Ainar – Make This Middle Eastern Tea to Celebrate Your New Baby

I found this info and recipe while looking through the Penzeys Spices catalog. I’m copying it here directly – never heard of this and I love it!!

Sasha writes, “Introducing Ainar, the tea brewed especially for baby mamas and the guests who stop in to dote on their pretty newborns. In case you didn’t know, mamas need lots of things after having a baby: rest, love, good, warm food. And this tea. The cool thing about Ainar is the treat at the bottom of the cup. Nuts. After cooking a bunch of warming, fragrant spices like cinnamon, caraway, anise and nutmeg in a large pot of water, the hot tea is splashed over assorted nuts and as much sugar as you can stand. Walnuts, almonds and pine nuts are the most common. This is a Middle Eastern tea to celebrate the birth of a new baby. The spices are believed to help the mother heal as well as bring good luck to the new family.”

  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tb anise seed
  • pinch ground nutmeg (1/4 tsp or so)
  • 6 cups water
  • Garnish (to taste)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup total nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, slivered almonds)
  • 1/4 – 1 cup sugar

In a saucepan, add the spices to the water (use a tea ball or cheesecloth if desired) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. You can also simmer longer for stronger flavor. Pour through a spaghetti strainer if you did not use a tea ball. Serve in teacups over mixed nuts and add sugar to taste.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-30 minutes

Serves 4-6

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My Favorite Pregancy Drink

I am a huge Starbucks fan and have been ever since I worked in one on campus during my college years – I love everything from coffee, tea and chai to Frappuchinos and vanilla soy lattes. Pregnancy is, therefore, a bummer.

Lucky for me now prego with #2 that I’ve been on decaf varieties ever since finding out I was expecting my first baby. All the nausea I was already having back then made it hard to tell whether I was feeling crappy from the pregnancy or the caffeine withdrawal – so it worked out. Then, after the birth of my daughter, I pumped for a year (so still no caffeine) and after 2 years I was mostly just used to it. I’d probably run circles around my apartment like a hamster if I had a normal cup of coffee now.

But there are a few things I do miss and one of those is a Chai Tea Latte. Tazo does make decaf chai but Starbucks chains don’t sell it from the bar (and not in most stores either). Plus, they do have a LOT of sugar and empty calories – not the best thing for growing a person inside you (of course, Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk is a totally different story…). So, when looking for herbal teas I noticed that Tazo makes a decaf chai in teabag form (also not usually in Starbucks stores but I found some at Target and online). And now you can make yourself a pretty darn good (and healthier) chai latte just like this:

  1. Steep 1 Tazo decaf chai tea bag in a mug of very hot water about 4 minutes
  2. Add sweetener (I use local honey to fight my seasonal allergies or organic agave nectar)
  3. Add a splash of milk (almond milk or soy milk work equally well)
  4. Your drink is the perfect temperature to enjoy right away and tastes pretty darn close to the real thing!
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