Teas are well-loved all over the world for their delicious flavors, fragrant aroma and health benefits. Chai tea possesses all of these qualities. Its origins can be traced to India,1,2 but it has become popular around the world, with cafes and restaurants offering various chai beverages3 and companies producing premade tea bags4 and concentrates.5
Chai tea tastes marvelous on its own, but it also pairs well with custards and baked goods.6 You can also incorporate it into a snack, just like in this recipe from Naturally Savvy. These muffins are infused with the goodness of chai and can be eaten as a tasty snack or a filling breakfast. If you’re looking for another way to consume chai or simply want to enjoy its flavor in a different form, try making these muffins and share them with your coworkers or friends.
Chai Tea Muffins Recipe
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 spiced chai tea bags
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 organic cage-free eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup equivalent of monk fruit sweetener
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- In a medium sauce pot bring coconut milk to a simmer. Add tea bags and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 15-plus minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Strain the coconut milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Put all the dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until well-combined.
- Divide the batter into a lined muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins have set and a toothpick comes out clean.
What Are the Health Benefits of Chai?
The word “chai” translates to “tea” in Hindi, so chai tea actually translates to “tea tea.” You can simply call this beverage “chai” or “masala chai,” as it’s known in India.
Chai is made by combining black tea with milk and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise and cloves, although you can find varieties containing pepper, coriander, nutmeg and fennel. Some recipes add sugar, but I advise that you avoid using it or instead add healthier sweeteners like raw honey, monk fruit (Luo Han) or stevia.7,8
Black tea, which makes up the bulk of this drink, possesses antioxidant9 and anti-inflammatory10 abilities that may help reduce risk for coronary heart disease,11 lower blood pressure levels12 and assist in preventing weight gain.13 If you want to know more about how black tea is made and what it can do for your health, check out “Black Tea Is Great for Your Gut.” The spices in this tea blend also increase the drink’s nutritional value, and various research has linked them to different health-boosting abilities:
- Cinnamon may deliver antibacterial capabilities,14 help improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels,15,16 lower risk for insulin resistance and decrease fasting blood sugar levels.17,18
- Ginger, a well-loved spice, is known for its antinausea effects.19
- Cardamom may provide antioxidant20 and antibacterial21 abilities.
- Cloves and black pepper both possess antibacterial properties, according to research.22,23,24
If you want to purchase black tea so you can make chai from scratch, only buy from a reputable seller or company that will provide you with information regarding the tea’s processing and packaging methods. Don’t be misled by companies placing “quality” seals on their teas. Unfortunately, this could just be a front to cover up illegal and inhumane practices involved in tea production. For more on this topic, read my article, “The Dark Side of the Global Tea Industry.”
A Note if You Need to Lessen Your Grain or Lectin Intake
Take note that the recipe above uses grain-based flours. While I believe grains can be part of a healthy diet, they must not be consumed in excess or they may trigger health-damaging issues. As much as possible, lessen your net carb intake below 15 to 20 grams daily until you have gained (or even regained) the ability to undergo ketosis or burn fat as your primary fuel. If this amount still isn’t enough for you to be in a state of ketosis, you may want to entirely avoid grain consumption, chai muffins included.
Another reason to be careful about consuming too many grains would be their lectin content. Lectins are a plant protein present in various foods that may provide some benefits, albeit in very small quantities.
However, most lectins act as “antinutrients” (especially in large amounts) since they can resist digestion, negatively affect the balance of your gut bacteria and cause problems within your gut microbiome. Lectins are abundant in wheat and other seeds belonging to the grass family like barley, corn, millet, oats and rye. In particular, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), found in wheat and in the other mentioned seeds, is considered one of the most detrimental lectins.
If you have an autoimmune or inflammatory condition, exercise caution and be careful about consuming high amounts of lectin-rich foods like grains, beans, legumes and nightshade vegetables. Read my “Limit the Lectins” article to know more about what lectins are and how you can prevent some of the adverse effects that have been linked to them.
About Naturally Savvy
Founded by two holistic nutritionists and a trusted expert on healthy living, Naturally Savvy’s main focus is to make sure its readers eat organic and whole foods, while learning how to integrate nutrition into their daily lives. The website shares the latest news on heathy living, lessons about the harmful ingredients lurking in various food items available today and other tips to make you and your family live a happy and healthy life.
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