Start your day with a nourishing breakfast of chai oatmeal topped with sauteed pears. Almond milk is infused with chai tea, which is then used to cook creamy oats. Syrupy sauteed pears sweeten the oats while adding a serving of fruit.
When I was in middle school, Starbucks introduced me to chai tea. Quickly, it developed into somewhat of a regular habit. You can have your frappucino. I preferred to get my sugar hit from a iced chai tea latte.
Since then, I've gotten past overpriced drinks with 32 grams of sugar. But chai is still one of those nostalgic foods I just adore. My go-to cold weather drink is a hot chai tea made with unsweetened almond milk and a touch of honey, or most recently, with a homemade vanilla cashew milk.
Looking to switch up my standard oatmeal with nuts and fruit, in a moment of inspiration, I decided to cook my oats in almond milk infused with chai tea. Fantastic life decision. A warm bowl of oats is already pretty warm and comforting breakfast, but the Indian spices take it to a whole new level. The syrupy, caramelized pears are icing on the cake.
Chai tea is a popular drink in India, made by brewing black tea with various spices. Not only do you get the health benefits of the tea, but also the spices as well. Here's an in depth look at chai:
BLACK TEA // You hear a lot about the benefits of green tea, but black tea has it's benefits as well. Black tea is made by heating and fermenting tea leaves, as opposed to green tea, which is simply dried. Research has shown black tea can help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease and is beneficial for immune function. Black tea is also a great stress reliever, lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol when consumed regularly and promoting relaxation.
CARDAMOM // Cardamom is beneficial for digestion, helping to relieve gas, bloating and heartburn. In Ayurveda, cardamom is commonly used as a treatment for depression.
CINNAMON // Cinnamon is one of the most well studied spices. It's commonly used to help control blood sugar and prevent diabetes, as it improves the bodies sensitivity to insulin and slows stomach emptying. Cinnamon also has a powerful effect on the brain. Studies show cinnamon can enhance cognitive processing, improve attention and reduce inflammation in the brain.
CLOVES // Eugenol, the main compound in cloves, has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. It can also help the body detoxify from environmental pollutants.
GINGER // Ginger is one of my favorite ingredients, both for flavor and nutrition. It is helpful for digestion, immunity and has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
The chai spices are a natural pairing with creamy oatmeal, but you could absolutely try this with other flavors of tea. Rooibos, with it's naturally sweet flavor and beautiful blush color would pair well with strawberries. Green tea would be nice with slices of bananas and almonds. Feel free to experiment with what you have on hand!
Chai Oatmeal with Sauteed Pears
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
- 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 4 chai tea bags
- 2 cups rolled oats
- [b]Topping: [/b]
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 pears, halved, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of cardamom
- 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
- Bring almond milk to a simmer in a medium pot. Add tea bags and simmer 10 minutes. Add 2 cups oats and cook, stirring every so often, until the oats are tender, about 10 minutes.
- While the oats are cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add pears and saute 5 minutes until tender and releasing juices. Add sugar and spices. Cook an additional 5 minutes until lightly caramelized. Add nuts and toss to combine.
- Serve oatmeal topped with pears.