Winters are here, so is the holiday season. As Christmas and New Year’s come knocking at your door with high spirits, maybe it’s time you take a break from the traditional ‘spirits’ and try out some of these amazing hot non-alcoholic beverages instead. Loaded with health benefits aplenty, they are sure to keep you healthy, warm and all fuzzy these winters.
Kahwa is a traditional green tea beverage consumed in regions of Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan and Kashmir region of northern India. It is essentially made from exotic tea leaves with dried fruits and nuts and aromatic spices including saffron. The nuts and aromatic spices add to the distinct flavor of this traditional drink.
Besides keeping one warm in winters, Kahwa has various health benefits too. It has great antioxidant properties, improves digestion, helps in burning fat, helps in stress reduction and improves immunity. This flavorful drink rejuvenates your mind and body and it works wonders for skin too.
Over the years herbal tea has gained tremendous popularity across the world. Loaded with health benefits, it has become a popular choice of beverage among the fitness freaks too. As the name suggests, herbal tea is a beverage made from decoction of herbs and spices with water.
Herbal teas are known to have diverse health benefits as they are rich in antioxidants, antibacterial and antiviral properties. For hundreds of years, they have been used as traditional remedies to various ailments such as sleep disorders, nausea, common cold, cramps, digestive disorders, they also help in keeping cholesterol levels under check. Chamomile tea is known to help relieve stress, manage blood sugar, blood lipid and insulin levels. Peppermint, hibiscus, rosehip, sage are some other popular varieties of herbal teas.
Modern science also correlates many healing properties of herbal teas.
Spiced Hot Apple Cider
As the saying goes, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, this drink is going to make your heart, body and mind rejoice. Spiced Hot Apple Cider is a simple yet a perfect non-alcoholic, healthy drink to keep you warm these winters. It is a decoction of apple cider, water, sugar (brown sugar is a healthier option) and spices are added to this flavorful beverage.
Apple cider is an unpasteurized and unsweetened beverage made from apples with strands called as ‘mother’ of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria. It is rich in antioxidants, regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol, enhances weight loss, improves skin health, reduces blood pressure and keeps your gut healthy too.
Hot dark chocolate
Chocolate lovers say yay to the joy of curling up in bed and enjoying that sinfully delightful cup of hot dark chocolate! This classic drink is a perfect blend of bittersweet dark chocolate, cream and sugar in milk, often spiced up with nutmeg or cinnamon for that added flavor.
Dark chocolate has great nutritional value, it is known to be rich in antioxidant, improves heart health, regulates blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Mixed Spiced Tea (Masala Chai)
As the name suggests, mixed spiced tea is a flavored beverage which is made by mixing aromatic Indian spices and herbs to the base tea which is usually brewed black tea. Traditional mixed spiced tea is brewed with spices in varied proportions. The spice mixture called as ‘karha’ uses a base of ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom pods. The simplest and traditional method of preparing masala chai is through decoction, by actively simmering or boiling a mixture of milk and water with loose leaf tea, sweeteners, and whole spices. (Wikipedia)
The wonders of vegetables come in a bowlful of homemade steaming soup! Besides being a healthful option, making homemade vegetable soup is also an economically viable. You may add seasonal vegetables to up the nutritional value. Aromatic spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon enhance the flavor of the soup and sprinkled black pepper adds sharp taste. Served with croutons makes it a wholesome and healthy meal option.
And you thought you couldn’t get through the winters without alcohol! You can replace that oozing glass of rum with these healthful non-alcoholic alternatives to beat the winter chill. And here goes- Happy holidays!