There is an elixir for these dark, cold dreary days. You can find it in your spice cabinet. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel and those mysterious little allspice berries. Buy these dried gems whole when you can, letting those shards crumble under the weight of your spoon, or letting them melt under the pressure of hot steam.
Do you not even realize how much power these spices can give you over the gloom of winter? Pull them out. Warm some milk — make something with them.
And here’s another bonus — did you know these spices can help boost your immune system when you’re suffering from the cold and flu? Cinnamon, for example is anti-viral.
I wanted a big batch of magic brewing all day. I used fresh pumpkin (fresh, from a real pumpkin!) and the slowcooker to round out the magic — and to ensure it would be ready when the kids got him. I even used Chai tea bags to make it “convenient.”
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. I bump it up to one full cup for extr punch
- 8 chai tea bags
- 8 thin slices of fresh ginger root OR 1/2 tsp dried ginger root
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 8-10 whole cloves or 1/4-1/2 tsp clove powder
- 2 cardamon pods
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A sprinkling of black pepper — I swear — it is the perfect finish.
I used a large tea strainer to hold the tea bags and spices — to make it easier to stir.
- Pour the liquids into the slowcooker along with the pumpkin puree.
- Add your loaded tea strainer.
- Turn the slow cooker on high, and let this simmer for two hours, or keep it on low all day long.
- Use your immersion blender to make it all foamy… and serve with whipped cream.