Oprah really got it right with her Teavana Oprah Chai Tea line that is sold at Starbucks. I am not a coffee drinker but occasionally I find myself at Starbucks and I had to give the Oprah Chai Tea Latte a try. It is a cinnamony, spicy, delicious chai tea blend that could be addictive if I let it. However, I cannot stand forking out the cash for a drink that I gulp down in less than five minutes so I decided to try my hand at making it at home. And I think I was pretty successful! Plus there is no processed flavored syrup in sight.
I think the difference between regular chai and the Oprah chai tea is the intense cinnamon flavor. I thought about just adding a bunch of regular cinnamon but then figured a cinnamon tea would probably taste much better. I have a somewhat ridiculous stash of tea which luckily included the Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset. A tea described as a black tea with cinnamon, orange, and sweet cloves. But I think any cinnamon tea would work. I mixed the cinnamon tea with regular chai tea and the result is shockingly similar to the Oprah chai. I still want to do a blind taste test to see just how close they are. I have been making a large jar of this mixture and then drinking it iced with a splash of coconut milk creamer or homemade almond milk. I prefer it iced right now since it is still pretty warm and sunny outside but this winter I’m sure I’ll be drinking it warm with maybe some whipped cream on top.
Homemade Oprah Chai Tea Latte
Brew tea as usual. I try to only let the tea bags steep for about 5 minutes or I find the tea can taste a little bitter. If drinking warm, add creamer. If drinking iced, chill tea in refrigerator and mix in creamer in before drinking. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!
Summer may be winding down but it doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze in a few more summery recipes. Our basil is kaput but the parsley in our garden is still going strong. It was just calling out to be made into a tabbouleh salad. I believe authentic tabbouleh has a few more ingredients but I worked with what I had on hand. I perused a couple of recipes and then got to work. Bulgur wheat, mint, tomatoes, garlic and lemon were all invited to play along with parsley at this party. I only had curly leaf parsley but it seems like flat leaf or Italian parsley is typically used. Curly worked just fine. This was my first time cooking bulgur. Bulgur is popular grain used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that has been cooked, dried and then ground into pieces. Like most whole grains it is very high in fiber and minerals such as magnesium and manganese. It also clocks in with 6 grams of protein per cup of cooked bulgur. Interesting fact: bulgur in Turkish translates to ‘bruised grain’ which makes perfect sense!
I found a quick cooking version that was done in about 10 minutes. The texture reminds me of a cross between quinoa and cous cous. It a little bit chewy with a very mild flavor. This salad comes together pretty easily. Tomatoes and cucumbers are chopped. Herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic go in the mini food processor. Bulgur gets cooked. Put it all together and you have yourself a tasty salad! I think this would pair well with chicken or fish or could be added to a pita sandwich. Or just eaten out of the bowl straight from the fridge which I think happened with the majority of this salad at our house.
End of Summer Tabbouleh
Mix herbs, oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a mini food processor. (Or chop by hand if you desire.) Mix herb mixture, tomatoes, cucumber, and bulgur. Enjoy!