Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gluten-Free Fall Specials: Vanilla Protein Chai from The Crazy Kitchen

Today's Gluten-Free Fall Special comes to you courtesy of Chelsey at The Crazy Kitchen. One thing that I love about Chelsey's blog is that she shares mouthwatering recipes like her recent Fresh Blackberry Tart, but she also admits that with three children, she needs simple, fast solutions to staying healthy. So for those days when there's no time to bake something from scratch, she gives us recipes like her Power Wake-Up Strawberry Banana Shake and today's protein packed Vanilla Chai. I've never made chai before, but after seeing her pictures, I think it's about time I start. This would make a perfect start for a chilly Fall Seattle morning...

September is a CRAZY month.  Last week my calendar was empty and now each day wants to be three times booked.  Does that sound familiar to you?  Perhaps you too are feeling the hustle and bustle of activities, school and new routines tidal wave into your life.

It's busy times like these when we are most likely to eat junk food to compensate for our hectic schedules.  Just the other day I felt the full weight of my new routine heavy on my shoulders. The real weight translated into me eating two pieces of cake and a chocolate bar....What?  I never eat like that....  I love to make home cooked meals with vegetables at every sitting.  Somehow stress makes me run for the panic button.  When I hit it, it sends up the white flag and I surrender my healthy attempts at eating and change sides with the bad guys.

Luckily I don't have to succumb to my fate of eating junk just because I am temporarily over-extended.  I can make a choice to eat healthy with a little preparation the day before.  My best ally is my planning skills, and it only translates into a few minutes of time each day to birth a stress-less day for the next morning.  If I plan the evening before what I am going to eat rather than deciding at the fridge or pantry the next day, I eat well.  Eating well makes me feel good and diffuses the stress.  When the stress is diffused I have no desire to hit the panic button: life is good!  On the flip side, eating crap makes me feel like garbage, feeling like garbage adds more stress in my life, and the more stress I have, the more I hit the panic button.  It's the cycle of junk, it's my choice and let's be honest, who wants to live on the dark side?

Three o'clock is often the turning point in my day.  If I am tired and hungry without plans for a snack, I instinctively go for the junk food, so I make sure to plan a snack that is satisfying and healthy to eat every day.  Hands down my favorite planned mid afternoon snack is my Vanilla Protein Chai.  It is one of those recipes that keeps the weight off my hips and also happens to be tasty to my lips.   If you are trying to lose weight, or maintain your weight this snack is a life saver.  It's a sweet treat full of protein that will dazzle your taste buds, and keep your energy levels steady.  Feeling satisfied keeps you ready to take on the rest of the day and maintain healthy eating.

This recipe makes enough for three servings, so that way you have an afternoon snack for three days that you don't have to think about (plus it is sooo good, I never tire of it).  This is a treat, yet it's healthy....  I guarantee you'll love it.  It is also kid friendly.  My daughter requests me to make this for her all the time (with caffeine free Rooibos Chai tea).  So if you have some picky eaters in the house, perhaps they would enjoy a cup of Vanilla Protien Chai along with you.


Vanilla Protein Chai

makes 3 servings (1 1/2 cups each)
an original recipe by Chelsey Beda

Time estimate: 15 minutes


1 1/2 cups of water
3 chai tea bags(or 1 1/2 Tbs. loose chai tea)
2 Tbs. brown sugar
6 drops Liquid Stevia

2 slices of ginger (quarter sized) squashed with the butt of your knife
the seeds of 3 green cardamon pods

3 cups of Soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of liquid egg whites (I buy the carton of liquid egg whites in the refrigerator section of the grocery store - it's pasteurized so you won't catch anything scary!)
-Bring the three chai tea bags, 1 1/2 half cups of water, 2 Tbs. of brown sugar, and six drops of liquid stevia to a boil.  Reduce temperature to medium and set your timer for five minutes.

-When the timer beeps, add 3 cups of soy milk, 2 ginger coins and the cardamon seeds.  Keep the heat on medium and slowly warm the milk.

-When the soy milk comes to a boil, strain the tea bags and loose spices.  Add the tsp. of vanilla extract.  I like to store the chai in a clean wine bottle.  Cool in the refrigerator.  

-When you're ready to pack/eat your snack, add 1/3 cup of liquid egg whites to 1 1/3 cup of the brewed chai.  Serve cold and drink right away.  If you desire a hot beverage, warm the chai and then add a little of the hot chai to the egg whites stirring, and immediately pour the egg white mixture into the chai.

 Bon Appetit!

Chelsey is the author of The Crazy Kitchen. She shares gluten-free recipes with her readers, and hosts a monthly roundup of recipes from gluten-free bloggers.

Thank you, Chelsey, for giving me a new snack idea to keep me going once I'm back in school! On Thursday, we'll be featuring a savory meal from Alta at Tasty Eats At Home. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!


Sophie said...

What a delightful drink,..so special too!

Thanks for sharing it with us!


Gluten & Fibro Free said...

Looks yummy, thanks for sharing!

Alea said...

My daughter loves chai tea and I am always looking for ways to up her protein consuption. This may just be the perfect breakfast tea!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I love chai tea, so this sounds lovely!

Aubree Cherie said...

YUM Chelsea!!! I've not had chai in so long, this would be a great way to re-introduce it :)

~Aubree Cherie

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Oh, I love the thoughts and recipes that come out of Chelsey's Crazy Kitchen! :-) They are never crazy at all, but always just what I am looking for! Some of these ingredients I've never used before, but I'd love to give this a try. Thanks so much for this great recipe, Chelsey, and also for the reminder on planning and the killer make-or-break you 3:00 hour! ;-)



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