I can’t do it.
I can’t seem to muster up the will
to get out of bed and start the morning without a warm drink ahead of me.
Our house is 108 years old, and although charming and quaint, it’s also breezy and drafty.
And the wood floors. Ohmygoodness. I love them but they can feel like sheets of ice in the morning after rolling out of bed.
The only thing worth crossing that cold pine floor in the morning is the hope of a steamy beverage to make everything right in the world.
Coffee is my drink of choice, but thankfully, this recipe is so versatile, you can use it as a warm beverage, in your breakfast, or baked into your dessert!
- 2-3 c. whole milk (preferrably raw, for the most health benefit)
- any or all of the following (in their whole form – not ground): cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, star anise, cardamom, cloves, ginger, rose petals, vanilla beans/pods, chipotle or ancho chiles
-for a warm brew: lightly heat your milk on the stove top until it’s quite warm to the touch (this isn’t rocket science, so don’t worry about an exact temperature, but don’t scald it, especially if using raw milk). Once the milk is warm, remove it from the heat and add in your favorite spices. Allow the milk to infuse for at least an hour and then reheat if drinking immediately. Otherwise, store your spiced milk in a clean jar in the fridge. Strain before using
-for a cold brew: Pour your milk into a clean mason jar and add your favorite spices, then put a lid on it. Swirl the yummy concoction slightly to mix and to make sure that the spices are not just floating on top of the milk. Allow it to infuse in the fridge for 2-3 days. Strain before using.
And here are some of my favorite ways to use it:
-kid’s spiced steamer: My kids love cinnamon, nutmeg and a few cloves! Simply warm infused milk on the stove top until just above room temperature. Remove from the heat, add in a small plop of raw honey, and a cinnamon stick to swirl!
-In your oatmeal: Instead of cooking your oats in water, gently simmer them in the infused milk for a “chai porridge”. Top with butter and honey!
-In custard: Use the spiced milk as the base for your next dessert custard.
-As the base for a pumpkin pie smoothie: Pour half of the infused milk into an ice cube tray and freeze. Add milk-cubes, remaining (non-frozen) spiced milk, pureed pumpkin, honey, pumpkin pie spice and a hint of vanilla into the blender and voila – Thanksgiving in a glass. Here’s my favorite recipe, but this is pretty fool proof!
-As the base for a coffee or latte: ohmy. heaven.
-A Tea “latte” : instead of brewing your tea in water, break all tea-rules and brew it in the spiced milk – a perfect way to add new dimension to chai, and it’s also great with Irish Breakfast Tea, Earl Gray and herbal Ginger tea.
-Use this as the liquid in your oatmeal cookie recipe.
Enjoy – and if you think of other ways to use this, please let us know in the comments!
Image amended by me, but originally by this great photographer