Coffee, Tea & Beverages, Drink Up

Warm Up With 5 Hot (and Healthy!) Drinks

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For those of us who mark the change of seasons with food (oh hello!), we get extra excited when the weather shifts from hazy hot and humid to sweater weather. There’s something about fall that just makes you smile.  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 autumn produce. 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 PSL’s, there are seasonal drinks you can whip up at home (with a lot less sugar!). We’ve rounded up five of our faves for you to enjoy all autumn and winter long. 

5 (HEALTHIER) HOT SEASONAL DRINK RECIPES

Homemade Hot Apple Cider

Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks

There’s nothing super 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 vitamins C, potassium, magnesium and polyphenols. The major polyphenols in apples, known as proanthocyanidins, may help prevent cancer and have been shown to have cardioprotective properties

Get the recipe here.

Related: Foods That Help You Poop

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) is incredibly warming, with ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, and fennel. These spices are good for digestion, but the ginger in particular has been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Get the recipe here

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, like anti-inflammation, delayed progression of neurodegenerative diseases and regulation/balance of blood sugar. 

Turmeric Latte

Tumeric latte in a glass mug

Turmeric is one of the trendiest spices of the moment. It gives anything you combine it with a lovely orange-yellow glow with an earthy, peppery ginger 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. And who doesn’t love a delish warm beverage you can turn to on days when you’ve really gone too far with the coffee? This drink comes together in a flash, and tastes great in cooler weather too. Get the recipe here.

The extra kick of cayenne pepper not only adds some flavor to this latte, but has also been found to boost metabolic activity and energy expenditure.

Get the recipe here.

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 and is loaded with vitamin C which is critical for supporting the immune system. We like this version from the Minimalist Baker that has coffee or espresso, along with coconut milk, pumpkin puree, spices, and maple syrup. 

Nutmeg, allspice and cloves scream cozy but also help boost the nutrient profile of this classic fall drink. Nutmeg has antidepressant properties and has been shown to alter the 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!

Cloves have greater antioxidant and antimicrobial activity than other spices.

Get the recipe here.

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, and a dash of maple syrup are all you need to make this sweet treat. 

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

Get the recipe here.

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

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