4 Hot Winter Drinks that are Nutritious and Delicious - Almeda

Is there really anything better than snuggling up with a warm cup of your favorite winter beverage? Toasty drinks seem to get us through the cold months and are a great finisher to a meal or snack.  But, be careful, popular winter drinks are often loaded with added sugar and calories.

What if you could enjoy a flavorful warm beverage without all the extra stuff?  Keep it light this winter by switching out high sugar beverages with the winter drink recipes listed below.  They might even help you avoid your yearly winter sickness!

  • Almond Milk Chai latte

The rich, spicy-sweet flavors of chai can easily be defined as holiday spirit in a cup.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger come together in perfect harmony to create a flavor that cleanses the plattee and satisfies your sweet tooth.  Add a dash of maple syrup and you have a chai latte that will top any cafe’s premade chai tea mixture.

Each spice in chai offers a little something extra – ginger and cardamon aid in proper digestion, cinnamon is an appetite suppressant and cardamom helps detox the body.  Add this drink as a dessert, snack or first thing in the morning for that little boost you need to get you through the winter months.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tea bags of chai tea
  • Dash of cardamom
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil over medium-high heat.  Once boiling reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool to desired temperature.

To achieve a frothy top without barista equipment, put mixture in a high powered blend and blend for 20-30 seconds.  Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.

  • Cranberry Ginger Cleansing Tea

Cranberry is commonly know as a detoxifier, and with the addition of ginger this tea will absolutely help cleanse toxins from the body.  Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and can help lower and maintain cholesterol levels.  This recipe can be prepared on the stove or in a slow cooker if making several servings.  Treat your friends and family with this feel better cleansing tea to help ward off sickness and build the immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice, look for a juice with no added sugar
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 ginger knuckle, peeled and chopped into coins (about the size of a ping pong ball)
  • ½ Tbsp honey, optional
  • Splash of orange juice, optional

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon remove fresh cranberries and pour into a mug to enjoy.  Garnish with extra fresh cranberries or a cinnamon stick.

  • Savory Vegetable Tea

You might have been at a fancy restaurant where they offer you a warm and savory brothy drink before your appetizer is served. The idea is that the broth will warm the gut and jump start metabolism before your first course is served.  Not only does the savory broth style drink have metabolism boosting benefits it also is surprisingly satisfying.  Vegetable teas are starting to make their way to grocery store shelves and they are definitely worth trying considering they contain more vitamins than a traditional black or green tea.

Top your vegetable tea with a few oyster crackers and enjoy as a snack or an appetizer to your meal.  One sip, and you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients and materials:

  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • 3 large carrots chopped into coins
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • 2 sliced shallots
  • Small bunch fresh Parsley
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig tarragon, optional
  • 1 sprig thyme, optional
  • 5 peppercorns, optional
  • 2 qt. Glass canning jar
  • 3 cups water
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the 2 quart glass canning jar and seal.  Set jar in a medium saucepan and add enough water to the pan to reach about halfway up the sides of the jar.

Bring water to a boil over medium high heat and cook for 2 hours.  Replenishing the water as needed.  Let jar cool before opening.

Strain tea through a fine sieve into a saucepan and simmer for an additional 10 minutes to concentrate the flavor.   Add a dash of salt and top with additional fresh herbs as desired.

  • Hot Chocolate Reimagined

Hot cocoa will always be a fan favorite no matter how old you are.  It one of those drinks that seems to bring back memories of childhood winter fun, snow days and holiday festivities.  While raw cacao is rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium and calcium we can’t always be confident that our store bought hot cocoa mix is going to pack as much of a nutrient punch.

Try this homemade hot cocoa recipe in place of high sugar cocoa mixes and you will be pleasantly surprised how tasty it actually is. Raw cacao can be found in most grocery stores and almost always at your local health food store.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk of choice, unsweetened vanilla almond milk is recommended
  • 1 tsp stevia, or sweetener of choice
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder

Directions:

Heat milk over medium heat in a small sauce pan.  Being sure not to burn it.

Place sweetener and cacao powder in your mug and add about 2 Tablespoons of warm milk.  Stir until a paste forms.  Add another 2 tablespoons until paste loosens and cocoa is evenly mixed with liquid.  Continue to add small amounts of milk until fully mixed and cocoa is evenly suspended in liquid.

If you are having trouble mixing cacao into milk, put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 20-30 seconds.  Reheat as needed.