and the ketones are thought to have a calming effect on the brain.
I’ve wanted to try it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tamper with my morning coffee…so I thought I’d try it with tea. My first attempt was to make a decaf green tea with honey, fresh lemon juice and grated ginger…I added coconut oil and blended it…the fresh lemony flavor didn’t pair well with the coconut oil and without a protein it quickly separated leaving each sip to start out with straight oil. Yuck, not exactly my cup of tea (pun intended). I choked down the big cup of it that I’d made as I didn’t want to waste all the good ingredients I used. I decided to try again using a chai tea, coconut oil and coconut milk, the results were amazing, eventually. I’m gonna break here with a side bar about conscious consumerism and responsible retailing:
I got distracted in my tea making after I bought some chai, because I didn’t have any. I bought a Teavana Chai from my local Starbucks. I looked at the tins on display and picked the only chai they had, I paid for it and was handed a rather large box. Well my wallet took the first brutal smack down for a total of 14.95 for 2 ozs, of tea. My commitment to conscious consumerism took a direct hit when I fully assessed the packaging that surrounded the paltry 2ozs of tea. There was a sad little plastic bag of tea, inside of a tin that was 2 times too big for the bag, wrapped in a cardboard sleeve inside[Ma1] of a two part box. They say bad news comes in threes and this one did for sure, because that tea was a hot mess of unbalanced spices and not enough black tea to even tickle my palate. My review of the Teavana Oprah Chai is that it is a weak insipid tea, overpowered by cloves.
My shout out to Teavana is why? What are they doing to reduce over packaging and how do they counsel their customers to recycle their packaging? Everyone’s palate is different and who am I to judge, just because I didn’t like the tea? There are probably all kinds of people who like that tea. And the cost? Well if it tasted amazing, I wouldn’t have minded paying the cost. But the packaging? That’s just too much. The tin is so durable it will undoubtedly be in use in my house for years to come, except I didn’t want a tin to share my retirement with, I wanted a decent cup of tea. Which my very offended self still needed to make.
The main spices in Chai are: cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger. Chai has been made in India for thousands of years, the spices vary by region and season. It’s hard to find an exact recipe for Chai as black tea is usually steeped with water and milk and then a masala of tea spices is added along with sweetener if desired, and everyone has their own recipe, or just makes it up as they go.
Not wanting to make another ill-fated shopping trip I looked through my cupboard and found a jar of pumpkin pie spice, which contains: cinnamon, ginger and allspice. I steeped 2 black tea bags in a cup of water with ½ cup of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of cooked mashed pumpkin, and added 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and a pinch of ground black pepper. The pumpkin was a last minute addition and I thought of it because I used the pumpkin pie spice. I allowed this to simmer very gently for about 5 minutes. Strained the mixture, poured it into the blender with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Bam…that was one heck of a Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte. The comforting spices of chai paired better with the creaminess of the oil and the pumpkin made this oh so smooth. Adding the pumpkin adds some carbs, so it’s not bulletproof with the pumpkin, but it is delicious. You can skip the pumpkin and it will be be carb free. While I’m not sure I’d drink this every day in place of breakfast, it’s a creamy vegan beverage and a good way to add some coconut oil to your diet.