I’ve given up coffee. It was tough for me. Really tough. I’ve spent the last year sampling soy lattes at every coffee shop in New York City, but the past few months have been trying. Within hours of licking the last bits of froth off my mug, I would always find myself feeling woozy and having cold sweats. Every. Single. Time.
Instead, I’ve had to reinvest in my love for tea.
I really wish I could order chai more often at all my favorite coffee shops. Sadly, most places make theirs from a concentrate or powdered mix that already includes dairy. Bumsville.
Luckily there’s still a way for me to enjoy the chai flavors at home. I recently splurged on a jar of cardamom. I had been scouring the shelves of every gourmet grocer in Manhattan for weeks, but every time I found some, they were priced at no less than $12 a jar. No thanks. Finally, I went to a different Whole Foods location than I normally do, and they had it for about $6. DEAL.
Now I can just chai up everything! Starting with this oatmeal:
Initially, I was planning on making “Chai Applesauce Oatmeal.” However, during the applesauce-making process (which smelled heavenly), I changed my mind and chose to keep the apples whole. If you like the idea of having applesauce stirred into your oatmeal (I bet it’d be wonderful), just mush up the apples after stewing them.
Out of curiosity, do you consider yourself a coffee or a tea person? I definitely go through phases!
What you'll need:
- 2 apples (or 1 large one)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1 and 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup quick cook steel-cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom (optional)
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1/8 tsp salt
How to make it:
- Dice apples. I cut mine into pretty small chunks.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine diced apples, water, spices, and salt. Cover and cook for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring milk (I use 1 c almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add vanilla extract, optional spices, optional maple syrup, and salt. Stir.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, stir in the stewed apples, reserving some for the topping.
- Transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (raisins, shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).