With winter officially here, nothing can be warmer than curling up by the fireplace with a mug of your favorite drink and warm blanket. I’m not a winter girl. But since I live in a place with insanely cold and harsh winters, I opt for hot, healthy drinks to keep me warm and cozy when it’s frosty outside. When it comes to winter beverages, dieters tend to avoid them. Whether you count calories or crave something delicious to tickle your taste buds, these eight winter drinks are sure to satisfy you.
1. Hot Maple Apple Cider
This drink is created to warm you up during the cold winter evenings without ruining your waistline. It’s low in sugar and high in nutrients. The win-win solution for those who count calories.
- 2 pounds organic sweet apples
- 2 teaspoons stevia extract
- 1 teaspoon pure maple extract (or vanilla)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- low calorie whipped topping and maple syrup, optional
Start with apples. Clean them, cut and remove the seeds and the core. Put the apples, stevia, cinnamon stick and maple extract into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, let simmer for 2 hours or until the apples can be easily smashed. Pass through a sieve, and serve warm with topping and maple syrup.
2. Skinny Hot Cocoa
Hot cocoa always reminds me of my mom. Since a regular hot cocoa is high in calories, many dieters believe this beverage is forbidden. Nope. There’s a skinny version that you may want to try right now. It’s quick and easy to make so why not?
- 2 cups plain water
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon raw maca powder
- 1/4 teaspoon organic stevia extract
- almond or coconut milk, optional
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and pour it into a tall mug with cacao and maca powders. Stir thoroughly for 20 seconds. Then add a bit of almond milk, cinnamon and stevia and stir it again. Drink it while it’s hot.
3. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Are you a fan of Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spice Latte? You don’t need to go anywhere to enjoy this drink. You can make it in a matter of a few minutes in your own kitchen. Save time and money and treat yourself to one of the most delicious winter drinks.
- 3 shots espresso or 16 ounces brewed coffee
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 drops liquid stevia (or 1 teaspoon powder extract)
- sprinkle of cinnamon, optional
Directions: Mix pumpkin and almond milk in a cup and cook in your microwave for 35-45 seconds. Add in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and stevia, and foam the milk using a frother or blender. Pour your coffee into a mug, add the foamy milk mixture and sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon. Your skinny pumpkin spice latte is ready.
4. Peppermint Mocha
This is another Starbucks’s drink that you can make at home. Skinny peppermint mocha is sugar-free and perfect for vegetarians. All the ingredients are natural so they won’t affect your health and waistline.
- 2 cups brewed organic coffee
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tiny drop pure peppermint extract
- ½ teaspoon pure stevia powder extract
- 1/2 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
Pour almond milk into a big mug. Brew coffee as usual. Once your coffee is fully brewed, add it to your almond milk and stir in peppermint extract, raw cocoa powder, and stevia. Keep stirring for 40 seconds or until your mocha is ready.
5. Chai Tea Latte
This winter drink is perfect for chai tea fans, and any tea lover. While a regular version includes sugar, this is a skinny, sugar-free variety to give a try tonight.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 chai tea bags
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a saucepan, heat your almond milk with chai tea bags, vanilla and stevia. Once it begins to bubble, remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully pour into mugs. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add a foamy milk. It takes a few minutes to make.
6. Hot Cranberry Ginger Punch
Even though this winter drink contains sugar, one mug won’t ruin your weight loss plan and won’t make you put on weight instantly. It’s delicious, cozy, and simply inspiring. If you are on a strict diet, you can use stevia instead of sugar.
- 1 quart cranberry juice
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
In a saucepan mix together ginger and cranberry juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 18-20 minutes. Add lime juice and sugar to it. Simmer for another minute, stirring thoroughly until sugar is fully dissolved. Serve hot.
7. Matcha Latte
Matcha green tea is a healthy winter drink that you can enjoy without worrying about calories. You probably know about all the health benefits of regular green tea, but matcha green tea is literally a thousand times healthier, not to mention that it tastes amazing.
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
- ¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract
In a saucepan, heat almond milk until it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and pour into a big mug. Stir in matcha green tea powder and stevia extract. Place the milk mixture in your blender and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!
8. Hot Toddy
Call it hot totty. Call it hot tottie. The drink won’t change its taste. If you want something hotter than a hot chocolate tonight, then hot toddy is your bet. It takes less than a minute to make this winter beverage. I don’t drink often, but when I do I love to create something really special.
- 1/4 cup boiling-hot water
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon mild honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a 6-ounce mug, put lemon juice, bourbon, and honey. Top off with 1/4 cup boiling-hot water and stir for a minute or until honey is fully dissolved. What can be easier or quicker?
These are my go-to warm drinks that my partner and I love. I believe there’s something special about these hot beverages. Not only do they make the winter season warmer, they are diet-friendly as well. All these recipes are versatile so feel free to add your favorite ingredients and share your own ideas in the comments section.