November 02, 2020

Featuring Chai Crouton Delicata Squash Salad

You’re really going to want to CHAI this recipe at home tonight.

Chai spice is a warm way to add some fall flavour to your plant-based recipes. Luckily, chai spice can be easily mixed up at home using many of the spices you already have. Rich in the warming aroma of cinnamon, the invigorating scent of nutmeg, and the earthy heat of all-spice, chai is a fun way to spice up your plant-based recipes. Here’s not just my favourite Chai Spice Blend Recipe. It’s not just great sprinkled on freshly cut apples, or to decorate the frothy bubbles on your latte – chai spice is outstanding on croutons. You’ve got to chai making my favourite way to use up left over bread: Crispy Chai Croutons. Don’t be chai – keep going! Make a quick, easy, healthy recipe that is flavour-packed: Chai Crouton Delicata Squash Salad.

 

3 Easy Plant-based Chai Recipes

Sprinkle this easy plant-based chai spice you can make in about 3 minutes, and enjoy every warm, spicy bite! From vegan cupcakes to crunchy homemade granola, almond milk tea lattes to salads, there is truly no limit to what you can do with this chia spice blend. Here are two of my favourite chai inspired plant based recipes for you to enjoy at home.

Chai spice blend

1. How to Make Chai Spice at Home

If only I had known earlier in my life how to make an easy chai recipe – it’s simply just a spice blend. These staples in my kitchen just needed for me to provide a dance floor where they could all get together, and then the real party started! Grab a small glass jar, and combine these spices to make your very own chai spice blend within minutes.

 

RECIPE: Chai Spice Blend

  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp all spice

 

2. Crispy Chai Croutons

Fresh croutons can be made in less than 10 minutes (and, 5 of those minutes is them baking in the oven while you put your feet up on the couch). Fast, easy, and a crowd-pleaser, fresh homemade croutons are an outstanding addition to any salad. Spice up your next salad with some chai spice on your croutons. It pairs so well with roasted vegetables, like squash and sweet potatoes.

 

What’s the best bread to use?

Finding the best bread starts with the grain. Ultimately, you want the whole grain. A bread called whole grain means the entire grain was used to make the bread – the bran, germ and the kernel – the good stuff isn’t taken away as it is in the creation of processed white bread. But, there’s more! If that grain is sprouted, it’s even more healthy! How do you sprout a grain? Organic whole grains are cleaned, rinsed, and soaked in water until they begin to sprout (or grow). Sprouting grains allows valuable nutrients are unlocked and released: vital enzymes that break down starch stores, and digestive inhibitors. This is why sprouted grains have lower glycemic index levels as well as increased soluble fiber and protein. Eating the most nutrient-dense food, such as sprouted whole grain bread, is a great way to give your body the best in every bite.

 

Organic bread is also a great choice, when looking for the best bread to use. There’s also value in looking for breads that are certified as glyphosate residue-free. For example, Silver Hills Bakery uses a third party to ensure its breads are free from glyphosate – a pesticide which the World Health Organization classifies as a probable carcinogen.

 

RECIPE: Crispy Chai Croutons

Warm, spiced, crunchy homemade croutons are a tasty treat welcome on any table. Easy to make, you can whip up these croutons with nothing but a few knife strokes, a flip or two in a mixing bowl, and a quick toast on a baking sheet in the oven.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of chai spice blend
  • 3 slices of Silver Hills Bakery bread, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. If your oven has a ‘roast’ setting, use that instead of just ‘bake’. Cut up bread into cubes. Toss into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil. Toss the bread cubes until evenly coated with oil. Sprinkle 2 tsp of chai spice blend over the cubes. Toss cubes until all are coated in spice. Place cubes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Separate the cubes so they aren’t touching each other to ensure an even toasting. Place in the top rack of the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove as soon as they appear lightly brown. Let cool on the tray for a few minutes. 

 

3. Chai Crouton Delicata Squash Salad

Satisfying bites of sweet squash, compliment the spicy and crunchy croutons, amongst the peppery argula drizzled with lemon-based vinegrette in this Chai Crouton Delicata Squash Salad. Easy to make, despite its fancy sounding name, you can find me whipping up this salad even for a warm lunch some days. Ready in about 20 minutes, this salad is a true delight.

 

RECIPE: Chai Crouton Delicata Squash Salad

Ingredients:

½ - 1 cup of Crispy Chai Croutons (recipe above)

2-3 cups of baby arugula (or a mix with baby spinach)

1 delicata squash

2 tsp chai spice blend

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp of lemon juice

¼ cup of dry roasted almonds

Salt

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash outside of delicata squash. Cut in half and remove inner seeds and mushy flesh. Cut into small half-moons, about ½” to ¾” thick. Toss squash pieces into a mixing bowl, and add in 1 tbsp of olive oil and chai blend. Toss until well coated. Lay the squash flat on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, separating the pieces to help them roast. Put into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until brown. Optional: flip the pieces over about half way through. Remove from oven and let cool. Tip: you can start the crouton recipe (see above) while the squash pieces are cooking, if the croutons are not made in advance. In a large bowl, place the argula (baby spinach optional), and sprinkle on olive oil and lemon juice. Mix until coated. Sprinkle with salt (if desired). Add in almonds, squash, and croutons. Serve immediately.

 

 

 




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