What Warm Drinks Are Healthy?

From Nutritionist Mikaela Reuben.

The fall has arrived! This colder season is usually accompanied by decadent and indulgent warm mint mochas and caramel pumpkin machiattos. As enjoyable and sweet as these drinks are, unfortunately they are filled with a ton of refined sugars and other processed flavoring and chemicals. Not only that, but they are full of empty calories that just mess with the blood sugar and contain unnecessary and unhealthy fats. That doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to plain teas and black coffee though! Here are a list of handcrafted drinks that are sweetened with whole ingredients, full of healthy fats, and powered up with super foods! Indulge in these, feel nourished, and stay warm.

Golden Milk

Turmeric is well known for its powerful anti-inflammatory nature and when combined with fresh black pepper it boosts our bodies ability to absorb these benefits immensely. A calming, creamy beverage to enjoy whilst winding down from the day.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (you could use rice, hemp, almond or any other desired milk of choice)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1/16 teaspoon or small pinch of cayenne powder

1/16 teaspoon or small pinch of black pepper

1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, grated

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together thoroughly in a high speed blender. Transfer contents to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Making sure this does not boil! Strain contents into a large mug and drink immediately.

Whipped Creamy Cacao with Superfood Maca

Maca originates from central Peru and is known today as a powerful superfood. It’s works as an adaptogen to balance hormones, regulate stress, promote sleep and acts as an aphrodisiac. With a creamy almost butterscotch like flavor, this tasty cacao drink will leave you feeling relaxed.

Ingredients:

1 cup of hot water

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 tablespoon maca powder

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

pinch of sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a high speed blender and pulse for 20 seconds. The addition of coconut oil will emulsify the ingredients, creating a creamy foam like consistency to take place. Taste to add desired sweetness. Consume immediately or store in the fridge and add ice cubes for a chilled version.

Spiced Hemp-Chai Latte

Chai blends are more than just a tasty spiced beverage. With added ginger and black pepper, these spices work to produce heat and bring warmth to the body, a desired effect when the days begin to turn cooler.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup hemp hearts

2 cups water

1 tea bag or 1 tablespoon loose black tea

1 tablespoon mixed chai spices or combine:

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger powder or 1/2 inch ginger root

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Directions:

Pour 1 cup of water, chai spices and the tea bag (or loose leaf) into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes covered. While this is steeping, place 1 cup of water with hemp hearts in a high speed blender and blend well until all seeds are broken down. Remove the chai blend from the heat and stir in hemp milk. Once a little cooled (not cold!), add honey or sweetener or choice. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a pinch of cayenne.

Raw Hot Chocolate (adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life)

Raw Hot Chocolate is a perfect beverage to snuggle up on the couch with loved ones. This smooth blend includes cinnamon that helps regulate blood sugar and promote insulin sensitivity, helping to proper utilize the natural sugars that are produced from the added dates. Nothing feels more comforting in the colder season than a warm cup of hot cocoa.

Ingredients:

3 pitted medjool dates

1.5-2 cups nut milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/16 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1-2 tablespoons cacao powder

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (optional)

Directions:

Warm the nut milk on the stove, add it and all the other ingredients to a high speed blender and blend well until smooth. Pour into mugs and enjoy!

Daily Maintenance Tea 

Boasting in antioxidants, ginger, honey and apple cider vinegar all help to reduce infection, inflammation and the feelings of a cold or flu. Ginger has also been known for its ability to aid discomfort in the digestive tract. This liquid medicine has been a long time renowned for its health promoting benefits.

Ingredients:

1 cup of hot water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 inch of fresh ginger root, grated or 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

juice of half a lemon

1-2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

pinch of cayenne (optional)

Directions:

With your cup of hot water, add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger root and sweetener if desired. Cover and allow to steep for up to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with optional cayenne pepper.

Earl Grey Latte with Fresh Lavender

Lavender has a wonderful effect on the bodies central nervous system. Promoting relaxation and a sense of calmness, it works effectively to reduce stress and anxiety in individuals. The addition of this wonderful herb brings a light floral like flavor to this classic tea latte.

Ingredients:

1 tea bag or 1 tablespoon loose leaf earl grey tea

1/2 teaspoon loose lavender petals

1-2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

1 cup of water

1/2 cup milk of choice (coconut, almond, hemp)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, bring water, earl grey tea, lavender petals and vanilla to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes covered. Remove from heat and strain ingredients, pouring the liquid into a large mug. Stir in milk of choice and honey to sweeten. Drink warm. 

*Mikaela works as a culinary nutritionist and health consultant, assisting stars such as Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. She takes a personalized approach to her nutrition and health coaching, viewing everyone’s body as distinctly unique. Check out her guide to healthy snacks or read how to best cut out sugar.