The Green Ash trees that line the streets of Helena have suddenly changed colors — in today’s sunshine, they are brilliant yellow and pumpkin orange. Soon, the leave will literally all at once drop and we’ll have bare trees for what seems way too long. Ash trees make perfect street trees for our northern cold climate. They are the last to leaf out in the spring and first to drop their leaves in fall — timing the season of bare branches for when the sun is low in the sky and we need that solar warmth in our houses.
Still, that day every single green ash turns gold is kind of a bittersweet day for me: what a show to boast of! But it’s also a harbinger of our too-long Montana winters. Oh well. Time for another hot, soothing drink to make me feel better about the cold weather.
I made these for lunch today, though the Creamy Pumpkin Chai Soothie would be just as happy at your breakfast table, or being sipped around a fire after dinner. It’s a little bit sweet. A lot healthy. Smooth and creamy. And if you aren’t into being as healthy as all that — bake up some French Breakfast Puffs to serve with it. Yummo!
Creamy Pumpkin Chai Soothie
Makes two 1-cup servings
- 1 cup super strong chai *
- 1 T honey, maple syrup or sweetener of your choice (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 or 2 slices peeled fresh ginger (optional but yummy!)
- 1 cup coconut milk or whole milk
- 4 T pumpkin puree (I use canned)
- 2 more cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
- Brew your super strong chai with a cinnamon stick, the ginger slices the equivalent of 4 chai teabags.
- After it’s brewed, whisk together the chai, sweetener and pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup.
- Heat in microwave for about 1 minute until really really hot.
- Heat the coconut milk or milk in microwave or on the stove — also until very hot.
- Put milk in a blender (or use handheld blender) and blend on high until it’s really bubbly and foamy. **
- Add the pumpkin-chai mixture and blend for about another 30 seconds until totally creamy.
- Pour into mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and drink immediately.
* You can use chai concentrate instead of making your own chai. If you do use the concentrate, omit the sweetener because it usually comes very sweet!
** If you don’t own a blender, you can put the hot milk in a jar, seal the lid very tight and shake it until the milk is foamy. Then add the hot pumpkin mixture and shake til frothy. Serve immediately.
Delicious with hot-from-the-oven French Breakfast Puffs. (That’s a link to the Betty Crocker recipe for the puffs — I use butter instead of shortening and I add lemon zest and a little allspice to the batter along with the nutmeg.)
That’s them — those mouth-watering morsels of decadent buttery goodness we made growing up:
Please let me know what you think of this soothie once you try it. I know you’re going to try it! How could you resist? Even if you live in the southern hemisphere and you’re solidly into your Spring — there must be a coldish day once in awhile when this would be perfect. If you don’t have pumpkin, try it with chocolate. Can’t go wrong with chocolate. [grin]