When I assist clients who are having health challenges, be it digestive distress, allergies, or weight regulation, I recommend they avoid or minimize their alcohol intake to allow their livers and pancreas the ability to be free of having to metabolize alcohol. This allows their organs an opportunity to do the other important functions that help them to overcome their issues.
Most hosts today will ensure there are non-alcoholic beverages but in so many cases those choices are sugar-ladened soda pop, or punches laced with soda pop. Not a healthy choice and possibly no less damaging to our liver and pancreas. So what to do? If you are a health conscious host, here are some delicious, easy ideas for your guests.
There are several beverage ideas and recipes in Real-Life Vegan (my second book available at eStore) including: Mint Mojito Mocktails, Juice Spritzers, Coconut Chia Water, Maple Lemonade, and Iced Herbal Teas.
WARM SPICED WINTER BEVERAGE RECIPE!
As we’re heading into the winter holiday however, I want to arm you with a healthy version of an easy, popular, warm, non-alcoholic beverage for entertaining. I’ve served this up for many parties and even taken it in a thermos for after-tobogganing or skating get-togethers.
For parties I either use a large pot on the back burner of the stove if space allows, or I plug-in a large slow cooker / crock pot in an area where everyone can help themselves.
This is so simple, yet so wonderfully festive! It’s only two ingredients…pure organic non-clarified apple juice (sometimes also labelled “apple cider”) or pear juice or a combination of both…simmered with tea bags that contain spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, and cloves…for example this one that is easily found in most grocery stores > http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/herbal-teas/bengal-spice
Now…be sure not to wimp out on the spices! This is where people go wrong when making herbal teas, and you don’t want to make the same mistake with spiced cider. You’ll want to use at least one tea bag for every 3-4 cups of juice. So if you’re making a large pot (I’ve used my canning pot for large crowds) you’ll likely be adding an entire 20 bag box of tea bags. A large slow cooker maybe 8-10 tea bags.
Be sure to allow time for simmering the spiced cider so it can activate the spices and develop the rich flavors that are so delightful. Once your juice is simmering, let it continue to simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. If you make it in advance you can turn off the heat and then rewarm when the party begins. Your house (or office staff room, or party room) will fill with a holiday fragrance that even the alcohol drinkers will be commenting on!
HEALTH BENEFITS of SPICES!
That’s it…2 ingredients, juice and tea bags! No refined sugar…no artificial ingredients…no regrets! There are healthful benefits thanks to the power of spices. Even though pure, organic apple juice is a much healthier choice than soda pop and other sugary beverages it still contains a high concentration of natural sugar (carbohydrate.) Cinnamon has been shown in numerous studies to assist the metabolism of carbohydrates. Ginger root is an anti-inflammatory spice. Cloves and cardamon have immune supporting properties. So by adding spices to this delicious beverage you are getting health benefits. People with diabetes may even be able to handle a moderate size mug, especially if sipped along with a whole-food, plant-strong diet. (www.RealLifeVegan.com)
I hope you enjoyed this blog. I would love to hear your comments, and receive your feedback on suggestions future blog ideas! Thanks for “tuning in!”
To your health and happiness, Victoria