Happy Winter Solstice! It arrives for us Greater Toronto Folks at 12:11 PM EST.
Today is the shortest day (light) of the year. For those who love the snow, hurray for you. I’m trying to embrace winter this year because I really don’t love winter. Armed with my SAD light, vitamin D supplements, and a positive attitude, I am ready! I am also happy to report that the length of our natural daylight will be slowly rising every day. It is all uphill and half full from here on in my non-winter loving friends.
Despite the cold and snow it is still important to get outside. To help me embrace the snow I’ve committed to doing the following at least once this winter:
- make a snow angel
- make a snow person
- go for a hike in the woods right after or during a snowfall
- teach my puppy to catch snowballs
All this of course depends on how much snow falls this winter, and it is raining right now.
After all this playing in the snow, my favourite drink to warm me up is a cheery chai tea latte. Make the tea blend by combining (use organic when possible). This is also the tea we gifted our teachers this year. Inspired by this recipe:
- 12 green cardamom pods, split
- 1/2 teaspoon whole red peppercorns (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 8-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 4-inch piece of licorice root
- 3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
- 1/2 cup loose black tea
Preheat oven to 350°
On a baking sheet, place everything but the ginger and black tea. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Remove and cool. Crush spices lightly with in a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, toss the spices, candied ginger and tea together until blended. Store this mixture in an air tight container.
To brew the perfect cup of tea:
To one cup of boiling water add 1 tablespoon of chai tea mix. Let steep for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup warmed almond milk (or milk of choice). Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Add mixture to a blender and blend for a 30 seconds. This last step is optional but it adds a nice froth to your latte.