Last month, I spent some time at my parents’ house after all of the craziness of moving. That first weekend, it felt blissful to sleep in and not run to Home Depot four times a day for more boxes and packaging tape. But then… Monday morning hit.
For the past two months, a construction crew has shown up before 7 am to work on my parents’ kitchen remodel. They’re incredibly sweet guys, but it’s impossible to knock down walls and build new cabinets without hammers, saw, and all kinds of loud equipment. So that was the end of relaxing mornings for me!
Yet even after the first few days of that new routine, I didn’t quite learn my lesson. I stayed up late, typing out blog posts and editing photos, so when my new banging hammer alarm clock sounded in the morning, I’d groggily slide out of bed to start the day.
The beginning of the days weren’t quite as bad, seeing as I’ve always been a morning person, but by the time mid-afternoon rolled around, my eyelids drooped and threatened to stay shut. With lots of recipes left to test, I turned to my mom’s favorite caffeine source—chai lattes—to power me through until nightfall.
Up until then, I had never actually tried a chai latte, but after my first sip, I was hooked! That warm cinnamon, that rich tea, that sweet balance of milk… I actually started looking forward to drowsy afternoons just to have my chai pick-me-up!
So this past week, when my stomach quietly started rumbling right around the chai hour, I decided to mix up some muffins to go with my drink. These healthy Chai Latte Muffins with Vanilla Drizzle were the result!
To start, we’re going to need chai tea. I know it sounds strange, but for the maximum chai flavor, steep the tea bag for at least 30 minutes. I think I left my mug for closer to an entire hour. Because you’re using just ½ cup of tea to flavor 10 whole muffins, we need it to be extremely strong!
To make these healthier muffins light and tender, we’re going to rely on a few little tricks. First, we’ll mix in lots of Greek yogurt. With just 1 tablespoon of butter, these muffins get the rest of their tender texture from the Greek yogurt. It adds all of the moisture for just a fraction of the fat and calories. Plus it sneaks in a little extra protein boost too!
Secondly, we’re going to mix the muffin batter just like cake batter, so that means alternating additions are mandatory. Mix in a little flour, followed by a little tea, and continue switching between the two, stirring just until they’re incorporated. This method prevents over-mixing the batter, which would overdevelop the gluten strands and lead to tough muffins. Not quite the soft pillow-like texture we’re after!
And now for the drizzle! I’m not a huge fan of the taste of powdered sugar, so I use Greek yogurt as the base for my glaze instead. It’s sweetened with a little agave and Truvia, plus a hint of vanilla extract to round of the flavor. The glaze is the main “latte” taste of these muffins, so drizzle it on nice and thick!
While I snapped photos in the middle of our dining room, my guy wandered in, took one look at the muffins, and chuckled. “I’m so tempted to just take a bite out of one…”
I motioned to the tray of naked muffins next to me, still waiting their drizzle, and replied, “You’re welcome to!”
“Umm, not quite…” he responded.
“Oh. You want one with drizzle. As in the ones I’m shooting.”
“Yes… But I know better.” He laughed and walked out.
So as soon as I finished, I brought one into the office for him. I fully expected him to take a bite and hand the rest back, like he does with all of my baked goods. After he swallowed he walked back towards the kitchen, with me following nervously, grabbed the glaze, and completely covered the top before polishing off the entire muffin.
With how picky he is, these must be some incredible muffins!