Last night I stared at my computer for two hours. I struggled to write something meaningful I could share, something that would resonate with people who read this blog. I wanted to write something good. I am always looking for ways to improve the blog, to better my writing and food photography. I push myself, and when I don’t meet my own standards, I am disappointed. My boyfriend’s mother, who is a writer, sat me down. She asked me questions I had never thought to ask myself: does it really matter if you publish this tomorrow? If you weren’t working on the blog right now, what would you be doing? What would you rather be doing? Is the blogging exhausting you?
I knew the answers to all these questions. No, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t publish something on the day I had intended to. These deadlines are self-imposed. The blogging is exhausting, but I find joy in what I do. I love connecting with people through food and what it means to nourish yourself. This morning Lewis and I made a grocery run at Whole Foods, where two lovely women cashed us out and bagged our groceries. We ended up on the topic of my blog, and one of the ladies wrote the name of my blog down. The three of us, I could tell, all shared a love of food. This experience reminded me why I love to blog: I want to share this love of good food with others. I want to inspire others to take charge of their lifestyles, and to make good, whole-food meals that nourish the mind, body, and soul… meals that encourage gratitude in our everyday lives.
I first made this chai spiced oatmeal last winter, but never shared it on the blog. As the days get cooler, I find myself increasingly drawn towards warming foods. Although I am a year-round oatmeal fan, there is something even more comforting about making a warm pot of oatmeal on a cold, quiet winter morning. I love chai and its warmth; the tea is spicy and aromatic, perfect for the fall and winter seasons. This chai spiced oatmeal is like a hug in a bowl, and will leave you feeling warm and cozy.
While I won’t be providing an in-depth discussion on the health benefits of chai today, I will be writing another post sometime this week on the topic. Stay posted!
Chai Spiced Oatmeal
yields two servings
For the oatmeal:
- 2 cups strong masala chai tea
- 1 cup + 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of sea salt
- maple syrup, to taste
For the garnish:
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon goji berries
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 4 dried prunes, sliced
- 2 star anise
- Pour the tea and milk into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.
- Add the oats, salt, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and star anise. Reduce to a simmer.
- Allow the oats to simmer for 20-30 minutes, scraping the bottom and stirring every now and then.
- Cook until the oats are tender and slightly chewy.
- Add the maple syrup, and sweeten to taste.
- Remove the oatmeal from the eat, scoop into bowls, and garnish with chia seeds, goji berries, hazelnuts, dried prunes, and cinnamon.
Enjoy : )
The oatmeal will keep for a week in the refrigerator, if you can resist the temptation to eat it.
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,