It happens to the best of us. We work really hard to lose a few pounds and get in shape, but then comes the best time of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas – and all our efforts go to waste. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Knowing that most of us love sipping on warm drinks in cold weather, which are often high in sugar, unhealthy and make us gain weight, here we have for you some healthy fall and winter drink recipes. While they taste as good as your traditional holiday drinks, but are low in calories.
What else do you want? Try out these super satisfying but healthy, warm drinks this season to enjoy the holidays without putting on weight.
1. Pecan Toffee Latte
If you are a coffee person and love trying out new coffee recipes, this one is for you. Here’s how to make this delicious coffee drink:
- Pecans: 1 cup
- Almonds: 1 cup
- Medjool dates: 3
- Water: 3 cups
- Sea salt: ½ teaspoon
- Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- Espresso shots: 2 or as per taste
Add the pecans, almonds, dates, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until everything is well-grinded for about 4 minutes. Now add the water and vanilla extract and process again until you end up with smooth nut milk.
Heat the milk (you can also whisk it to froth) and then pour into a cup containing two shots of espresso.
If you like your coffee very strong, keep half and half ratio of espresso and milk.
2. London Fog
Another caffeine drink to try out in place of your morning cup of Joe, this recipe uses Earl Grey Tea instead of coffee. While it may not give you the same caffeine boost, you will get a gentle one, along with numerous beneficial health effects.
For those who do not know, the tea is rich in catechin, which is a powerful antioxidant known to be very effective in fighting against oral infections. Earl Grey Tea also has relaxing and calming properties and can help relieve stress and anxiety and improve digestion.
- Earl Grey Tea Bags: 1 to 2 (depending on how strong you want the drink to be)
- Almond milk: 8 ounces
- Hot water: 4 ounces
- Raw honey: 1 teaspoon
- Vanilla extract: a dash (optional)
Add the tea bags in hot water and let them steep for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan and then whisk it with a milk frother until it is foamy.
Remove the tea bags from the tea mixture and add honey and vanilla extract (if using) in it. Give it a whisk and then pour into a serving cup.
Pour the steaming foamy milk over the tea, give it a slight stir and enjoy!
3. Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte
No fall and winter season is complete without the traditional pumpkin spice latte. But, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on calories and consume sugar and calorie-rich drinks, especially when you can make a healthier version of it.
- Non-fat milk: 1 cup (240 ml)
- Very strong coffee: ¾ cup (180 ml)
- Pumpkin purée: 1 tablespoon (15grams)
- Ground cinnamon: ⅛ teaspoon
- Ground nutmeg: A tiny pinch
- Ground ginger: A tiny pinch
- Vanilla Crème Stevia: 4 drops, or according to your taste
Add the milk and pumpkin puree to a pot and bring it to a simmer on medium-low heat while stirring continuously with a whisk.
When the milk starts to simmer, add the ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon powder and stevia. Whisk the mixture until it is frothy. Add the prepared coffee in a large mug and pour the milk mixture on top. Enjoy!
Note: If you are vegan or avoiding dairy for any other reason, you can also use non-dairy milk in place of non-fat milk.
4. Vanilla Chai Tea Latte
- Water: 2 cups
- Milk: ½ cup
- Black tea bags: 2
- Peppercorns: 2
- Whole cloves: 3
- Cinnamon stick: 1
- Brown sugar: 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- Ground ginger: ¼ teaspoon
- Ground cardamom: ¼ teaspoon
- Nutmeg: 1/8 teaspoon
In a small saucepan, add water, the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, ginger powder, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Give it a whisk and bring to boil on medium heat.
Let the mixture boil for at least 5 minutes – the longer you boil, the stronger the flavor of spices will be.
When the spiced water is ready, take it off the heat and add tea bags in it. Let the tea bags steep for about 5 minutes and then add the vanilla extract and brown sugar. Stir well and remove the tea bags.
In a cup, heat milk in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Add the warm milk into the tea, give it a stir, pour into a mug and enjoy!
5. Hot Chocolate
Another must-have drink of the cold weather, hot chocolate is simply divine. But, unfortunately, it is packed with empty calories. Try this healthier version of hot chocolate this season – it gives a similar flavor, but has a much lower calorie count.
- Unsweetened almond milk: 1 ½ cups
- Light coconut milk: 1 cup
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: 2 tablespoons
- Pure maple syrup: 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon
- Sea salt: A pinch
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and whisk vigorously to make sure everything is well-mixed and there are no lumps of cocoa powder. Place the pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it is steamy. Whisk continuously to prevent burning.
Make sure the mixture does not boil as it can lead to the burning of the almond milk, which will give your hot chocolate a weird taste.
Once the mixture is steamy hot, take the pot off the heat and pour into the serving mugs. There you have it – a healthier, but equally delicious version of everyone’s favorite winter drink.
6. Hot Toddy
With only 150 calories, this hot toddy recipe is going to be the favorite weekend drink for everyone who’s trying to stay away from high-calorie drinks this season. Try it out and share it with your friends and family to stay fit and healthy without giving up on warm winter drinks.
Made with seasonal spices, this hot drink is also known to be beneficial in preventing and fighting off cold. What more do you want?
Here’s how you can make this ridiculously simple, healthy, beneficial and yummy drink:
- Hot water: 7 ounces
- Brandy, Bourbon or Scotch: 1 ½ ounce (3 tablespoons)
- Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
- Cloves: 3
- Cinnamon stick: 1-an inch piece
- Star anise: 1
- Honey: ¾ tablespoon
- Lemon: 1-2 thin slices for garnishing
Add everything except the lemon slices in a heatproof glass. Stir well, add lemon slices and enjoy! It’s as simple as that!
7. Skinny Peppermint Mocha
Is Mocha your favorite coffee flavor? You can now slash empty calories from your favorite drink by replacing the high-calorie sugar syrup with healthy peppermint extract and omitting whipped cream altogether. The latter doesn’t sound good, but take our word for it – you will get used to it after a couple of times.
Concerned about the intense flavor of the peppermint extract? Don’t worry – the dark chocolate syrup will perfectly balance it!
- Coffee: ½ cup (as strong or light as you like)
- Pure dark chocolate syrup: 2 tablespoons or as per your taste
- Non-fat milk: 1/3 cup
- Peppermint extract: 2 drops
Pour the freshly brewed or made coffee into a mug. Add the chocolate syrup and peppermint extract. Stir and taste to adjust the flavor according to your taste.
Warm the milk in the microwave or stovetop and pour it into the mug containing coffee. Stir and enjoy!
8. Matcha Milk
With matcha (the Japanese green tea) as the base, this hot creamy drink is not only delicious, but is also packed with a number of powerful health beneficial properties. In case you don’t already know, matcha tea is known to help reduce cholesterol levels as well as improve metabolism.
- Almond Milk: 1 cup
- Matcha Powder: 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- Agave syrup (or any other healthy sweetener): 1 teaspoon
- Cinnamon or nutmeg powder (optional): A pinch or as per your taste
Pour almond milk in a small pot and cook it over medium-low heat, until it is steaming hot. Add the match powder and whisk well to make sure there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth.
Now add the vanilla extract, agave syrup, and cinnamon or nutmeg powder (if using). Stir well and your super healthy and yummy matcha milk is ready!
Cold weather has just started and is not going away anytime soon, which means you can’t just continue to resist your cravings and temptations for warm and cozy drinks the entire season. If you don’t want to indulge in the traditional sugar and calorie-rich fall and winter drinks, giving up on warm drinks is not the best approach in cold weather. Making healthier choices is!
Try out the healthy fall and winter drinks given above and do share your feedback with us.