Warm Up With 5 Hot (and Healthy) Drinks

By Carrie Havranek

For those of us who mark the change of seasons with food (doesn’t everyone do that?!), we get extra excited when the weather shifts from hazy, hot, and humid to sweater weather. 

There’s something about fall that just brings on the warm and fuzzies. The moment there’s a little chill in the air, not only does it mean cute layers, but also apples, pumpkin spice, and all the other glorious bounties of autumn. We’re definitely pumped for pies and savory stews—but it’s the steamy drinks that make us feel the coziest. 

While every coffee shop you come across will be featuring their PSLs, there are seasonal drinks you can whip up at home (with a lot less sugar!). We’ve rounded up five of our fave healthy hot drinks for you to enjoy all autumn and winter long. 

5  (Healthier) Hot Seasonal Drinks

Homemade Hot Apple Cider

Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks

There’s nothing mysterious about making the perfect cup of apple cider—it’s more about the sum of its parts. The trick is to make it with several different types of apples (gala, golden delicious, McIntosh), to help balance the flavor. Let it simmer on your stovetop and enjoy! 

Apples are rich sources of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols. The major polyphenols in apples, known as proanthocyanidins, may help prevent cancer and have been shown to protect against heart disease 

Check out this delicious Homemade Hot Apple Cider recipe.

RELATED: 14 Easy Apple Recipes

Masala Chai

hot masala chai in white tea cup

Chai is easier to make than you’d think (and we’re not talking about the sugary pre-made mixes). There are many ways to make chai, but masala chai (masala refers to the spices) with ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, clove, cardamom, and fennel is incredibly warming. All of these spices are good for digestion, but ginger in particular has been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory benefits. 

This drink is an antioxidant powerhouse. Cardamom has been found to increase levels of glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body, which has powerful anti-aging benefits including improved skin elasticity and decreased wrinkles. It’s no secret that cinnamon packs some major health benefits too. It reduces inflammation, improves memory and attention span, and helps to regulate blood sugar. 

Try this yummy Masala Chai recipe and warm up in a hurry. 

Turmeric Latte

Tumeric latte in a glass mug

Turmeric is only getting more popular—and for good reason. This power-spice gives anything you combine it with a lovely orange-yellow glow, with an earthy, peppery flavor. Turmeric is filled with curcumin, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals while at the same time lowering levels of enzymes that cause inflammation. It also aids in digestion, improves liver function, and may alleviate pain. And if you need any more reason to love turmeric, this latte is also a delish warm beverage you can turn to on days when you’ve really gone too far with the coffee. 

Our turmeric latte comes together in a flash, and tastes great in cooler weather too. The extra kick of cayenne pepper not only adds flavor, but has also been found to boost metabolic activity and energy expenditure. 

Mix up our original Turmeric Latte Recipe and enjoy those warming, golden benefits with every sip.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Mug of pumpkin spice latte

Imagine how much better this ubiquitous coffee shop fave could be if you had total control over the ingredients. Pumpkin (one of our favorite seasonal veggies) contains vitamin A, potassium and fiber. It’s also loaded with vitamin C, which is critical for supporting the immune system. We like this PSL version from the Minimalist Baker that includes coffee or espresso, along with coconut milk, pumpkin puree, spices, and maple syrup. 

Nutmeg, allspice, and clove scream cozy but also help boost the nutrient profile of this classic fall drink. Nutmeg has antidepressant properties and has been shown to alter neurotransmitter activity and increase dopamine. 

Allspice contains the compounds eugenol, quercetin, gallic acid, and ericifolin, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Say that 10 times fast!

Clove has greater antioxidant and antimicrobial activity than other spices.

Get the ultra-cozy Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe here.

RELATED: This Pumpkin Spice Has a Secret Ingredient

Coconut Hot Chocolate

coconut hot chocolate on a table

Chocolate and coconut—the perfect combination. When you’re looking for a little indulgence, try this creamy coconut hot cocoa. Coconut milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and a dash of maple syrup are all you need to make this sweet treat. Top it with some non-dairy coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of super-healthy cinnamon.

You’ll get antioxidants from the dark chocolate and an added bonus of iron, magnesium, and potassium with the coconut milk.

Get this indulgent Coconut Hot Chocolate recipe here.

Drink and Eat Your Way to Good Health—And a Great Career!

If learning about how the nutrients in food affect your health and wellness gets you excited, we invite you to check out our Become a Nutrition Coach certification and community. You’ll get everything you need to learn all about nutritious eating so you can live your best life, and help others live theirs too. 

Request a no-obligation sneak peek into the Become a Nutrition Coach program here. We look forward to meeting you.

(Images: Shutterstock)

About Carrie Havranek
Carrie Havranek writes about wellness, food and travel from Easton, Pa., where she is a dedicated shopper of the Easton Farmers' Market.

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