During these cold months, it’s easy to turn to Hot Chocolate as a beverage to warm your body. We did, and while it was a nice treat, we like a beverage that we can have more often. By using a mindset, as much as a method, called “examine and exchange”, we consciously make better choices for what we put in our body.
First, we examine what ingredients could use a nutrient boost. We don’t need to have the mindset to eliminate ingredients, just exchange them. Sometimes when we grow up in a “meat and potatoes” or prepackaged food environment, it’s easy to look at healthful eating as eliminating all the “good stuff”. We don’t have to do that; it’s all in exchanging for a better, more nutritious, good tasting option.
The worst choice for warm drinks is going for one of the packaged hot chocolate mixes. So those definitely need to be exchanged with something homemade. The ingredients to the Hot Chocolate we make occasionally are: unsweetened cocoa, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. A minimal change that we’ve made is to use organic sugar and organic milk. So for an occasional treat this is a good start. While I don’t have a problem with cocoa, some have problems concerning their skin breaking out. The concerns with white sugar are evident and the limiting of dairy in one’s diet is becoming a growing concern due to the acidic nature that dairy produces in the body.
Now that we’ve examined our ingredients, what can we exchange? One alternative is to make a Hot Carob drink. It uses carob and raw honey in exchange for the cocoa and sugar. We also like to exchange Almond milk (brand: Almond Breeze) for the milk. While some like to exchange milk for soy milk, we personally do not. (More about that later)
One of my favorite exchanges though, is a Chai Tea Latte. Most of the time when you get a chai tea latte at the coffee shops, it’s from a mix filled with sugar, oils and chemicals. You can easily make this at home with healthful ingredients and a more full-bodied “mouth feel” than tea alone. This recipe was adapted from our good friend, Jessica. Originally, the recipe called for individual spices with black tea bags but, I really like all the flavors that an actual chai tea bag offers and it uses less ingredients, which is a time saver.
Chai Tea Latte
4 chai tea bags (Celestial Seasonings preferred)
2 cups water
Boil the water and let tea bags steep for 5 min.
2 cups milk or almond milk (to lower dairy intake)
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally
When heated, add
2-3 tbs. raw honey (according to taste)
In less than 15 minutes, you have a spicy, creamy, sweet drink that will warm your body while still nourishing it. This makes 3-4 servings. If it’s just for you, you can refrigerate what’s left and heat again later, or refrigerate half and freeze half in ice cubes to make a chai tea latte frappuccino for tomorrow. Sometimes I even double the recipe to do this.
You can use all the different chai tea flavors that they offer now to bring variety to your beverages, hot or cold. (Know that the black tea will be stronger than the green or white tea varieties.) Feel free to share them with a friend.
Who could you think of now that could use warm company as well as a warm drink?
This post is linked to:
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Blessed with Grace
1 week ago