Sometimes there are things in life that you just have to do regardless if it’s right or wrong. Those are called guilty pleasures.
A few of mine include but are not limited to:
- Riding in the car with the windows on and the AC blasting (because damnit it’s TOO HOT in FL to drive with just your windows down but the wind in mine and Andrew’s hair feel so good)
- Eating a whole bag of potato chips in one sitting
- Spending WAY too much money on a latte (aka treating yourself) at Starbucks when you’re having a hard parenting day (and you know the ingredients are not up to your “par”)
Can you relate?
I was getting ready to say I do the third thing more than the first and second but that would be a total lie. After I thought about it for a second, I probably do all three of those things equally but for the sake of this post, let’s talk about spending too much money on a latte at Starbucks.
We make our own coffee at home because 1) we can regulate quality and 2) it’s just too damn expensive to buy coffee at Starbucks or any other place. I’d rather spend the $3 towards a dozen pastured eggs then a drink I enjoy for 15 minutes.
That being said, I’m a latte lover and Scott is not. Scott likes to make his regular coffee strong. Like, so strong it’s like you’re drinking mud and after you drank that mud your heart palpitates out of your chest at 500 miles per hour and your hands can’t stop shaking. Okay, I exaggerated a little but it’s pretty close to the truth. This is why I stick to my half a cup of straight black heart-palipitating mud-coffee a day– although you know that I wish I was drinking a latte.
The other problem that lattes present for me is the fact that they are made with a lot of milk. A year ago I found out that dairy was causing my unexplained chest pains. Crazy, right? Since then I’ve cut out a lot of dairy products. I can still handle butter, sour cream and cheese in small moderation but straight up milk and cream is a no-no for my stomach and heart.
Which breaks my heart because I love lattes.
So as you can see, this would cause a serious problem for guilty pleasure numero tres: treating myself to a latte from Starbucks on a hard parenting day.
Do I risk the stomachache for 15 minutes of bliss? Most of the time I do because in that moment, bliss is something I desperately need or I may find a cliff to jump off (exaggeration again..kinda..).
But times have changed my friend, times have changed.
One hard parenting day I decided to take a trip to Starbucks and took a leap of faith and tried something different on the menu. Usually I get a tall latte with whole milk but that day, I chose an iced chai tea latte because it was so. freaking. hot. I cringed at the $3.25 price tag but I needed it.
I took a sip and it was so tasty; my new favorite drink! Later that night I inevitably suffered from a serious stomachache. I was determined to figure out a way to recreate this drink so I could enjoy it without 1) going broke and 2) getting a stomachache.
After trying to make the iced chai tea latte with coconut milk and failing (yucko), I believe I have finally perfected a dairy-free version that will knock the socks of the Starbucks version. Using homemade vanilla-maple almond milk and a little extra maple syrup for the sweetener, this iced maple chai tea latte is perfectly sweetened and not the least bit bitter.
- Boil one cup of water and then pour it into a liquid measuring cup or large mug
- Add 1 chai tea bag and let brew for 5 minutes
- Once the chai tea is done brewing, add ½ cup of ice to your glass followed by ¼ cup brewed chai tea, almond milk and maple syrup
- Stir with a spoon and enjoy