When it’s cold outside, there’s no better way to warm up, than with a steaming hot drink. But if you’re worried that a mug of rich hot chocolate or a sugary latte will take you off your diet, we’ve compiled these diet friendly beverages that are guaranteed to keep you snug, without packing on the calories, this winter.
Spicy Coconut and Almond Milk Tea
Nuts are one of the best foods you can have during winter as they boost metabolism. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats and fiber, and are low in calories, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight. Combined with spices, almonds help warm up the body and increase immunity levels as well.
Coconut milk contains anti-inflammatory and healing properties, a boon during that time of the year when joint and knee pains can get aggravated because of the cold weather.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)
- ½ tsp ginger, ground
- ½ tsp dalchini (cinnamon)
- 1 black peppercorn
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp chia seeds, soaked for 4-6 hours
- Combine all the ingredients, except the chia seeds.
- Heat the mixture on the stove over a low flame. Do not boil; ensure the liquid becomes warm.
- Add the chia seeds to the warm tea and serve.
Calories: 170 kcal/serving
Hot Chocolate and Oats Smoothie
Oats are rich in fiber and have fat burning properties, which help accelerate weight loss. Dark chocolate reduces bad cholesterol and is heart-friendly too. Combined, the two ingredients boost metabolism, and therefore keep body temperature high, and also leave you feeling full.
- 15 gm dark chocolate, chopped
- 200 ml almond milk
- 2 – 3 tbsps rolled oats
- ½ ripe medium-sized banana
- 6 almonds
- 5 gm chia seeds
- 20 ml cold water
- Microwave the almond milk with the dark chocolate until the mixture is warm and the chocolate has melted.
- Add oats, banana, almonds, chia seeds, water and approximately a fifth of the warm almond milk to your smoothie maker or blender. If you think the mix is too warm, add an extra splash of cold water. Blend on high for a minute until the oats and chia seeds form a smooth mixture.
- Heat the rest of the almond-chocolate mix until it’s hot, but not boiling.
- Pour the blended oat mix into your cup, stir in the almond-chocolate mix and serve.
Calories: 372 kcal/serving
Warm Apple Pie Smoothie
Apple contains a soluble fiber called pectin, which helps to cut down fat in the body. Combining allspice with cinnamon make this an ideal winter drink, since both of them are warm foods.
- 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (peel it if you don’t have a high-powered blender)
- ½ cup water (for a creamier smoothie, use yogurt)
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- ¼ tsp ground dalchini (cinnamon)
- A pinch of jaiphal (nutmeg)
- A pinch of allspice
- 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
- Combine apple, water, vanilla, maple syrup and spices in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a mug and microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, add a bit of whipped cream on top before serving.
Calories: 160 kcal/serving
Hot Apple Cider Smoothie
Apple Cider Vinegar is a powerful metabolism booster, and when added to lukewarm water, accelerates production of heat in the body. Spinach is packed with iron, folates and fiber, and when blended with ginger and cinnamon, protect the body from the winter chill.
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 cups water
- 3 green apples, roughly diced
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1-inch ginger, peeled
- 1 tbsp dalchini (cinnamon)
- Mix the lemon juice, water, apples, spinach, ginger, cinnamon and protein powder in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth.
- Heat the smoothie by running the blender for 5 minutes or warm it in a pot on the stove. (In summer, you can cool it down by blending in ice cubes.) Serve immediately.
Calories: 140 kcals/serving
Hot Ginger Tea
This simple combination packs a powerful punch during the cold season. Ginger promotes good digestion, and can relieve discomfort associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, which are enhanced during the winter months. Ginger also contains antitussive properties, which prevent or relieve a cough.
- 85 gm fresh ginger, thinly-sliced
- 1 cup water
- Combine the ginger and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Strain the mix and serve. For more flavour, add honey to taste.
Calories: 80 kcals/serving
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