LAVENDER CHAI TEA - CONCENTRATE

LAVENDER CHAI TEA

Hello world and welcome to my new domain simple-veganista.com! There's no going back now....it's all forward from here. I'm currently in the process of changing things up, a few things will have to start anew. A new website is on its way and I hope to have it up and running soon. It's long overdue and I'm soooo excited for what the future holds. I have lots of ideas for us all and can't wait to get started!

So on we go...

Ready to try something a little different with your chai tea? 

How about adding a little lavender to the brew! It's my new favorite ingredient and will add that little something extra to the ordinary. 

LAVENDER CHAI TEA: CULINARY LAVENDER

Inspired a few weeks ago while visiting my mom, I took what few stems were left of her culinary lavender. Once home I googled and came across a few recipes for lavender chai tea. I was especially interested in making a chai tea concentrate. I love the idea of making it like this. Have some now and store the rest for later. And with summer here, an iced lavender chai tea was the perfect antidote! The floral notes of the lavender pair well with all the wonderful flavors of this chai tea. Its an unusual mix that works!

Be inspired and add some lavender to your pantry essentials. I ran out of the lavender I picked up from my mom while testing this recipe and purchased some here (it's the lavender pictured above). It comes in a large enough size that will last a loooong time. I've also recently used some in a quinoa & white bean soup and hope to have the recipe up soon. It was so good! I will definitely be adding more recipes that include lavender in the future. 

LAVENDER CHAI TEA

Gather your ingredients and let's make tea!

LAVENDER CHAI TEALAVENDER CHAI TEALAVENDER CHAI TEA

Once ready, strain tea into your container of choice. Serve with non-dairy milk in whatever ratio you like. This concentrate works really great for making iced chai tea. Once chilled in the fridge it's so easy to pour over ice, add milk and serve. Icy perfection! There's a little more work when serving hot but it's worth the extra step. Serve however you prefer. You may even like to make a double batch. 

LAVENDER CHAI TEA

LAVENDER CHAI TEA

Ingredients
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 3 black tea bags or 3 tablespoons loose 
  • 1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks 
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon culinary lavender
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger or 1/2 inch piece fresh, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom or 3 whole pods, lightly crushed (optional)
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add tea, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, lavender, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn of heat and let cool 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add vanilla and maple syrup, give a good stir. Strain out the large ingredients and place in container of choice.

In a glass or mug/cup, pour tea concentrate to about 1/3 - 1/2 full, fill remaining with water or milk.

Serve warm or iced.

Store leftover tea in the refrigerator, use within one week.

Makes about 4 - 6 servings. 

Notes:

If you don't want to use all these ingredients, try using chai tea bags instead.

For the tea I used 2 black tea bags and one orange pekoe. I recommend going with the strongest black tea you can find since this is a concentrate.




....

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

Summertime, berries and a salad!

It's a perfect match. This is the time of year for light, fresh foods. Finding myself hungry, I grabbed some berries and spinach from the fridge. Pulled out the quinoa from the pantry, made a small batch. Then I threw it all together along with slivered almonds and a citrus dressing. It was light, refreshing and nutrient dense. I was a happy girl! I absolutely adore quinoa (and berries, and spinach) and am so glad to have this added to the recipe collection. I will be visiting this salad often. I highly recommend that you do too!

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

It's super easy and delicious. Nothing complicating here, just pure and simple. 

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

Welcome summertime and enjoy the lighter side of life!

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

SPINACH + BERRY QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 oz. baby spinach (about 5 cups)
  • 1 heaping cup blueberries
  • 1 heaping cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • sliced avocado, optional

Citrus Dressing
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • pinch of mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, optional 

In a small pot, add quinoa and water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let rest for 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and mix well.

In a large bowl add the spinach, quinoa, blueberries, strawberries and slivered almonds. Pour dressing over top and toss well to coat.

Serve at room temperature or chilled in individual bowls with optional sliced avocado and a little extra slivered almonds on top.

Serves 2 - 3.

Notes:

Feel free to use part lemon juice and part orange juice for the dressing.