When the weather turns a bit chilly in my neck of the woods, most people head to the closest coffee shop and order a pumpkin pie latte, or chai latte or whatever other concoction they can come up with that will warm you with that fall-nostalgic feeling. You know you are guilty of this too. I mean hello, the main coffee chains aren't stupid, they market on this special feelings this time of year. And even if you live in southern regions closer to the equator, I have heard they also try to bank on this feeling and will make you that pumpkin latte on ice, just to feel like you are apart of that fall spirit without the heat. Oh joy!
Ok, so that's the silly frilly feelings behind the pumpkin chai lattes... but there is some logic to this.
Really, you could convince yourself that you need that chai after I tell you this...:)
The spices in a traditional chai...cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, ginger and possibly even fennel, are the warming spices. The spices that create warmth and a sense of comfort for your weary cold soul. I don't have some research to prove that these spices will warm you up, but I know that for hundreds (probably thousands) of years people have been making brews, teas and stews with these spices to warm their body, soul and spirit. I don't think that you can deny that there is some truth to this old fireside tale. There is warmth in the chai, and you start to naturally crave these spices when the temperature drops and the cool fall air wisps around your chapped face. You need that cup of goodness to sooth the cold nose and drippy sinus. You really could say that there is healing in the chai. These spices are known to calm, relax and enhance the digestive process. And, for this reason alone, you may need to start a pot to make your own chai concotion, or head to your favorite local chai-stop. I have a local place that I go to--you can smell the chai brewing in a big pot before you enter the door. So fabulous. I also have a friend that just posted a nice pumpkin latte, that I think I would like to try myself soon.
In the meantime, I have been dreaming about chai cookies, and with an touch of added pumpkin puree (why not!?) you get a pumpkin chai cookie that will have you wishing for some warm coconut milk or a chai latte for sipping on the side. So good! And, don't forget that these cookies are packed with these perfect warming spices to usher you into fall and a life with more flavor, healing and hope.
Pumpkin Chai Cookie Recipe (vegan)2 1/4 cup of Bob's Red Mill GF Flour mix (or other GF flour mix of--- 3/4 cup of each brown rice flour, millet flour and tapioca flour---should work just the same)
3 TB of coconut palm sugar
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of ground stevia powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt
2 1/2 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 ts. of ground cardamon
1 ts. of ground ginger
1 ts. of ground cloves
1/2 ts. of ground fennel
1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of warmed coconut oil
1/4 cup of vegan butter (Earth Balance-soy-free)
Mix all of the dry ingredients first, then add the wet syrup, pumpkin, oil, and butter...mix well and it turns into a wet dough. It should be pliable and easy to mold in the palm of your hand. I rolled out quarter-like balls and smooshed them down on a parchment papered pan. And then poked them with a clean fork to add to the look and decor. You could also roll each ball in a touch more coconut sugar or sucanat for a lasting touch of sweetness and cuteness. I decided to just add a touch with the fork. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and stiff. These cookies will not spread or rise too much so you can put them pretty close together. This recipe will make about 2 dozen cookies. They will last on the counter for a few days, but get more crumbly in time. Would be good with some pumpkin ice cream, or coconut ice cream, or any cup of hot beverage.
I hope you find ways to warm your chilled bones this week, and enjoy the fall warming flavors of cinnamon, cloves and such....Much love as always!
Cheers to chai!