28 February 2022
You will probably want to sip on a warm drink during the long, cold nights of winter especially when there is powdery snow outside, or raindrops cascading down your windows. In this article, we have compiled a selection of delicious hot beverages that also have health benefits. Choose one to make at home that can help accelerate your metabolism, warm your body, hydrate you, or support your immune and digestive systems.
For coffee lovers: Pumpkin Spice Latte
A great hot coffee drink for cold weather is the pumpkin spice latte, which contains a surprising amount of healthy ingredients. The metabolism accelerating spices cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, are also known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Espresso is a natural source of antioxidants and nutrients such as niacin and pantothenic acid. If prepared using whole milk, this delicious brew is also rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you are concerned with disrupting your blood sugar, use only a small amount of sweetener. This latte is always a pleasure to sip on a cold day.
Boil one cup of milk in a small saucepan. Then add one teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, and powdered cloves. Boil for five minutes. Froth the mixture with a milk whisk and pour into a tall glass. Add one or two shots of espresso and your sweetener of choice and enjoy.
For chocolate lovers: Mint Hot Cocoa
Another winter favourite is of course hot chocolate. It delivers a feeling of happiness with each sip of its creamy goodness. Hot chocolate may also soothe nausea and pain, can help speed up metabolism, and when mint is added it can help alleviate headaches. Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties that may help to remove toxins and it triggers the secretion of serotonin, the happiness hormone. When you are feeling blue, make a cup of cocoa to drink alongside a snack of your favourite cookies for an instant mood boost.
In a saucepan, pour in one cup one milk. Add six squares of dark chocolate, one teaspoon of raw cocoa powder, and two to three drops of peppermint extract. Stir over medium heat until boiling. Pour into a warm mug. Your delicious mint hot chocolate is ready. Bon Appetit!
For those who want to try a probiotic drink: Boza (bulger and chickpea drink)
Boza, when consumed correctly and in the appropriate amounts, is a warm and healthy drink that benefits the digestive and immune systems. Thanks to active yeasts and the lactic acid it contains, your digestive system can relax and intestinal flora are boosted by the natural probiotic bacteria. Made with yeast, bulger and chickpeas and topped with cinnamon, it is a must-try during cold winter months. Since boza is a fermented beverage, consume it quickly and store it in the refrigerator after opening.
For those who want an alternative to deserts: Salep (orchid tuber drink)
On cold winter evenings, salep will warm your heart as well as your body. Genuine salep has a sweet smell and rich texture that is a delight for your tastebuds. It can help alleviate symptoms of constipation and bloating, can help facilitate digestion, regulate body temperature, and boost energy. Salep flour is made by pulverizing the roots of a wild species of orchid plant, it is a rare endemic plant which can make it difficult to find on grocery store shelves. However, it is still possible to find real salep powder at some natural markets. You can even drink it in warmer weather as it is also delicious when served chilled.
In a saucepan, add one teaspoon each of powdered salep and sugar to one litre of milk. Stir over low heat until boiling. Pour into warmed mugs, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.
Herbal Teas for immune support:
Another hot drink great for cold weather is herbal tea. Herbal teas are great any time of the day and are a flavourful way to stay hydrated all winter long. You can choose from varieties such as linden, lemon balm, white tea, green tea, hibiscus, rosehip, ginger, sage, mint, or echinacea teas. Herbal teas are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Many support the immune system, aid in digestion, or have calming effects, but all of them are refreshing.
For each different type of tea, you will need to know the correct temperatures and lengths of time to brew. The brewing temperatures and times of the most common herbal teas are as follows:
- Green tea: 2-3 minutes at 75 °C
- White tea: 2-3 minutes at 85 °C
- Linden: 10-15 minutes at 90-95 °C
- Rosehip: 10-15 minutes at 90-95 °C
- Ginger: 15-20 minutes at 90 °C
- Sage: 10-12 minutes at 85 °C
- Mint: 5-10 minutes at 85 °C for dried mint, 3-5 minutes at 80 °C for fresh mint
- Echinacea: 10-15 minutes at 90 °C