This recipe encompasses two of my all-time favorite flavors – chocolate and chai. Now for those of you who don’t know what chai is, here’s a brief explanation:
The word “chai” simply means a mixed spiced tea. In some countries the word “chai” means tea so when ordering a Chai tea at your local tea shop, you are actually asking for “tea tea.” The main ingredients are black tea, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and peppercorns. It is a highly aromatic, sweet-smelling tea that makes me think of Christmas. In fact, it is my absolute favorite tea during the winter months. The traditional preparation involves adding steamed milk to the freshly brewed cup of tea along with any other sweetener. Some like honey, which adds a mellowed sweetness. I drink it using fresh half-and-half creamer and artificial sweetener like Stevia or Splenda, whichever I happen to have on hand. Anyway, back to the original recipe.
Chocolate Chai Energy Oatmeal
1 cup of milk, (your choice of milk, soy, almond milk or coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed chocolate chai tea, (I use loose tea for the concentrated flavor).
1 heaping tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa
2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter or almond or cashew butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts, optional
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
Stevia, to taste, optional
Whipped Cream, optional
Put the loose chai tea in a cup and add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Allow to steep 15 minutes. Pour the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. While the tea is steeping, add the cocoa to the milk mixture in the pan, stir well. When the tea has steeped, pour the tea mixture through a strainer into the milk and cocoa in the saucepan. When the liquids are hot and almost boiling, add the oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal, stirring often. When the oatmeal is cooked, remove from the heat and add the peanut butter and the nuts. Stir. Distribute the oatmeal between two bowls. Add the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and the Stevia, mix well and then top with whipped cream. Makes two servings.
The oatmeal provides fiber that encourages slow digesting and stabilizes blood glucose levels. The complex carbohydrates offer a good source of energy. Cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants. The nuts offer vitamins B and E, fiber and essential minerals. Chai tea is rich in antioxidants and can improve overall health. The mini semi-sweet chocolate chips offer the same benefits as the cocoa, and adds some sweetness. Stevia is a plant that is native from South America as a natural sweetener. The caffeine from the Chai tea can give you a little boost of energy to get up and get moving.
***Yes, I’m aware of the current Splenda controversy. Some people cannot tolerate Splenda at all. For those of you that can’t, simply don’t use it. For those of you who don’t have any negative side effects, use at your own discretion.
****I have not been paid or compensated by any person or business for the use of any ingredients mentioned above. If you have any questions regarding the nutritional values either pre-surgery or post-surgery, please refer to your bariatric surgeon or nutritionist.