This summer seems never ending. Its late September but still hot as a sauna here in Southern California! My New England heart craves a change in season, a break in the heat (not to mention that my AC went out over the weekend, but we will save that for another time when we feel like talking about how technology breaks down on me whenever Mercury goes retrograde). Normally around this time I’m breaking out the warm layers and boots but this year it seems to be all about the swimsuits and sundresses.
Today marks the first day day of Fall here in the Northern Hemisphere but the thermometer is still hanging out near the triple digits. Figuring its best to just go with it, we are celebrating the Autumnal Equinox sipping on a nice, iced cold, creamy glass of chai cashew milk. The cashew milk is loaded with plant based protein and the traditional blend of spices is warming and peppery. This drink brings out the flavors of Fall while helping the body eliminate toxins that have built up over the summer months. Cardamom is often consumed for it diuretic properties and its help in cleaning out the kidneys and urinary tract. Ginger and fennel are beneficial for relieving gas and indigestion (any Mamas out there use gripe water? Yep, ginger + fennel.) Enjoying this milk poured over ice makes this the perfect transitional treat, cooling us down and helping us welcome the new season with a sense of balance and ease.
Chai Cashew Milk
vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
(if making your own cashew milk)
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours (or overnight)
8 cups of filtered water
1 vanilla bean, cut + scraped
dash of sea salt
4 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
4 cups cashew milk
1/4 cup cardamom pods, cracked open
4-5 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly cubed
8 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
Drain cashews and add them to a blender along with water, vanilla bean, salt, and sweetener. Blend everything until smooth and then use a nut milk bag to separate the pulp from cashew milk. This is delicious as is, but just wait!
chai infused cashew milk
In a medium saucepan add 4 cups of cashew milk and masala chai spice mix. Bring to a simmer, making sure to whisk as it heats to avoid scalding the milk. Once simmering, bring heat to low and continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow spices to infuse the cashew milk for 3-4 more minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or strainer and serve warm with a dash of cinnamon on top. If it’s still hitting the triple digits where you’re from like it is for us, allow the cashew milk to cool and then serve over ice!