Firstly, I love chai! Secondly, despite my recent post mentioning some rather intense events that unfolded during a trip to India years ago, there were some truly wonderful moments too. Some of my fondest memories of India involve sipping chai with local people in the village where we ended up staying. The chai I drank there was always hot (despite the hot weather), but here is a cold and frosty version that also happens to be vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and Paleo (if you substitute the rice malt syrup for maple/honey).



2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground clove
2 tsp rice malt syrup
1 tsp liquorice root powder (more if you like it)
1- 1.5 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 frozen chopped banana
250 ml coconut water
250 ml coconut milk (on the creamy side)

2 trays of ice cubes
+ extra 100 ml or so extra coconut milk/cream
Extra cinnamon for sprinkling over finished smoothies


  1. Combine chia seeds and water in a small bowl. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Mixture should thicken.
  2. In a blender, blend chia mix with all other ingredients (except for the ice + extra 100 ml coconut milk & extra cinnamon) until it reaches a smooth consistency. Divide between 2-3 large glasses or standard mason jars.
  3. Rinse your blender quickly with water then throw in as many ice cubes as your blender can handle and some of the remaining coconut cream. Crush the ice, adding more cream as needed (you can also add extra coconut water too) to creat a kind of coconutty snow/granita.
  4. Heap large spoonfuls of the crushed ice onto your smoothies. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!


*Recipe inspired by and modified from this one by paleo king and super chef, Pete Evans found at peteevans.com.au


29 thoughts on “SPICED CHAI SMOOTHIE WITH COCONUT CRUSHED ICE (pretending summer’s not over)

  1. Ohh my goodness, yes please! I want 10 of these ASAP. I love the fact that you incorporated licorice, since so few people have a taste for it. I can imagine that making for an amazing, completely unique take on chai.

    • Thanks Hannah! 🙂 I can’t claim that the liquorice root was my unique idea, or even that I am really into liquorice myself… however, incorporated with the other ingredients, it adds a boost of sweetness and a little something extra that makes it extra nice 🙂

    • Thanks, lovely Rhonda. And absolutely! In fact, I think honey is perfect. As I am trying to eat low fructose, rice malt syrup is a better alternative for me personally… but I am a big fan of honey for many reasons 🙂 x

      • I loved this post Marisa– wanted to add more of a comment but got pulled away– …we went to India once to visit a friend living outside of Calcutta and I remember cups of hot chai at every home we visited– a from a small chai wallah on a steamy afternoon in a Botanical Garden. India was the most intriguing place we’ve ever been. Your post brought back all those memories. thanks.

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