Milky chai, in its most traditional form, laden with honey and sweet milk, is purely satisfying in both its spice and richness. It wraps me up, parts the clouds for a mere moment. So what on earth am I doing sharing such a warming, nurturing recipe in the heat of summer? See, this is where I blow your mind. This bircher has the delectable flavour of chai interwoven with vanilla and cashew, yet it’s served cold. Neat, huh? Of course, come winter, when your bones are a snowflake away from being pure ice, you can warm this up in the pan, adding a little more milk to loosen it up. Soaking the oats and seeds overnight will assist with digestion, allowing nutrients like vitamin B, magnesium and iron to be readily absorbed into your body, perfect for sensitive tummies. Plus, who doesn’t like having breakfast ready the moment they roll out of bed?
I love the creamy richness the cashew milk imparts, and I find it to be gentler on my tummy, but feel free to indulge in any other nut milk or full cream dairy. It’d work especially well with almond milk, even coconut milk. If you can’t get a hold of those magical, fresh figs (say, from a neighbours overhanging tree), sub in any other stonefruit, or in the winter months, oranges would team nicely. And try to get your hands on either pre-made buckini’s or make them yourself (super easy), you won’t regret the cinnamony-crunch they add. This recipe is totally adaptable, it’ll change with the seasons. It’ll become like a good friend to you, honest.
vanilla-chai bircher with cashew milk, figs + buckinis – serves 1
- 1/3 cup oats (not the quick-cooking type)
- 1 tsp flaxseeds/linseeds
- 1/2 tbsp pepitas/pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 cup cashew milk (I make mine with a ratio of 1 cup of soaked nuts to 3 cups of water)
- 1/4 cup strongly brewed black chai (my all time fave is Prana Chai’s masala blend)
- 1 tsp honey
- to serve – caramelised buckinis (to make your own, you’ll find the recipe I used here), fresh figs, natural yoghurt, extra milk if preferred
here’s what you do…
- Combine the oats, seeds, vanilla and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add the cashew milk and mix to combine, ensuring all the ingredients are wet.
- Dissolve the honey in the tea, then add to the bowl of oats, mixing thoroughly.
- Soak overnight and sleep tight.
- The next morning, slice up your figs and top the bircher with them along with the buckinis, yoghurt and a cheeky drizzle of honey, should your heart so desire. If it’s cold, heat the mix in the pan gently before adding the toppings.