Now that summer is over and the leaves are beginning to turn their vibrant red, yellow and orange hues, you’ll need some help getting used to the dropping temperatures. While lemonade and tasty smoothies may have kept you satisfied under the sweltering sun, you will probably want to have a few go-to beverages that do a better job at warming you up.
There are a number of traditional cold-weather beverages to choose from in the fall. However a lot of these are made with a lot of preservatives and high amounts of other ingredients like dairy. These can increase your risk of serious conditions like high cholesterol or blood pressure levels, which can ultimately lead to heart problems, explained the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy sweet and warm beverages this fall. Try these healthy alternatives to popular seasonal drinks:
Hot Raspberry Lemonade
Summer may be on its way out, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to one of the season’s signature drinks: lemonade. There’s a quick and easy way to put a twist on your average glass of lemonade to make it perfect for the fall and winter. Hot raspberry lemonade will warm you up without sacrificing the sweet and savory flavor of of the summertime favorite.
- 11/2 cups powdered lemonade
- 1 carton, or 1.3 oz., raspberry soft drink mix
- 1 cup instant tea mix
- Boiling water
Combine the lemonade mixture, your raspberry soft drink and the instant tea in a bowl. Whenever you want a cup, drop 1 tsp. of mix in 1 cup of boiling water and stir until it’s completely dissolved. One of the best aspects of this sweet fall beverage is that you can store your bowl of mixture in a container for up to three months, as long as the air temperature is cool, and it will make around 144 servings.
Maple Hot Cocoa
When you think of a hot cup of hot cocoa, snowy winter days may come to mind. However, when you add sugar-free maple syrup to the picture and use it in place of sugar, you have a fall-inspired healthy beverage that puts a sweet spin on traditional hot chocolate.
- 1 cup low-fat or skim milk
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (sugar free)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
One of the factors that makes maple hot cocoa healthier than most original versions of hot chocolate is the fact that the sugar-free syrup replaces refined sugar, accounting for the sweet taste that makes the cold-weather staple so popular. All you have to do is pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat them on a low setting while stirring to get the perfect mixture.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin spice lattes, which emerge at most popular coffee shops in the fall, may be tasty to a lot of people, but are usually filled with artificial flavoring and high amounts of dairy. However, it’s easy to make a healthy alternative with low amounts of dairy and no preservatives.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup hot brewed coffee (or extra almond milk)
- 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, or stevia to taste
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
To create the drink, blend all of the ingredients in a blender until the contents look creamy like a smoothie. Then pour into a cup and reheat in a pan if you want it hotter, especially if you used extra almond milk instead of coffee.