Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bored at Home

Pleasures of Tea: Recipes & RitualsYou know those days that you stay at home most of them day for some reason? Well, I personally hate those days. I try as much as I can not to stay at home because when I’m at home with not much to do, I go and open the fridge every 5 minutes. I sometimes don’t even take anything out of the fridge, but I still open it and see what’s in it. Most of the times, though, I unconsciously grab myself a snack. Then, all of the sudden I realized that I’ve been snacking all day without really being hungry – just bored. This is definitely not good when you’re trying to lose weight. I know some people read, other people knit as a way to keep your mind of food. For me, none of those options work. I love being in the kitchen. So instead of reading or knitting, I make tea. After all, tea is calorie-free and all that hot water keeps me from feeling hungry too. Plus, tea takes a while to drink since it is a hot drink. You sort of have to wait a bit for it cool down or drink it really slowly. So, tea keeps me away from snacking. Well, I guess you could call tea a snack but at least it has no calories.

To make it more interesting, I make the tea from scratch instead of using store-bought tea bags. I particularly like chai tea. Since chai tea has so many spices, making it also keeps me entertained for a while. Here’s the recipe I use:

10 whole coriander seeds
10 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of black tea (or 2 bags)
2 cups of skim or 1% milk
  1. Take the cardamom seeds out of the pod.
  2. Using a mortar, lightly crush the coriander and cardamom seeds. If you don’t have a mortar, you can crush them using the bottom of a glass.
  3. Wrap the crushed seeds, cloves and the black tea in a piece of cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth at home, you can use a coffee filter. Also, if you’re using black tea bags, you don’t need to put the inside the cheesecloth or coffee filter – just wrap the crushed seeds and the cloves. Set this homemade tea bag aside.
  4. Bring milk close to a boil.
  5. To the milk, add the cinnamon stick and the homemade tea bag (plus the black tea bags, if applicable).
  6. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  7. You can add some Splenda if you like.
You can also make this chai tea with water instead of milk. I like to use milk because that way I get some calcium in for the day. I use skim milk, though, to keep it low-calorie. But, this recipe turns out just as good if you were to use water instead of milk. The important thing here is the spices. You’ll be surprised at how good they smell when you’re crushing them. Plus, they have some antioxidants


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