This delicious dairy-free chocolate chai was birthed out of an age-old dilemma– do I want a hot chocolate or do I want a chai latte? Decisions, decisions.
Since removing refined sugars and lactose from my diet, I have been missing chai lattes dearly. A couple of months ago I decided to start experimenting with making my own homemade version with coconut milk and I was surprised at how delicious (and easy to make) the homemade version is. I also occasionally crave a creamy hot chocolate, which I make with natural sugars and coconut milk as well. This recipe is the love child of these 2 decadent drinks.
I do want to note that this recipe contains NO tea, which is abnormal for a chai latte. When I make a chai latte on its own I either use decaffeinated black tea (I’m caffeine free) or rooibos tea (a herbal tea that tastes very similar to black tea). I have omitted tea altogether for this recipe because I don’t think the flavors need it, but feel free to include a tea bag in during your steeping time if you would like.
This recipe is designed to offer a hint of hot chocolate flavor and a hint of chai latte flavor. Neither flavor is overpowering here. I suggest you taste the tea portion before making the latte and adjust the flavors to suit your taste- an extra teaspoon of cocoa, some extra chai spices, etc. If you don’t have all of the spices, it’s okay! Cardamom and cinnamon are the very “chai” flavors in my opinion, but any of these spices will go nice with the chocolatey flavor so work with what you’ve got.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (BPA and additive free, preferably)
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of vanilla bean powder (optional)
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa or cacao
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (2 tablespoons for semi-sweet, 3 tablespoons for a sweet treat)
- Place 2 small/medium sized saucepans on the stove. Pour the 1 cup of coconut milk in 1 and 2 cups of water in the other. Warm the water over medium/high heat and add in all of the other ingredients. Keep the "tea" mixture at a gentle simmer for 5-8 minutes (depending on your patience level), whisking frequently to keep the spices from clumping.
- Remove the tea mixture from heat and warm the coconut milk over medium/high heat until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to froth up the milk. For me this usually takes about 45 seconds using my immersion blender on a low-medium setting.
- Strain the tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve and separate evenly into 2 cups/mugs.
- Add half of the frothy coconut milk to one cup/mug, then the other, and give them a gentle stir to mix it all up. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon, if you wish, and enjoy!
To make this recipe AIP-compliant, replace cocoa with toasted carob powder and use 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ginger for the spices.