I recently downloaded The Whole Pantry recipe app that everyone has been raving about. I know I know, it took me quite a while to get on the bandwagon, but hey, I’m here now. And yes, I can concur that the app is full of delicious, healthy recipes and gorgeous photography. And yes, I should have downloaded it much sooner.
Among The Whole Pantry recipes that inspired me is Belle’s version of an Indonesian Sarabba – a sweet, creamy chai-like drink, but without the caffeine, made with coconut cream and a bunch of my favorite spices. Loved the idea and was tempted to try it from the very first read, alas the weather hasn’t been with me on this plan. The current (ongoing in some parts) heat wave is calling for chilled drinks. Only. Chilled. Drinks.
But once I remembered Sarah‘s chai ice cubes, the skies opened up and I had myself a little moment of genius (again). I can make a cold, creamy (super creamy), silky sarabba-chai-like drink! And I did! And it is more amazing that I thought it can be. I’m still not that sure what to call it though, as it’s not a sarabba, nor a chai, more like a cross between the two. I was inspired to use most of the spices in Sarah’s version of a chai, plus some nutmeg because I think almost everything tastes better with freshly ground nutmeg. In addition, I loved Belle’s idea of pairing these type of spices with coconut flavor, so I chose to make the drink with the water of a fresh young coconut. To add incredible creaminess (and delicious thickness) to the drink, I also used the meat of the young coconut.
Coconut water is the fluid found in a young green coconut, sweet and nutty in flavor. It is rich in potassium and electrolytes. It is a great alternative to sports drinks and is also often used to treat dehydration and digestive problems. Coconut water can improve calcium and magnesium absorption, reduce inflammation and support damage tissue repair.*
Did you know that?
- Coconut water is an all-natural way to hydrate, reduce sodium (if it replaces other sugary drinks), and add potassium to diets.
- If you go for store bought coconut water and choose a flavored one, you might end up buying and consuming a drink which is just as high in sugar and artificial juices as any other regular sugary drink. Keep reading those labels and go for plain coconut water!
- Water and meat of one young coconut
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp thin ginger slices
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- seeds of 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
- good pinch of fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 TBSP sweetener of choice (raw honey, maple syrup) + 2 TBSP warm water
- Optional: 2 teabags of your favorite chai or about 4-5 tsp loose leaf chai (you can also leave it out and make a caffeine free drink – absolutely gorgeous on its own too!)
- Add the coconut meat, coconut water and 3 cups of water to the blender and whiz on high speed until creamy and smooth.
- Pour in a mason jar and add ginger, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Crush cardamom and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle and add them to the drink.
- Mix sweetener with a couple of tablespoons of warm water until dissolved. Add to the drink and add the chai too, if using.
- Put the lid on the mason jar, give it a good shake and place it in the fridge.
- Allow it to cold brew overnight or for at least 12 hours.
- Strain the drink with a regular sieve or nut milk bag and serve chilled with a dash of cinnamon and with ice, if you prefer.
* Source: The Whole Pantry App