Warm Drinks for the Chilly Season

Here are a few drink recipes to help keep you warm during this crisp, cool season.

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer (and chillier) now that fall is here. It’s a time to slow down, spend more time indoors with the family. Or, snuggle up by the fire with a book, a cozy blanket, and a warm drink.

Adding warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper to beverages has a warming effect from the inside out. Not only do these spices have a warming effect on the body, but some help to dry out mucous membranes and improve the immune system.

6 Delicious Winter Beverages to Spice Up the Cold Winter Nights

While my family loves to drink hot tea with honey, we also make some of these winter beverages for a warm treat to spice up the cool season.

Apple Pie Spiced Cider

Serves 6


Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 quarts apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Strain into a pitcher; throw out solids. Serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks or apple rings.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Serves 8



Ingredients:

  • 6 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 (12-ounce) bags semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cocoa powder, for serving

Instructions:

For stove-top: In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.

For slow cooker: In a 4-quart slow cooker, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.


Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Source: Food Network

Apple Spice Green Tea

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus slices for serving
  • 4 strips orange zest, from 1/2 orange
  • 1/3 cup loose green tea

Instructions:

Combine water, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, apple, and orange zest in a medium pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes.

Cover, remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve over the green tea leaves, pressing all the juices from the apple. Let steep for 1 minute. Strain out the tea, reheat if necessary, and serve. Garnish with apple slices.

Chai Tea

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 8 cardamom seeds
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 bags black tea
  • 8 tsp of sugar (or more, to taste)

Instructions:

Place the cardamom seeds, cloves, and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet.

Put the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain into cups. Add sugar to each serving as needed, to taste.

Source: Real Simple

Barcelona Hot Chocolate

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 ounces good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cocoa), finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 two-inch strip of orange rind

Instructions:

Combine the boiling water and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan. Stir until chocolate melts. Add the milk, espresso or coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and orange rind. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk. Heat 5 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Do NOT boil. Discard the rind and pour into mugs.

Source: My Recipes

Hot Cranberry Tea

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions:

Combine water and cranberries in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add sugar, orange and lemon juices, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on October 30th, 2014