Experiment with these recipes and find more on your own. It will save you money, calories and will actually be better for you. Once you start making healthy drinks, you wont want the commercial stuff as it just doesn't taste as good for feel as good to your body.
Many tell me it is hard to stay hydrated in the winter since they don’t want to drink water. I love drinking herbal tea; warm all winter. In the summer I drink it chilled. But what I’m really drinking is an herbal infusion. Check out this little overview of tea, mate, and infusions if you need a refresher. I didn’t care for herbal ‘teas’ growing up as they were so ‘herby’ tasting. But a wonderful friend of mine from Germany introduced me to herbal teas that tasted amazing. America is catching on and we have some great combinations out there. When we opened our store and I started buying the herbs in bulk, I couldn’t believe the flavor – fresh chamomile or peppermint makes a great tea and so different than some cheap prepackaged versions. We have a wonderful line of herbal teas and mate. You can make a whole pot of tea for the day and with a good mug it will even stay warm for hours.
I use about 1 teaspoon of herbs to 1 cup hot water and let steep for at least five minutes. Sometimes I forget and it steeps for an hour. This is generally okay – some herbs can get bitter after that long. Steeping means to put your herbs into a tea bag or tea ball and pour hot water (hot, not boiling) over in your cup. Cover with a plate or lid and let it sit. I sweeten with stevia. Many people use honey or drink it just as it is. You can even add lemon or lime juice or a bit of milk. Herbal infusions are enjoyed for flavor, for medicinal value, for relaxation or as a ritual 'tea time'. When thinking about healthy drinks, you just can't pass up the benefits of herbal tea or infusions.
- Green yerba mate and peppermint with chocolate stevia
- Chamomile, Peppermint and Red Raspberry leaf
- Dark Roast Mate Blend
- Forever Fruit from Frontier
- Chai and Indian Spice Tea
Here is a great recipe for making an herbal electrolyte tea.
Electrolytes are important because they are how your body carries electrical impulses and are essential for everything like the heart and the nervous system. Without them you can easily become dehydrated. But many sports drinks also contain lots of sugar. An electrolyte drink is basically salts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Lemon Lime Healthy Electrolyte Drink
Juice the lemon and the lime. Mix in your Himalayan Salt and add approximately 4 cups of filtered water. You may want more or less to suit your taste. Generally for me 1 good sized lemon is enough for 2 cups of water. If my lime is really small, I may use 2 limes.
I like using stevia to sweeten my food. But you can use anything. If you use raw honey you may want to heat 1 cup of your water to melt your honey in before adding all the other ingredients. Real maple syrup is another excellent sweetener that is full of wonderful minerals. If you want to use sugar, then at least use raw sugar.
Mix every thing together and enjoy. Remember fresh squeezed is best for nutritional value. For a variation you can add the juice of 2 or more oranges.
Coconut water is naturally high in electrolytes. If you don’t want just plain coconut water, blend it up with fruit like berries.
Lemon Ginger Zinger Healthy Drink
You can add more or less ginger to suit your taste. Ginger is a wonderful herb to use. Always use fresh ginger root. Take your piece of ginger and cut off the peel and slice into about 5 pieces. Put in a pot with 1 cup of your water and cover with a lid. Gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not boil. You can let it steep for an additional 10 minutes if you want.
Strain out the ginger pieces and if you are using raw honey as your sweetener, add it to the warm water to mix in easier. Mix in your Himalayan salt, the additional cup of water and/or ice and stevia if using. Drink warm or chilled. If you drink it warm, then you can simmer the 2 cups of water with the ginger.
Mint Variation - Lemon Ginger Mint Zinger
After simmering the ginger, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried mint leaves (or 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh leaves) to the water with the ginger and let steep for 10 minutes. Continue with Step 2.
Himalayan Salt Sole
For a no frills basic electrolyte you can just mix some Himalayan salt into water and drink. The citrus helps with the potassium but the Himalayan salt has 84 minerals. There are many benefits of drinking Salt Sole.
To make the sole, which we keep in our kitchen all the time, you just take 3 large chunks of Himalayan salt and put into a glass jar with a lid about a pint in size. Cover with filtered water and let sit for 24 hours. As long as there is some salt in the jar, you have the perfect sole. If your salt chunks dissolve, then add another one. Take 1 teaspoon of this every morning straight up or in a glass of water.
I like to mix 1 teaspoon salt sole (that is the salty water from above) into 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar with ½ cup water and 4 drops of stevia and drink. This is my easy grab sports drink or how I start my morning.
Some of you just don’t like to drink plain water. Whether or not you like it, your body needs it! There are tons of ways you can enjoy your water. One thing you might consider is that your water really doesn’t taste good and you may want to consider filtering your water. We love our Nikken water system and all our customers think our regular tap water tastes pretty amazing once it is filtered to 0.02 microns clean (that means it is as clean as a kidney dialysis machine). Send me an email if you would be interested in knowing more – it is actually affordable.
Adding fruit to your water is an easy way to create a fun drink. Think of frozen berries, slices of watermelon, cucumber slices, mint leaves, and more. Here are some interesting recipes that you might not think of. And here is another list of recipes you can try.
If you have the option of owning a juicer, fresh juices are a fantastic refreshing beverage that is much cheaper than buying the commercial version and so much healthier for you.
It really doesn't take extra time to prepare beverages to drink. You save a lot of money, get more value, save on calories and get a lot more nutrition.
Coming up next in Part 4, I’ll share with you my favorite beverages.
What are your favorite recipes and drinks that you make at home?
P.S. I recently took a trip out of town for a week. Guess what, no one made juice or any of the healthy drinks I normally do. And, Mark could really feel it. He was so excited for me to be home mixing up our healthy drinks.