Homemade vegan chai for an afternoon pick-me-up on Meatless Monday

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No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Beat the heat with a spiced drink with a little hit of caffeine to keep you going. This recipe (inspired by The Joy of Vegan Baking) uses coconut milk and assam breakfast tea to create a smooth-tasting, homemade treat that's cheaper than splurging at a coffee shop.

You will need:

2 1/12 cups water 1 teaspoon cardamom 6 whole black peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 whole cloves 2/3 cup nondairy milk (we like coconut or almond) 4 teaspoons granulated sugar 3 teaspoons loose assam tea 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Bring the water, cardamom, peppercorns, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to a slow boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and let work for ten minutes. 2. Add the milk and sugar and heat back up to a quick simmer. 3. Add the tea, stir thoroughly and turn off the heat. Let steep for four to five minutes. Use a thin tea strainer to remove the peppercorns, cloves, tea leaves and other detritus. Serve warm or chill and then serve over ice; this makes two decent-sized drinks.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.