Every weekday, my mom sets an alarm for 4:30 am. She rises before the sun, pulls on running shoes, and pounds the pavement in the dark and quiet calm of the morning before showering, slipping into a dress and heels, and leaving at 6:30 am to beat the morning rush hour traffic for her one-hour commute to work.
But just before she locks the front door, she always sets aside enough time to make a chai latte. She drank her first from Starbucks over eight years ago and immediately fell for its warm, sweetly spiced taste. With her impatience for lines, especially at coffee shops, she eventually learned how to make her own at home.
Mom switches between the Tazo Chai Concentrate, the same carton Starbucks uses to whip up theirs, and Oregon Chai’s powder, when she’s craving a slightly smoother taste. Regardless, she always stocks at least four of each in her pantry, plus a few more at work. Mom needs her morning caffeine!
However, I finally realized this past week that, despite Mom’s obsession, I had never actually tried a chai latte! (I’ve sipped on regular chai tea before, but only once or twice…) I decided to change that this past weekend, yet the weather refused to cooperate and stayed in the 90’s. It’s hard to drink hot tea when it still feels like summer!
So I quickly switched gears and improvised instead with this…
A Skinny Chai Frappuccino! Sweet and creamy with an irresistible cinnamony taste, this blended beverage is a refreshing combination of a frosty summer drink with cozy fall flavors. With only 4 healthy ingredients, this clean-eating frappuccino is the perfect way to start the day!
After browsing the Starbucks menu, I realized that they don’t actually offer a skinny chai frappuccino. Yes, they offer lower-calorie options of their regular coffee frapps with nonfat milk, sugar free syrup, and a lighter base—but not with their chai crème one! They don’t even sell a skinny chai latte either… Both of those need to appear on the menu!
So to create our homemade skinny chai frappuccino, we’ll start with regular chai tea bags instead of a concentrate with lots of added sugar. Steep 2 bags for at least 30 minutes, if not longer! Yes, that’s much longer than the recommended time, but between the milk and ice, the spiced chai flavor becomes too faint and watered down otherwise.
After it’s strong enough, make sure you chill the tea! It needs to be cold so it doesn’t melt the ice. This takes a little while, so remember to plan ahead!
Once you have the tea, the rest of the recipe is a piece of cake. Choose your milk—I recommend nonfat or light soy (for a vegan frapp)—and your sweetener (my favorite is Truvia). Then just blend and drink!
Just like with last week’s pumpkin pie smoothie, this Skinny Chai Frappuccino disappeared much too quickly! I nearly gave myself a brain freeze gulping it down in our sunny backyard… As a huge cinnamon fiend, I just couldn’t get enough!
When the weather finally cools down, I’ll have to try Mom’s chai latte… But until then, I’m definitely making a few more of these frapps while I wait!