Chocolate Pleasures

 Delicious spice chocolate chai

Delicious spice chocolate chai

Chocolate Chai

Makes: 4 servings

This recipe combines cinnamon, ginger and cloves with rich cocoa for a warm spicedendto a delicious meal. research shows that the antioxidants in tea and chocolate may improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure.

Ingredients:

4 cardamom pods, cracked

1 (4-inch) piece cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon anise seed

2 -4 (1/4-inch,) slices fresh ginger, peeled*

2 cups water

2 black tea bags

2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened almond or soymilk

3 tablespoon agave syrup, honey or stevia, or to taste

Place cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise seed and ginger in medium saucepan, add 2 cups water, and place over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer,cover, and steep over low medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add tea bags, cover and steep for 4 minutes. Remove tea bags, cover, and steep brewed tea with spices for 20 minutes. Strain to remove spices, and return spiced tea to saucepan.

 

In small bowl, whisk cocoa with 1/4 cup of hot tea until dissolved, then add to tea.  Mix in vanilla, and almond or soymilk. Heat chai over medium-high heat until steaming.Sweeten to taste then pour into mugs. or divide chai among 4 mugs and sweeten it to taste individually.

Note: Ginger root varies in thickness. If you have a fat piece, 2 slices may be enough.

 

Spiced Hot Cocoa

 Spiced Hot Cocoa

Spiced Hot Cocoa

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

6-8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Dash salt

1/2 cup hot water

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice

3 cups 1% milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In medium saucepan, combine first 6 ingredients; simmer 2 minutes. Add milk; heat to boil and quickly remove from heat. Add vanilla and pour into mugs, serve hot. 

To make in mugs: combine 1 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, dash salt, cinnamon, allspiceand 2 tablespoons hot water, dash ineach mug. Heat milk; pour into mugs; mix well.