This is my last recipe of 2017, and I want to leave you with a cozy one! After a Thanksgiving and early December filled with 85 degree weather, it is FINALLY getting chilly here in Los Angeles. I expected to come back from the Bay Area after Christmas and pull out my tank tops, shorts, and sunscreen, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my need for fuzzy socks and a heavy North Face!
When it gets a little chilly out, there is nothing I love more than curling up on the couch with a warm mug of SOMETHING. Preferably alongside a good book or a mindless TV show. This is pretty much always part of my nighttime ritual, and it really helps me wind down. Tea is my go-to, but I also always love a nice latte when I have some more time. I went through a turmeric latte phase, but recently I wanted to switch it up and try out something new. Latte options are limited, though, for a girl who doesn’t do caffeine.
When have I ever let that stop me? I decided to put my own twist on one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had – a Dirty Chai Latte. During my first few years in L.A., I would go to Toast Bakery Cafe in West Hollywood as often as I could just to get their Dirty Chai Latte. They served it with a mini, bite-sized chocolate chip cookie. So cute. I thought I loved chai lattes before, but the dirty chai latte was on a whole new level.
What is a dirty chai latte? It’s a chai latte (which, by itself, is one of my favorite drinks in the world), with a shot (or two) of espresso. It tastes like a dream. Sadly, though, I haven’t been able to have one since going gluten-free and dairy-free. Unfortunately the dirty chai lattes at Toast Bakery Cafe contain both gluten and dairy. Also, caffeine really affects me (I bounce off the walls for days after a sip), so I save it for special occasions, anyways.
I decided to make my own caffeine-free version of a dirty chai latte using some of my favorite products! Dandy Blend is my favorite caffeine-free coffee replacement, and I’ve talked about it many times before. It doesn’t taste exactly like coffee, but it has that same earthy taste and always satisfies my coffee craving. Some people are confused about how Dandy Blend can be gluten-free, so I recommend you check out their FAQ to really understand how it’s made. It is made from the water extracts of barley and rye, not actual barley and rye. The gluten and gliadin proteins, which is what many of us react to, are not water soluble, so they get left out of the final product. It’s certified gluten-free, and it’s never given me a problem.
The other key to this masterpiece is Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer. Since getting this, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to use it other than just traditional coffee. I love it in smoothies and tea lattes, and the creamer is the perfect way to make any drink extra thick and frothy. Most creamers have unnecessary additives and weird ingredients, so it’s basically a miracle that there is now a creamer out there that not only tastes amazing, but actually benefits your health.
I’ve posted all about the benefits of collagen before, which you can read about here. In a nutshell, though, collagen is amazing for improving the health of your gut, hair, skin, nails, joints, muscles, and more. I’ve been using collagen regularly for years now, and I can’t tell you enough how much I recommend it. It’s been a key player in healing my leaky gut, it makes my hair and nails grow like crazy, it helps keep my skin clear and vibrant, my joints are less achey, and I have better recovery after workouts. This coconut flavor is a dream, and it almost acts like a coconut milk substitute! Since it’s a powder, you never have to worry about opening up your creamer and using it before it goes bad.
Besides the Dandy Blend and Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer, all you really need is some decaf chai tea! There are a ton of rooibos chai teas on the market, so use whatever works for you! I’ve linked to my favorites in the ingredient list. While this version is caffeine-free, you can absolutely sub whatever you want. If you want to use regular coffee instead of Dandy Blend, or regular chai tea instead of rooibos chai, go for it! It will still taste amazing. This is the perfect drink for cozying up and winding down, or starting your day off without a caffeine spike and crash. No sugar, no dairy, no gluten – just pure deliciousness! Plus, it’s got a bit of healthy fats and protein to keep you feeling satisfied for the rest of the day or night! If you’re keto, this is the perfect night cap.
Caffeine-Free Dirty Coconut Chai Latte
- 2 cups water, or nut milk if you want it extra creamy!
- 2 scoops Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer
- 1 bag rooibos chai tea (any brand will do, but I like Numi and Choice Organic)
- 2 tsp Dandy Blend
- 2 tsp coconut butter
- Dash of cinnamon
- Place the water/nut milk into a small saucepan with the chai tea bag and heat over medium heat until as warm as you’d like. I prefer it just before boiling.
- Remove the liquid from the heat, and allow the tea to steep for a few minutes.
- Once the tea has steeped, remove the tea bag and pour the liquid into your mug. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until mixed. You can also blend this, use a frother, or use an immersion blender if you’d like it to be even more blended!
- Cozy up and enjoy!