Chai Tea Fauxccino (Paleo-friendly)

ChaiTeaFauxccinoNG2

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Bold and spicy chai with just a hint of sweetness, it’s icy perfection mingling with creamy milk; the perfect chai latte summer style. I love tea –if you couldn’t guess – but there are some days, like today, with temps reaching over triple digits that I just can’t do it. That’s where this awesome chai tea “fauxccino” comes in. It cools you off while still giving you that rich and delicious flavor of the chai tea we know and love. If you are frappe fan you also might like this Salted Carmel Mocha Fauxccinno or this Peppermint Mocha Fauxccino.

Chai actually means “tea” in Hindi but I think at this point we are so used to calling it “Chai Tea” that I doubt that we can go back to just calling it chai. Most frappe drinks call for ice cubes, I have never liked how diluted an iced beverage would get as the ice started to melt. A new trick I have started doing is making ice cubes of strong coffee or in this case chai concentrate. It is as simple as pouring your coffee/chai into an ice tray and freezing until solid. You can also read about how to make them here. In my opinion it really ups the flavor of my fauxccinos and iced coffees.

This chai tea fauxccino is so simple to make and hits the spot on a hot day! I used my own chai concentrate to make my chai ice cubes but Kimi has a recipe using rooibos that I am sure is wonderful as well. My concentrate already has a bit of sweetener in it so if you are like me you may find that you don’t need any additional sweetener. Feel free to make your drink a bit more “fancy” by adding vanilla whipped cream (or coconut whipped cream, bittersweet chocolate syrup or salted caramel sauce). Drinking it plain is fine too and what I normally do. If you want perfect whipped cream using an  (Affiliate link) ISI Whipped Cream Dispenser is very helpful and fun.

Other chai inspired recipes:

Chai Tea Fauxccino
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 1-2
 
Bold and spicy chai with just a hint of sweetness, it's icy perfection mingling with creamy milk; the perfect chai latte summer style.This chai tea fauxccino is so simple to make and hits the spot on a hot day! I used my own chai concentrate to my chai ice cubes but Kimi has a recipe using rooibos that I am sure is wonderful as well.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the chai ice cubes, milk and sweetener into a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce or chocolate syrup if desired.

 

Honeydew-Lime Electrolyte Drink

Honeydew-Lime Electrolyte Drink

Last day to enter this giveaway from Mighty Nest! Plus, you also get an entry for a $500 gift card when you enter the giveaway! 

Nothing makes sweet, potassium-rich honeydew come alive like a squeeze of sour lime! I absolutely love this combination of flavors. Here they are juiced and lightened up with an equal part water then spiked with a pinch of sea salt for an electrolyte drink that really hydrates on a sizzling summer day.

And ya’ll (you guys, mes amis) it is gonna be a hot one! I’m reminded every time I glimpse the forest land in our Georgia backyard. It is exceptionally lush for this time of year, wildly abundant with its teeming underbrush, both ominous (poison ivy) and delightful (honeysuckle! muscadine!) … A sure sign of many steamy days to come.

Honeydew Lime Electrolyte Drink

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals we have in our bodies that carry an electric (ionic) charge, allowing them to perform important functions such as muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and the movement of fluids throughout the body. Common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, sulphur and phosphorous.

Being in the heat, exercise, nursing, certain health conditions and medications as well as an imbalanced diet are ways that we can become depleted. Sodium and potassium are usually the first to go resulting in a dehydration that water alone may not be able to quench. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of electrolytes and I also find it helpful (and fun) to make my own mineral-rich drinks when I really need something to hit the spot.

(Important note: Dehydration can also signal that your electrolyte levels are too high. If you are having trouble keeping your fluids balanced, talk with your doctor to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.)

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Good uses I’ve found for electrolyte drinks

  • Several years ago while nursing, I found myself in a state of low-level chronic dehydration. I just couldn’t seem to rise up out of it and I was really dragging. I decided to try “coconut water therapy” and sipped on it for three days (about 32 oz. a day) and felt totally renewed! (Kimi notes: A naturopathic doctor recommended this therapy to me as well when sick, and it worked wonders! I got a case of this brand .)
  • My 7-yr old son is very athletic, always dribbling the basketball or challenging me to a game of dodgeball in the sun (he always wins). He drinks a lot of water, but occasionally I whip up one of these for him to have in between meals when he’s not getting electrolytes from food.
  • My 3-yr old daughter is not a lover of fruit and doesn’t naturally drink a lot of water – I have to prompt her throughout the day or she can easily become mildly dehydrated. She does, however, love fresh-pressed juices, smoothies and electrolyte drinks.
  • As far as stomach bugs go, I don’t generally pump my kids (or myself) with fluids during the acute stage of the illness. I wait until the stomach is less eruptive and hydrate them when they are able to keep things down/in. I started doing this based on my pediatrician’s recommendation and I find they recover much more quickly this way. Once the worst is over, they are able to replenish their fluids efficiently and effectively instead of the symptoms being drawn out. (This may not be best for your child and your particular situation. Always discuss things first with your pediatrician – dehydration is a serious matter.)

Honeydew Lime Electrolyte Drink

Electrolyte Drink Ideas

Sip these on the porch or turn them into popsicles and always have instant hydration on hand!

Why not store-bought sports drinks?

Besides the obvious overload of refined sugar and additives, I don’t like to confuse my palate (and especially not my children’s) with manmade flavors. Even the “naturally flavored” varieties are likely laced with unlabeled MSG, an ingredient we try to avoid because I believe it throws the taste buds off balance and has long-term ramifications.

Juicer Recommendation and “What if I don’t have a juicer?”

I use a Champion juicer that my dad bought a couple of decades ago and later gave to me. It still works perfectly and (knock on wood) I think it still has several decades left in it. My friend bought a 1970′s Champion (in a fun vintage mustard color) on e-bay for $70. Talk about holding its value! And the design hasn’t changed much so I believe she can purchase replacement parts right off of Amazon. Potential cons of the Champion is that it produces some heat and has a lot of parts to clean, but  a plus is that it protects the juice from air exposure so in that regard it preserves the antioxidants well. And I don’t mind the cleanup – it’s an easy rinse off and I’m used to it.

Kimi Notes: I use this juicer and really love it (it keeps juice cool and is easy to clean). This one by the same brand is actually a little cheaper and has even higher Amazon ratings. My sister owns the later model and loves it.

BUT if you don’t have a juicer and aren’t ready to invest in one, you can simply combine the melon chunks, water and sea salt in a blender! See the recipe note for proportions.

Honeydew-Lime Electrolyte Drink
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1-2
 
This refreshing summer drink contains potassium (honeydew) and sodium (sea salt) for deep hydration!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups honeydew chunks
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 good pinch unrefined salt (up to a scant ¼ teaspoon to taste)
Instructions
  1. Juice together the honeydew and lime. Combine with the water and stir in the salt until dissolved. Serve over ice.
Notes
If you don't have a juicer, no problem. Juice the lime with a citrus juicer. In the blender, combine the lime juice with 1.5 cups honeydew chunks, 2 cups water and a pinch of salt.

 

Healthy Strawberry Lemonade (Stevia-Sweetened)

Healthy Strawberry Lemonade

Tart lemons and sweet strawberries, are gently sweetened with stevia in this simple, but lovely strawberry lemonade for a delicious beverage. Lemonade is a very fun and delicious way to get some vitamin C. Strawberries increases the vitamin C content, and adds other antioxidants as well. I like to get my vitamins from food as much as possible, instead of depending on supplements, so this is a great way to give myself a boost of vitamin C. Dr. Price also considered vitamin C content important for a healthy diet!

Lemonade is one of my favorite drinks, but I don’t do well with the usual high sugar content of lemonade, even the more natural ones. Stevia does well with lemon, and doesn’t raise your blood sugar,  so is perfect for my needs (read my back-in-the-ancient-days blog post about my first ventures with stevia-sweetened lemonade as well). This version with strawberries makes it beautiful in color and taste. Another favorite recipe is this Orange Lemonade Sports Drink. It uses just a small amount of raw honey (or you could use organic cane sugar), and is delicious as well. A great option for a stevia-free version. :-)

Disclaimer: Post contains some affiliate links

What stevia brand you use will definitely make a difference.

My current preference is to buy a stevia that is not heavily processed. I used Now Stevia #amazonaffiliate in this recipe. It doesn’t have a bitter taste, and it is specifically made to contain the whole leaf extract, and then is enzymatically treated to remove the any bitterness. It does have a very sweet, but slightly herbal taste, which some may not like as well (though note that in a recipe like this, the lemons and strawberries hide the stevia taste a great deal). A brand that I’ve used with a lot of success that is more processed, but not herbal tasting is NuNaturals. I use stevia so little that I’ve had the same bottle for a couple of years, and I’ve heard they changed the formula around a little recently, but it’s still good, I believe. On the under end of the spectrum is this stevia liquid concentrate that is not processed at all. This will have the strongest taste (I haven’t tried it yet, but will try order a bottle soon to taste-test!). The whole stevia debate is a little beyond the scope of this article, but I will be writing the arguments surrounding stevia soon. So stay tuned for that!

If you don’t want to use stevia in your strawberry lemonade, I recommend making simple syrup with organic cane sugar, or a honey simple syrup, and using that to sweeten to taste. It will be delicious that way as well.

Strawberry Lemonade (Stevia-Sweetened)
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Total time:
 
How sweet your strawberries are will make a difference in how much stevia you need to use. Start low, and creep up until it’s just right (it’s easy to overdo stevia, as it’s so concentrated!). I used my Blendtec to blend this, if you find it too pulpy, or seed-y when using a regular blender, you can always pour through a fine sieve before adding the 5 cups of water.
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces strawberries (if frozen, defrosted), about 15 large strawberries, stemmed if fresh
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 30-50 drops liquid stevia
Instructions
  1. Combine the strawberries, 2 cups of water, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until very smooth.
  2. Add the five cups of water, and then sweeten to taste with the liquid stevia, starting low and working up, stirring well before taste-testing. Serve chilled or over ice.

 Other Beverage Recipes on The Nourishing Gourmet: 

Beet Kvass: A Cleansing, Medicinal Tonic

beet kvass

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Some of the most beautiful stains on my cutting board are from beets. Tangy, earthy, salty, and a little bit of fizz perfectly describe this deeply nourishing, and richly medicinal, fermented beet kvass tonic. It’s an acquired taste, which I have slowly become accustomed to, and I have fallen head over heels for this blood red drink. Traditionally, tonics like this supplemented the daily diet, instead of supplement pills. 

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Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions says (page 610): “This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

According to this article by the Weston A. Price Foundation, kvass originated in Russia and was traditionally made with stale sourdough rye bread. It boasted of great immune boosting qualities, and although it wasn’t an alcoholic drink, it was similar to beer in taste. Kvass can also be made with beets, and traditional homes in the Ukraine always had a bottle on hand. It was often used as a tangy addition in soups, vinaigrettes, and borscht.

The health benefits of lacto-fermented food are undeniable. As chopped beets mix with sea salt, the sugar and starch convert to lactic-acid perfectly preserving the kvass. The finished drink is full of beneficial enzymes, friendly probiotic bacteria, and increased vitamin levels. Regularly eating lacto-fermented vegetables, or incorporating beet kvass into your diet, will promote healthy gut flora, and greater absorption of nutrients from your food.

The first time I made beet kvass, I used Sally Fallon’s recipe in Nourishing Traditions which calls for the addition of whey to inoculate the mixture. We don’t eat much dairy in our home, so I opted to double the salt, and ferment my kvass for longer than the recommended two days. The end result was way too salty! However, after it sat in the refrigerator for a few more days, the saltiness diminished quite a bit, and I was able to drink it and enjoy it.

Wild fermentation is truly an art, and takes a little trial and error. In recent months I experimented with decreasing the amount of salt in my kvass while still using enough to allow proper fermentation to take place. My most recent batch was the fizziest yet and absolutely delicious! Depending on the time of year, and the temperature inside your home, your kvass may need anywhere from 2-7 days to ferment. This winter I’ve been allowing mine to sit at room temperature for a full week before putting it in the refrigerator.

Fermentation Vessel Choice

There has been some debate about what the best vessel is for lacto-fermentation. Wardee at GNOWFGLINS breaks down some great options. I personally have always used a mason jar with a metal band and lid. None of my ferments have ever gotten moldy (mold isn’t necessarily a bad thing), and I typically burp them once a day to release the pressure that builds up. This works for me, but it’s good to explore other options that may better suit your personal preferences.

Foam/Scum on Top

A few times my kvass has developed a thin layer of white or brown foam at the top. It’s harmless, and I typically scoop it out with a spoon before putting my jar in the refrigerator.

Filtered Water

It’s very important to use filtered water, free from chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. These chemicals are typically present in tap water and can prevent your kvass from fermenting properly. I have been using a Berkey filter  for two years now, and love it.

Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt is my salt of choice. It’s unrefined and packed full of nutrients and trace minerals. Standard table salt has iodine added to it, which could inhibit the growth of beneficial bacteria. Table salt is not a good choice for fermenting beet kvass, so it’s best to go with an unrefined sea salt.

How will I know when my beet kvass is ready?

When the kvass is a deep red color, and you see fizzy bubbles moving upwards in the jar, it’s good for drinking! It should smell earthy and salty, like beets. If it smells rancid, throw it out. Your nose will know, so don’t drink anything that smells off. If your home is fairly warm (over 72 F), your kvass is likely ferment quickly, so keep an eye on it. I let mine go for a week during the winter, and only a few days during the warmer months.

You can also use your beets for a second, weaker batch. Save about half a cup of the kvass in your jar as a “starter”, fill it with filtered water again, and set it out on your counter for a few days. Your kvass will last for many months in the refrigerator.

Other Uses

You can use your kvass in place of vinegar for salad dressings, or as a tangy addition to soups. Be sure to reduce any additional salt in your recipe! A recent favorite of mine is adding beet kvass to Kimi’s everyday salad dressing recipe in place of apple cider vinegar. The color is beautiful!

Beet Kvass Vinaigrette

Other Lacto-fermented Recipes:

Beet Kvass
 
Author:
Recipe type: Medicinal Tonic
 
Beet Kvass is a medicinal tonic that cleanses the blood, liver, and promotes healthy digestion. Enjoy 4 ounces of this drink in the morning and evening. This recipe makes one half gallon jar, or two quart sized jars.
Ingredients
  • 2 large, or 3-4 medium beets (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • Filtered water
Instructions
  1. Peel your beets, and chop them up coarsely (1-2 inch chunks). Do not grate your beets! This will cause your kvass to ferment too rapidly, producing alcohol rather than lactic-acid (Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, page 610)
  2. Put your chopped beets in your jar, or divide them equally between two quart sized jars
  3. Sprinkle the sea salt on top of your beets
  4. Fill your jar with filtered water, leaving about an inch at the top for headspace, and stir the contents well
  5. Secure the lid, and leave it on your counter for 2-7 days before moving it to the refrigerator