4 Hot Beverage Recipes to Warm Up Your Winter

 

When the cold winter winds howl outside, there’s nothing better than staying in and cozying up in front of the fire.

Last week, we shared with you how to embrace the Danish concept of hygge — or coziness — to help you make the best out of the winter season. As the temperatures continue to stay chilly, here is how you can keep warm by making some of my favourite healthy and delicious hot beverages to savour on a cold day indoors. These drinks are not only delicious but also nutritious and best of all require very little prep time!

Here are the four beverages to enjoy and the health benefits they provide.

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Golden milk

Before we talk about golden milk, let’s dissect the two parts of the name. Despite being called “milk,” this drink is not actually made from dairy products, but with a plant-based alternative made from cashews. That means that you can still enjoy even if you’re lactose intolerant!

Secondly, the drink is a golden-orange colour, which comes from an ingredient I’ve talked about many times in the past: turmeric. Turmeric has received a lot of attention within the past year from holistic health enthusiasts due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that turmeric can help those with inflammation disorders and even reduce build-up to prevent heart disease.

Put these two ingredients together, and you’ve got a soothing winter beverage with a warming, healthy kick!

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 2 cups cashew milk

  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Optional (but highly recommended):

  • 1 tsp of honey

  • A couple of drops of organic pure vanilla extract

Directions

Heat 1½ cups of cashew milk on the stove and warm till it gently starts to bubble, you don’t want to make it too hot. In a blender combine ½ cup cashew milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and pepper and blend. Pour blended ingredients into the pot with the rest of the cashew milk, and add honey and vanilla as desired. Serves two.

Golden milk for gold!


Mushroom tea

During the winter, we all make our immune system a priority, especially if we have little ones at home. So you might be thinking, how are mushrooms going to help keep me and my family healthy?

Reishi and chaga mushroom extracts have been shown to help with boosting the immune system. Both of these natural ingredients have been used to make tea through the process of hot-water extraction, which can release beneficial carbohydrates and fibres that help our immune systems be ready to break down invading bugs.

Fun fact: chaga mushrooms are found right here in Canada!

Here’s our recipe for a simple immune-boosting chaga tea you can make in minutes at home.

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 pieces of dried chaga mushrooms

Directions:

Bring two cups of water to a boil and steep the mushrooms for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain tea to remove mushrooms and any debris. That’s it!

The best part is you can reuse the chaga mushrooms about three to four times. To store them, simply let them cool, wrap in a freezer bag and stick them in the freezer until next time.


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Maca Madness Hot Chocolate

My friend Kathy Smart, the nutritionist and writer behind Live the Smart Way, created her own fantastic hot chocolate recipes. Kathy’s recipes are made with much less sugar than the conventional packaged hot chocolate, and with ingredients that are much healthier as well.

My personal favourite is her recipe for what she calls the Maca Madness Hot Chocolate. As you could probably tell from the name, it features maca, an herb that’s high in vitamins B, C and E, and has been shown by studies to help enhance your mood, support endurance and increase libido.

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 1 cup of almond milk, cashew milk or hemp milk

  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp of maca powder

  • 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup or honey

  • 1/2 tsp each coconut oil and vanilla

  • small pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Simply blend all of the ingredients together, add to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once you taste this, you’ll be as mad for maca as we are!


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Green tea

There are so many types of tea out there with a bunch of health benefits, but one of my personal favourites is definitely green tea. Consumed among many cultures around the world for thousands of years, green tea is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has also shown that drinking green tea can help with the reduction of hypertension (high blood pressure), according to Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical School.

In the winter many people complain of dry skin, although there can be many causes, a very common reason is dehydration. Drinking tea is one of the best ways to stay hydrated in the winter. Not only will it keep you warm green tea has also been shown to reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by UV exposure that can lead to premature wrinkles.

The winter may be almost over, but it never hurts to have a warm drink in one hand and a good book in the other.

Click here to find your nearest CHFA Member health food store, where you can find all of these ingredients and others designed to help you live a naturally healthy life.

 
Emily Arsenault