Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vanilla Chai Spiced Ghee + Chai Ghee "Latte" (Whole30 Day 26)


I am so obsessed with ghee.  Ever since I followed Nom Nom Paleo's instructions and made my first batch, it's been a staple in my kitchen.  First of all, it smells amazing.  Second, it's easy to make.  Third, it has a high smoke point, which means it won't burn like butter does during high-heat cooking.  Fourth, it tastes great with everything.  And bonus--it's lactose and casein free.

I've even been putting a teaspoon or so of ghee and coconut oil in my morning coffee (inspired by Stupid Easy Paleo).  After a short blitz with the immersion blender, it's foamy like a latte.  Delicious.  Basically, ghee is saving my Whole30 life.


So, guess what?  It doesn't stop there.  I was inspired by Pure Indian Foods' line of spiced ghee to try adding some spices to my ghee.  I'm also getting some of theirs to try, because it's made with grass-fed butter and sounds amazing.  I'll let you know how it is!

In the meantime, this vanilla chai spiced ghee is going to be helping me spice up my tea and coffee.  I'm also planning to try using it to cook some savory dishes with similar flavor profiles.  And once my Whole30 is over, I probably won't be able to resist using this instead of butter in some kind of paleo dessert.  When I made this, it was too late in the day for a cup of coffee, but I mixed it with some tea for a vanilla chai ghee "latte".  It's rich, comforting tea with a subtle spice--not as creamy as an actual latte, but still pretty amazing.  I can't wait to try some of this ghee in my bulletproof coffee tomorrow morning!


Vanilla Chai Spiced Ghee*
Yield: 3/4 cup (6 ounces)
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cardamom pods, crushed
8 ounces unsalted grass-fed butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

*To make plain ghee, follow the same steps using only butter, without any additional ingredients.

Place the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods in the bottom of a medium saucepan.  It's best to use a light-colored pan because it is much easier to see when the ghee is ready.  Place the saucepan over very low heat and toast the spices just until fragrant, less than one minute (don't walk away!).  Add the remaining ingredients.  Let the butter melt, swirling the pan occasionally.  The butter will begin to sputter and foam.  Cook for 10-20 more minutes, swirling occasionally, until deep golden bits appear all over the bottom of the pan.  If the bits are light golden and only in the center, it's almost ready--let it cook a few more minutes until there are more bits and they're deeper in color, similar to the shade of the cinnamon stick.  As soon as that happens, remove the pan from the heat.

Make sure all your equipment is very clean and dry, because if any moisture gets into the ghee, it can cause it to spoil fast.  Line a fine-mesh strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and place it over a glass bowl or measuring cup (I like to use the cup because it has a pour spout, so I can easily transfer the ghee to a jar).  Carefully pour the ghee mixture through the cheesecloth & strainer, discarding the solid bits.  Your ghee is ready!  Pour it into a jar.  Ghee should keep for several months at room temperature, but I keep mine in the fridge just to be safe.  Make sure to use a clean, dry spoon every time you scoop out some of your ghee!


Vanilla Chai Ghee "Latte"
Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1-3 teaspoons vanilla chai spiced ghee
1 bag of black tea
6-8 ounces hot water
Cinnamon (optional)

Place the vanilla chai spiced ghee and the tea bag in a large mug.  Pour hot water over, and steep for 1-3 minutes or your preferred amount of time.  Remove the tea bag.  For a foamy top, carefully process with an immersion blender (make sure you don't fill the mug all the way to the top if you're going to do this, because it will spill over--half full is ideal).  Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!  Of course, if you're not in the midst of a Whole30, you can add your sweetener of choice.


Want more Whole30 tips & recipes?  Come back for a new post (almost) everyday this month, and check out these previous posts:


For even more paleo recipes, check out these Whole30 posts from my archives or my Whole30 Pinterest board.  Also, follow me on Instagram to see pics of what I'm eating throughout my Whole30.

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