Living life without sugar ain’t always easy. It’s difficult enough when you’re skipping the sweet stuff for health reasons by choice – but when you’ve got diabetes there’s no compromise.
Aura Chai founder Rose isn’t diabetic, but both her grandparents on one side had Type 2 Diabetes. She avoids sugar for health reasons, opting for unrefined and low GI alternatives. “I was really keen to make sure our chai latte blends could be enjoyed by everyone. That’s why I made them without sugar or sweeteners. This way people can add their own – whatever they like, and however much they like!”
If you’re a chai latte lover you might feel as though you often have to miss out on your favourite treat. But what if you could enjoy a delicious, spicy, diabetic-friendly chai latte at home? Read on to find out more!
Why isn’t chai latte diabetic-friendly?
If you’ve ever tried a chai latte at Starbucks or another big coffee chain you’ll probably have noticed that it’s incredibly sweet. These types of chai latte drinks are made with powder or syrup, and copious amounts of sugar and/or sweetener. A Starbucks chai latte was found to contain over 20 teaspoons of sugar in one serving – which is crazy when you consider that for women the recommended added sugar intake is just 6 teaspoons per day.
You may find some powdered or even wet loose leaf blends claiming to be healthier because they use a natural sugar alternative like coconut sugar. Although this is certainly preferable compared with refined white sugar, coconut sugar isn’t diabetic-friendly because it has a similar GI to regular sugar.
Chai latte can actually be healthy!
If you’re only familiar with this type of chai latte you might be surprised to learn that it can – and should – be healthy! Bad press surrounding commercially available chai lattes has put a lot of people off, especially those who want or need to avoid sugar. In India masala chai is incredibly sweet – containing copious amounts of white sugar in addition to condensed milk which has its own sugar content. Certainly not diabetic-friendly!
But hundreds of years ago masala chai was made to be medicine. Its unique blend of warming spices, each with their own nourishing properties, and uplifting tea, was designed as a ‘pick me up’ for common ailments. Back then it was most likely sweetened with a little raw honey to make it more palatable. The good news is that you can still make an authentic, healthy chai latte just like this at home.
Make chai latte diabetic-friendly by taking it right back to its roots
To make a delicious diabetic-friendly chai latte at home, all you need to do is take it back to its Ayurvedic roots. This ensures better flavour, but it also puts you right back in the driver’s seat when it comes to sugar content. Start with a good quality chai latte blend or make your own recipe. If you choose to make your own, choose a good quality black tea and organic, premium grade spices where possible.
For convenience, an authentic chai latte blend is best. With this you can easily make a delicious, sugar-free chai latte at home.
Our inspiration for Aura Chai was authenticity. We didn’t want something sickly sweet. We wanted bold, fragrant spices and all the benefits that come along with that! Our blends are made with whole spices and black tea – no sugar.
Here are our simple steps to make a delicious diabetic-friendly chai latte at home with Aura Chai.
1/ Add one tablespoon of chai blend per person into a heavy-bottomed milk pan or sauce pan.
2/ Cover with hot/just boiling water. This starts off the infusion – you’ll smell the spices straight away!
3/ Add in your sweetener of choice, if desired. This is totally optional – lots of people enjoy our blends without any sweetness added. If you would like to add a diabetic-friendly sweetener try half a teaspoon of Stevia or other natural alternative. If you like flavoured syrups try caramel or vanilla sugar-free syrup!
4/ Now you’re ready to add the milk! Stir the infusion then top up with 200-250ml of milk per serving. How much milk you add depends on your preference. If you like a milky chai, add more – for a stronger brew add less.
5/ Allow the chai to slowly heat up until it is lightly simmering. You don’t want to boil it as this will impair the flavour and might make the tea taste bitter. Patience is key here! It should only take around 5-10 minutes to brew.
6/ Once you’re confident that the chai is brewed, take it off the heat and leave to stand for a minute. You might like to taste it at this stage to see if it is strong/sweet enough.
7/ Sieve the chai latte blend into your favourite cup or mug and enjoy! You can save it for later in the fridge to pour over ice, or add to sugar-free cakes and desserts as flavouring.