Creamy Chai Spiced Overnight Oats

Breakfast is a very important meal.  Getting everyone out the door in the mornings can be a challenge and the last thing I want to do is skip breakfast or pick up an unhealthy option while I am out and about.

Chai Spice combines the flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  It is the perfect way to add a boost of flavor to your morning oats.

Overnight Oats are a great addition to the grab & go lifestyle.  They are easy to assemble making it easy to prepare 4-5 servings at once.  They will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  This is a huge time saver!

Most recipes just have you add your ingredients to a bowl or jar, stir and place in the fridge overnight.  Then the next day, you can add your toppings and get your day started.

Note:  Chia seeds have a gritty texture.  Use a spice grinder to grind the chia seeds with the oats and spices.  This process will to reduce the gritty texture and result in creamy Overnight Oats.

First, add 1/4 cup of Old Fashioned Oats to a spice grinder along with 1-1/2 teaspoons of Chia Seeds and 3/4 teaspoon of Chai Spice.  Then pulse the oat mixture in the spice grinder about 12 times until the mixture has a consistency of sand.

 

 

Next, transfer the oat mixture from the spice grinder to a small mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup Non-fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, a pinch of Kosher Salt, 1 packet of Splenda and 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar.

Stir well to combine all the ingredients.  The mixture will be very creamy.

Chai Spiced Oats Mixed Up

Transfer the ingredients to a jar or storage container and place your container in the fridge overnight.  The Oats will soften and the Chia Seeds will take on a chewy and gelatinous texture.

In the morning, grab your container and add your favorite toppings.  For this recipe, try topping your Overnight Oats with a thin layer of Non-Fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 1 teaspoon of No-Sugar Added Peach Preserves and a few Blueberries.

Creamy Chai Spiced Oats with Peach Blueberry Topping

Enjoy!

Creamy Chai Spiced Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Easy recipe to make Chai Spiced Overnight Oats that are creamy and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chia Seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chai Spice
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup Non-fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 packet of Splenda
  • pinch Kosher Salt

If you choose to skip the step to grind the oats, chia seeds and spices, just place all ingredients in the bowl and reduce the amount of Unsweetened Almond Milk to 1/4 Cup.

Directions

  1. Add the Oats, Chia Seeds and Chai Spice to spice grinder. Pulse 12 times.
  2. Transfer oat mixture to a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add Unsweetened Almond Milk, Non-fat Vanilla Greek Yogurt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Splenda and Salt.
  4. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Transfer to a storage container and place in the fridge to chill overnight.
  6. Top with your toppings of choice. I recommend a thin layer of yogurt and low sugar fruit preserves.

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Chai Spice

If you love Chai Spice, try this recipe to mix Chai Spice at home.  Add this flavorful spice mixture to add to tea, cocoa, oatmeal and baked goods.  Make it for yourself or give it to a friend as a thoughtful holiday gift.

Enjoy!

Chai Spice

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Easy recipe to mix Chai Spice at home for baked goods or to give someone as a gift.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Nutmeg

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until all ingredients are combined.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight jar.

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

“Baby, it’s cold outside…”

The holiday season can get very hectic.   Don’t forget to take time to soak in the holidays memories….

Make yourself a nice warm drink and take time for you. You deserve it!

Here is my take on my son’s favorite vanilla steamer.

Of course, I just had to add some Latina flair by using Tres Leches (3 milks).   In fact it was so good that somehow some of the foam ended up in my espresso.

Stay warm.  Enjoy!

Denise

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

Yields 4-6 servings

12 oz can Evaporated Milk

1-1/2 cups Milk (I used 2%)

4 tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • Pour all ingredients into a large glass measuring cup. Stir to combine.
  • Steam the milk according to your espresso makers directions. (If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can easily froth milk with just a microwave and a jar.
  • Pour into serving cups and sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg on top.
  • Serve immediately.
Sweet & Savory Vanilla Bean Dip

Versatile Vanilla – Spiced Sweet & Savory Vanilla Bean Dip

Who doesn’t like vanilla? Vanilla has a classic, unique flavor and an enticing aroma that is both relaxing and comforting. It is no surprise that this spice is widely used as an ingredient for baking, in perfumes as well as for aromatherapy.

Vanilla is a member of the orchid family. There are over 100 varieties of Vanilla. The pods that grow on the Vanilla flowers grow in clusters and are known as beans or pods.

Vanilla was actually discovered during the early 16th century in Mexico by the Spanish explorers. Mexico was the main producer of Vanilla until mid 19th century. Nowadays, Madagascar produces most of the world’s Vanilla.

The harvesting of Vanilla beans is very labor intensive which is why Vanilla is the second most expensive spice (saffron being the most expensive). It is purchased in several ways: Vanilla Beans; Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Paste and Vanilla Powder. Luckily, Vanilla beans can be stored in an airtight container for up to 18 months.

Vanilla beans do not have any aroma or flavor when they are freshly picked. The flavor/aroma develops during the curing process. The Vanilla bean is filled with lots of seeds. But do not limit the flavor to just the seeds…the bean/pod can be used to add flavor too.

When most cook with Vanilla, they add it to recipes for sweet dishes. For my appetizer post, I definitely wanted to think outside the box and create a savory recipe which demonstrated Vanilla’s versatility. It was not at easy as I thought it would be. I spend a lot of time thinking. I love to think… Then it hit me… I decided on a creamy vanilla bean dip using white beans as the base…. The result was a big hit…

What is your favorite way to use Vanilla? Let us know!

Enjoy!

Denise

P.S. Look for more Versatile Vanilla recipe posts later this week.

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Spiced Sweet & Savory Vanilla Bean Dip

1 cup dried Cannellini Beans
2 tablespoons Honey
Juice of 1 Lemon
Seeds from Vanilla Bean (reserve pod for another recipe/use)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Powder
Pinch ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground Coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground Cardamom
3/4 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
6 oz. Greek Yogurt
Salt & Pepper

  • In a medium saucepan, add dried Cannellini beans and cover with water. Cover and soak overnight. Next day, bring contents to a boil and them simmer for 1 hour. Drain (reserving bean fluid) and set aside to cool.Add cooled beans along with eight ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth.

  • Add reserved bean fluid as needed to get the smooth consistency. (I added about 2-3 tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Transfer bean mixture to a small bowl and fold in the Greek yogurt. Chill in the refrigerator to allow flavors to marry.

  • Serve with crackers, bread, apple slices or veggies.

Variations: If you prefer to use can beans, substitute 1 can of Cannellini beans. Drain ( reserving bean liquid) them rinse before using. If you want, you can also try adding a bit of mint or some cayenne pepper to take it up a notch.

Get Your Spice On!

 

Valentine’s Day is always special to us. We celebrate it every year with an extra special dinner which includes chocolate fondue for dessert. I handle the meal and my honey handles the ambiance (now the kids join in setting up…) After all, love is definitely something to celebrate.

Enjoy!

Many spices have been known for centuries to have aphrodisiac effects. The term “aphrodisiac”dates back to an ancient Greek myth based on the goddess of love named Aphrodite. Aphrodite was also the goddess of beauty and fertility and considered to be the protectress of sailors.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is important to research spices in more detail to ensure you use the appropriate quantity (to avoid any dangerous effects).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aniseed has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries where ancient Greeks and Romans believed that even just placing Aniseed in one’s mouth was said to enhance amorous feelings.

Cardamom is also very well know for its aphrodisiac qualities. In fact it is said that Cleopatra not only bathed with Cardamom, she also used it to perfume her rooms. Try adding it to hot coffee or wine.

Cayenne Pepper is good circulation…increasing blood flow. Enough said….Use your imagination.

Cloves are said to promote attraction.

Ginger is used to arouse the senses (stirring up healthy hot flashes).

Licorice Root balances hormonal levels.

Mustard is a well-known stimulant.. Again…use your imagination…

Nutmeg is known to have aphrodisiac effects on men.

Oregano, when used un an infusion, is known to be a powerful aphrodisiac for women. In Greece, it is traditional to give your love a bouquet of Oregano.

Rosemary is known to be a mood enhancer and often used in baths and in wine.

Saffron has stimulating properties. The oldest reference about the Saffron aphrodisiac effects dates back to 2600 BC. Saffron was used in ancient wedding customs (it was often used for dying sheets and / or wedding attire to “set the mood”). Saffron is used in small quantities. Most recipes call for just a pinch.

Vanilla affects the central nervous. Just smelling Vanilla is said to have an aphrodisiac effect.

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Sexy Spiced Spiked Coffee

This recipe calls for a sexy spice of your choice. Try grating fresh nutmeg as a topping. Cardamom is excellent with coffee too. I actually used a blend of spices for mine (which has about 12 different sexy spices)…

6 oz Coffee, hot
1 oz Brandy
1 teaspoon light Cool whip
Splenda
Sexy spice of your choice

  1. Pour coffee into a coffee cup.
  2. Stir in brandy and Splenda.
  3. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with spice. (I also sprinkled some pretty decorating sugars on it too)

Miscellaneous Recipes to try:

http://all-recipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-and-Spicy-Almonds/Detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Caribbean-Spiced-Roast-Chicken/Detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/anise-seed-borrachio-cookies/Detail.aspx

 

 

 

If you haven’t shopped for your Valentine yet, check out my good friend Claudia’s site, White Pear Shop (http://www.whitepearshop.com). They sell amazing handcrafted, natural body products. February’s scent of the month is “Lavender Vanilla”. Be sure to check out her blog too!

http://www.whitepearshop.com

Coquito Pudding Shots

Coquito is a Puerto Rican traditional punch served at Christmas and New Years.  Most traditional recipes for Coquito call for egg yolks, rum, brandy, coconut milk, coconut cream, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.   

As much as I love the holiday flavors, I do still watch what I choose to indulge in.  It needs to be worth the calories.

So, I decided to take the flavors from Coquito to develop a guilt-free pudding shot recipe that combines the creaminess of the punch with the rum and spice flavors. 

Enjoy!

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe – Coquito Pudding Shots

1 (1 oz). box of Sugar-Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

1 1/2 cups Skim Milk

1/2 cup Spiced Rum

1 tablespoon Brandy

1 tablespoon Coconut Extract

1/2 cup Light Cool Whip

1 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. 
  2. Whisk in rum and brandy and cinnamon.
  3. Fold in light cool whip.
  4. Pour into small shot glasses, martini glasses or dessert dishes.
  5. Put in freezer to set.
  6. Take out of freezer 15 minutes before ready to serve.
  7. Garnish with dollop of light cool whip, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Blogger’s Comments:   If you are not watching calories, swap out the sugar-free vanilla pudding mix with coconut cream instant pudding pie mix and use whole milk instead of the skim milk.

Nutmeg…Naughty or Nice? (nutmeg cookie recipes)

Decisions…decisions…  There are so many spices that remind me of the holidays. 

 Somehow, I landed on Nutmeg because not only does the spice Nutmeg enhance sweet recipes, the spice Nutmeg also enhances savory dishes.  I was really surprised to learn that the spice Nutmeg needs to be used in moderation.  It also has a lot of medicinal and cosmetic benefits.

Is it Naughty or Nice?  That is definitely a matter of opinion….Read below…You Decide.  

Below, I’ve posted a few cookie recipes.  One recipe is for Chocolate Nutmeg Amaretti  (with a sugar-free variation).  The other cookie recipe is for Spice Drops.  This recipe is my take on my husbands favorite Snowball Cookie recipe.

Enjoy!

 

What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is not a nut.   Nutmeg is the seed from a peach-like fruit that grows on an evergreen tree which is typically harvested in Indonesia.   This peach-like fruit is not considered very tasty and is typically pickled.

Nutmeg is purchased either whole or ground (freshly ground Nutmeg is definitely more flavorful).  Like most spices, it needs to be stored in a cool, dark location.

Why is Nutmeg Naughty?

Nutmeg needs to be used in moderation.  A pinch or two per serving is okay.  However, large doses can trigger vomiting and nausea.  Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid the use of nutmeg.

Culinary Uses

Nutmeg is typically used in sweet dishes like rice pudding, fruit desserts, pancakes, waffles and cakes.   It is also enhances savory dishes…especially recipes that have greens, root vegetables, cheese and eggs.   My mother always adds Nutmeg to the cheese filling for baked lasagne and baked ziti.   So, now I do the same and it really kicks it up a notch.

Of course, with the holidays in full swing, we cannot forget about Eggnog (the recipe calls for Nutmeg).   If you have leftover Eggnog and are not sure what to do with it, check out the recipe that Southern Living Magazine published in December 2009 for Eggnog Cupcakes:  http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001940930.

Medicinal Benefits  

Note: Home remedies should not be tried without consulting the physician.

Nutmeg is known to have strong antibacterial properties, aid in digestion, improve appetite, and combat asthma.  I also ready that it is used to relax muscles and treat acne. Nutmeg is also listed as an aphrodisiac.  

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Chocolate Nutmeg Amaretti Cookies

Yield:  About 48 cookies

2 cups Almonds (whole or slivers)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
4 tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
4 Egg Whites
good pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 tablespoon ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
sliced almonds to garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, process almonds with ½ cup of sugar until finely ground and transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in cocoa powder and confectioners sugar.  Set aside.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Sprinkle in remaining ½ cup sugar and beat well until glossy and stiff.  
  6. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts.
  7. Fold egg whites into almond-sugar mixture.  
  8. Spoon into piping (pastry) bag fitted with plain ½ inch nozzle.
  9. Pipe 1 ½ inches rounds about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
  10. Press an almond sliver into each cookie.
  11. Bake 12 minutes or until crisp.
  12. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate or dip into melted chocolate and sprinkle with colored sugars or just leave plain..

Sugar-Free Variation:  Substitute the granulated sugar with Splenda.  Substitute the 4 tablespoons of confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of Spenda/Brown Sugar Blend.

Blogger’s Comments:  If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a large ziploc bag and snip the corner.  

 

 

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Spice Drops

Yield:  About 48 cookies

½ cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Shortening
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cup Butter, softened
2-1/4 cups Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg  
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Cardamom
½ cup Confectioners sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add ½ cup confectioner’s sugar to a large ziploc bag and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugars, butter and shortening.
  4. Add egg and vanilla and beat until blended.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients.
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients to the sugar-butter mixture and beat until well blended.
  7. Roll heaping teaspoons of the cookie dough into balls.
  8. Place on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Transfer warm cookies to the ziploc back and shake to coat with confectioners sugar.  
  12. Place on wire rack to cool completely.

Variation:  Before baking, Roll the cookie dough ball into the colored sugar.  Skip the steps to roll in confectioner’s sugar.