Rooibos Chai

July 24, 2014

This rooibos chai is sugar-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly and is a delightful refreshing drink with an exotic beautiful flavor.

This rooibos chai is sugar-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly and is a delightful refreshing drink with an exotic beautiful flavor.

I got this recipe from the I Quit Sugar book by Sarah Wilson.

Sarah says of this chai, “This is a wonderfully nourishing version of the standard black tea chai. Rooibos is easy to find at most health-food shops and even at supermarkets. The spices used in this blend are perfect for curbing an afternoon sweet craving—the licorice provides a sweet kick while killing the blood-sugar craziness. You can also make this with regular black tea or dandelion root, if you prefer.”

The health dangers of too much sugar have been widely documented, and the “I Quit Sugar” brand has captured the attention of thousands of Aussies who have purchased Sarah’s book and program in the hopes of reducing their intake of refined sugar and improving their health.

In January 2011, after struggling with an autoimmune disease, Sarah Wilson consulted with nutritionist Sally Joseph, who suggested Sarah quit sugar. Sally put Sarah on the wellness protocol that she had designed for other clients, and like those others, Sarah’s health dramatically improved. Using Sally’s program and her recipes as inspiration,

Sarah launched the I Quit Sugar brand and began sharing her version of Sally’s 8-week plan that consists of 108 recipes that are free of refined sugar.

In the book, Sarah shares her tips for overcoming refined sugar cravings, using healthier sugar substitutes, deciphering labels on processed foods, and staying away from refined sugar. The Big Sauce Swap on page 29 shares her picks for healthier condiment choices. Sarah is an advocate of full-fat ingredients. In the book she talks about how low-fat, and fat-free products contain a lot of sugar in an effort to replicate the taste of their full-fat counterparts. A low-fat yogurt can contain 15% sugar, whereas a natural yogurt typically contains only 4.7%. Similarly, balsamic vinegar contains 16% sugar, with apple cider vinegar containing less than 1% sugar.

Sarah also shares recipes for pantry staples like mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauce, berry sauce, almond milk, nut butter, basic broths and purees. She also shares her favorite oils, natural sweeteners, spices and flavorings, sprouts, coconut products, superfoods, and other healthy nutrient-dense foods to sustain your body to reduce any dependence on refined sugar.

Then, she uses these products in the recipes: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, Coco-Nutty Granola, Cashewy Chia Pudding, Sweet Green Meal-in-a-Tumbler, Make-Me-Over Mojito Smoothie, Cooling Avocado Soup, Pea, Herb, and Almond Crush, Summery Quinoa Tabbouleh, Chickpea Bombs, Meal-In-A-Cracker, Avocado and Coconut Popsicles, Spirulina and Sesame Balls, Chocolate Coconut Nut Balls, and this Rooibos Chai I am sharing today.

The rooibos chai is my favorite recipe in the book because it doesn’t contain sugar of any kind. Many of the other recipes contain other sweeteners like brown rice syrup that do affect blood sugar levels.

While the book has sold a lot of copies, the book continues to be surrounded by a lot of controversy because nutritionists and journalists have questioned how the claims in the book have not been backed up with scientific research.

I think we can all agree that reducing sugar is a boon to health. I’m just not sure that this method is the way to go.

Take a look at the book, read the reviews on amazon, and decide for yourself.


Rooibos Chai

This rooibos chai is sugar-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly and is a delightful refreshing drink with an exotic beautiful flavor. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tess Masters


  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 3 star anise (or 1 teaspoon fennel seeds)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon ground ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon ground licorice root (optional)
  • 1 cup  unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup loose rooibos tea


  1. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and star anise (alternatively, leave them whole).
  2. Transfer the crushed spices to a saucepan and add the ginger, licorice root (if using) and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and let steep for 4-5 minutes. Add the milk and rooibos tea and bring back to a boil.
  4. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for another 5 minutes. Strain and serve.

Recipe Notes

Recipe and photo from I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC.


Comments 2

  1. I’ve been buying a Rooibos Chai as I thought it would be a bit complicated/time consuming to create my own – but this looks super simple. Do you think it would matter if I used organic almond milk rather than making my own?

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