Friday, September 12, 2014
Your favorite fall drinks HEALTHIFIED!
Fall is my favorite season of the year. Crisp, clear air, crunching leaves, football tailgating. Partaking in cooler-weather activities often includes a tasty beverage. So, here are a few of those popular fall sips with a healthy spin.
1. Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Pumpkin Spice coffee is a common favorite in the fall. Instead heading over to Dunkin for the Pumpkin coffee pumped with sugar and cream, why not make your own black coffee with pumpkin spice brewed into it? Didn't know you could do this? Here's how: Measure your favorite (unflavored) coffee into the filter per usual. Sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice over top of the grounds. You will want to use VERY little here. I use a light dusting (probably less than 1/8 teaspoon) per 12 ounces of coffee I brew. Set the coffee to brew and there you go! You will brew your very own pumpkin spice-flavored coffee.
1b. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Spice coffee is great, but what about a latte? Yep - you can make this one too. Brew 1/2 cup of double strength pumpkin spice coffee (add the pumpkin spice per usual amount). In a separate cup mix 1 cup low-fat milk, soy milk or almond milk. Note if you use soy or almond milk, this will add another flavor to this mix so I'm not sure how it will taste. Add 1 teaspoon sugar or other preferred sweetener such as honey or agave nectar. Mix milk mixture until frothy (I use a stick blender). Pour coffee into mug with milk. Top with a dusting of Pumpkin Pie Spice and enjoy! This makes about 16 ounces.
Hint: To make double strength coffee, brew twice the amount of coffee ground required by your coffee maker.
2. Vanilla Latte
Follow the directions above, but instead use double strength unflavored coffee. To the milk/non-dairy drink, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with the 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix per the directions above. Dust the top with ground cinnamon.
There are many variations to this recipe depending on whether you prefer regular, caramel or mocha frappuccinos. In a blender, combine the following: 3/4 cup double strength coffee, 1.5 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup low-fat milk or non-dairy beverage and 2 cups ice. If you want caramel or mocha, you would also add about 2 tablespoons of either caramel syrup or chocolate syrup. Blend on high speed until ice is crushed and drink is smooth. Makes two 16-ounce portions. Simple!
4. Hot Chocolate
While I will admit that the little packets with the mini marshmallows are exciting, they are certainly not as healthy as making your own. Here's a quick and easy method: Combine 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup sugar or other equivalent sweetener of choice, 1/3 cup hot water and 1/8 tsp salt in a medium saucepan. Cook until boiling then stir constantly for 1 minute while boiling. Stir in 4 cups milk and heat (but don't boil). Remove mixture from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir well and serve. Source: http://www.momables.com/how-to-make-homemade-hot-cocoa/
5. Apple Cider
Nothing much exciting to write here except to say that the best apple cider truly is the real stuff. Go for 100% apple cider versus powder packets of spice cider. You'll get all the vitamins and minerals plus a bit of fiber from the pressed apples that you won't get in the powder. So sip the good stuff and enjoy!