Is there anything better than curling up on the couch with a delicious hot drink when it’s icy cold outside? We’ve put together five of our favourite mulled drink recipes for you to enjoy this winter.
When the temperature drops, it’s time to warm up from the inside out with a delicious hot beverage. You don’t need alcohol to light the fire inside though; in fact, we have some hot drink recipes with beautiful health benefits and will have you feeling warm and cosy in no time.
Banana what? You read correctly, the humble banana isn’t only good for acting as an on-the-go snack or baking into delicious desserts. Banana actually makes a unique and interesting tea, that when drunk just before bed, can actually help you sleep better.
Bananas are full of potassium and magnesium, which can help your blood vessels and muscles relax and encourage a deeper, more restful sleep. You can even add a little antioxidant-rich cinnamon for a touch of spice and extra sweetness, without the sugar.
Ingredients (makes one serving):
- 1 whole banana
- Water (enough to cover the banana in a small pot)
- Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- Boil the water.
- Cut each end off the banana (with peel on) and boil in water for 10 minutes, with a pinch of cinnamon if desired.
- Strain and enjoy warm an hour before bed!
Mulled Maple Apple Cider
Warming up with a mulled cider in winter makes us think of Christmases spent wandering snowy markets in Europe and cosying up by the fireplace in Scandinavian mountain cabins. While it doesn’t snow much in Australia (and the festive season is in summer), that shouldn’t stop you from making a pot of this mulled maple cider to share with friends. Bonus points if it’s at a Christmas in July party.
Apples are known for having lots of vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and K, as well as potassium. Cinnamon provides protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, while maple syrup is a refined sugar-free sweetener that offers minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, manganese and iron.
Ingredients (makes 3 servings):
- 2 apples, cored and sliced
- 2 tbsp organic maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Place the apple wedges, cinnamon stick and maple syrup into a pot and cover with water.
- Partially cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain out the solids and enjoy warm!
Tip: Instead of throwing out the apples after straining, save and serve them warm over coconut yoghurt, porridge or diced and mixed with some granola.
Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
Speaking of nostalgic European Christmas drinks, who can forget about the iconic mulled wine? We’ve taken this classic winter warmer and replaced the wine with cranberry juice, making it suitable for all ages.
Cranberries are a popular health food, full of vitamins C, E, K1 and B6, and have traditionally been used to help prevent UTIs, treat upset stomachs and aid with liver problems. It’s important to choose your cranberry juice properly though. Always pick one that says ‘made with 100% cranberry juice’, otherwise there could be some not-so-great additives in there, like high-fructose corn syrup.
Our non-alcoholic mulled wine also uses fresh oranges, or our cold pressed Soulara OJ, which is abundant in immune-enhancing, antioxidant-rich and collagen-promoting vitamin C.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
- 1 sliced orange
- 1 halved orange (or ½ bottle of Soulara Cold Pressed Sunshine Booster)
- 1 litre cranberry juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks (have 2 spare for garnishes if desired)
- 3 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
- A handful of fresh or frozen cranberries (you can find these in the freezer section at the supermarket, or otherwise substitute with fresh or frozen blueberries)
- Place all ingredients into a pot except the oranges.
- Squeeze the juice from the halved orange (save the outside for later – you can use it to flavour water, make marmalade or grate into baking) or add 1/2 a bottle of Soulara Cold Pressed Sunshine Booster. Placed the sliced oranges in the pot.
- Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes for a gently spiced mulled wine, or an hour for a stronger spiced flavour.
- Strain out the solids (you can keep them in the fridge to make another batch) and serve with cinnamon sticks as a garnish if desired.
Throw out your ideas of coffee chain chai and replace them with the beauty of the real deal. Chai actually means ‘tea’ in India, and masala means ‘spice’ so together it the name translates to spiced tea, which is exactly what it is (and why calling it chai tea is essentially saying tea tea).
For those fortunate enough to have visited India, you’ll know that everyone has their own special chai recipe. Some have been passed down through generations, some are sold in fancy establishments, some are sold by the road. Some combine secret spices and some require you to only stir three times in a clockwise direction. Whatever the recipe, there’s no denying this drink is delicious, warming and nourishing from the variety of spices used.
Ingredients (makes one serving):
- 2-3 slices of ginger
- ½ cinnamon stick, split in half
- 5-7 cardamom pods
- 5-7 peppercorns
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Half a cup of water
- Half a cup of oat or almond milk
- 2 tsp pure loose leaf black tea
- 1 tsp raw sugar (optional but traditional)
- You will need a mortar and pestle to crush the ingredients. First, crush slices of fresh ginger, then remove from the mortar.
- Add cinnamon bark, cardamom, peppercorns and nutmeg, and crush those separately to the ginger.
- Heat up half a cup of water and half a cup of oat or almond milk until it’s frothing, but not boiling.
- Add both the crushed ginger and the spices, then stir.
- Add in the pure loose leaf black tea and sugar, then stir.
- Strain out all the solids, then aerate the liquid by pouring between two cups until it’s nice and frothy.
Warm Spiced ‘Milk’
To finish, we thought we’d finish on a nostalgic one that took us back to memories of our childhood. Whose else’s parents used to give them a glass of warm milk when they were young? In this version, we replace dairy milk with unsweetened almond milk and flavour it with some of our favourite warming spices and coconut oil.
Many almond milk varieties now are enriched with similar vitamins and minerals to cow’s milk, so you can still reap the benefits when consuming non-dairy milk too. Coconut oil has lots of healthy fats, which provide quick energy to your body and brain, one of which is lauric acid, which when digested can help protect your body against harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi.
This warm spiced ‘milk’ is the perfect drink to make in the evening and curl up on the couch with while it’s rainy and cold outside.
Ingredients (makes 1 serve):
- 1 cup unsweetened, enriched almond milk
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder (can also use a slice of fresh ginger)
- ½ tsp of pure ground vanilla (can also use vanilla extract)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes while stirring.
- Strain and serve warm.
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