Aztec Hot Chocolate
This sweet and spicy hot chocolate is perfect for cold winter nights and includes an arsenal of healthy ingredients. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, flavanols and disease-fighting antioxidants. Flavanols may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Cloves are naturally warming, and have anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Chillies are high in vitamins A and E, and help to stimulate the blood and the digestion.
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
2 whole cloves
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
In a small saucepan, bring to boil the water, almond milk, cloves, ginger and crushed red pepper.
Remove from heat.
With a wire whisk, blend in the cocoa, vanilla extract, and cardamom.
Sweeten to taste with the Stevia.
Strain into 2 large mugs.
The Super-Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte
If the high sugar, caffeine and fat content has put you off commercial pumpkin spiced lattes, don’t worry, you can still enjoy the taste and get great health benefits with this alternative. Made with caffeine-free dandelion root and real pumpkin, this latte may sound unusual but once you’ve tried it you will be hooked.
When dried and roasted, dandelion root has a similar flavour to coffee, which makes it a perfect substitute. What’s more, this delicious pumpkin spice latte is much lower in sugar and has none of the artificial ingredients present in some commercial varieties.
If you are still not convinced that drinking dandelions is a good idea, dandelions have been shown to boost energy and immunity against disease. According to a study published in Advances in Haematology, dandelions purify the blood and help alleviate anaemia by significantly increasing both red and white blood cells. Recently researchers have also found that dandelions have high antibacterial activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and MRSA.
1-1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon roasted and ground dandelion root
1-1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling on top
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg + more for sprinkling on top
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and heat until hot or your desired temperature has been reached.
Pour into two large mugs.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Schisandra (also spelt Schizandra) is the berry of a climbing vine native to northeast China and parts of Russia. Its Chinese name Wu Wei Zi means five flavoured berry, which is a perfect description of its sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent taste. The berries are not eaten as fruits but are used in Chinese medicine and it is purported to promote longevity and overall vitality.
It is claimed that drinking schisandra tea detoxifies the liver, promotes a sense of well-being, and balances blood sugar. Several human studies have shown schisandra extract to improve concentration, coordination and endurance.
Schisandra berry tea can be made with 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried schisandra berries and 8 to 10 ounces of water. Schisandra is also commercial available in pre-made tea packets. Steep the tea for 20 to 30 minutes before drinking.
Cinnamon is a great booster for digestion, and may even help regulate blood sugar, which can help with weight loss. If you have a sweet tooth, cinnamon’s natural sweetness can help wean you off sugary drinks.
Boil a few cinnamon sticks in water for a half hour. Remove the sticks and enjoy on its own or pop in your favourite fruit tea bag.
Turmeric (also known as curcumin) is a healing herb in Chinese, Indian and Hawaiian medicine, and has been used for centuries to heal digestion and boost immunity (it is naturally antibacterial and antiseptic). Due to its ability to improve blood vessel function and even lower inflammation, it is an ideal pre and post workout beverage. A cup of hot turmeric tea, to get your blood flowing could be just the thing to motivate you to workout on a cold winter’s night. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant.
This version of turmeric tea is mixed with honey, to provide an added energy boost. The recipe makes enough basic ingredient for several cups of tea. The paste can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
1/3 cup raw honey
2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric
Blend the honey and the turmeric into a thick paste.
Place one teaspoon of the paste into a mug with the juice of one lemon. Add boiling water, stir well and enjoy.
Store the remainder of the paste in the fridge.
This article has been provided courtesy of Technogym.