You can get very creative with your drinks. They can be hydrating, meal replacements are desserts. Aside from coffee and tea, I’m not much of a drinks person other than plain simple water. However, there are some refreshments I enjoy occasionally and that I definitely find ways to introduce them to my guests.

How to Make the Smoothest Hot Cocoa Ever!

Recently I gave up coffee (I’ll go back to coffee at some point, no doubt), but in the meantime, I picked up a new habit: Hot Cocoa. I’ve been buying my unsweetened cocoa powder from Trader Joe’s for years and it’s been acceptable. I like it. It’s just what I need. But recently while on Instagram, I saw an ad for Wilderness Poets and their vanilla bean powder (more of a moist powder really). I was intrigued because it was not in alcohol, it was not in glycerine and in fact, it wasn’t in anything. It was pure vanilla bean. I splurged on the high price tag and bought a small jar. While there (and trying to get free shipping), I happened upon their 2 lb. bag of Peruvian cocoa powder. Perfect! I thought. Just what I need and I’m curious to try a different kind of cocoa powder. Oh my goodness! It’s delicious! It’s smooth, tasty and not bitter! You seriously don’t miss the sugar when you prepare hot cocoa with this powder and my additions. The chocolate flavor is lighter or milder than other cocoa mixes I use and in part that may be because there isn’t any sugar. A bit of salt and sugar to enhance flavors. I also find that when I use the cocoa powder from Trader Joe’s, I end up with a lot of sediment at the bottom of the cup, but with this Peruvian cocoa powder, there is less sediment. It seems to dissolve or absorb better. I do use a lot…1.5 heaping teaspoons of cocoa powder per cup. It’s okay if after you drink it, some of the cocoa has settled at the bottom. I don’t swirl the remainder and drink it. I leave it. I haven’t yet used this cocoa powder for other recipes like cookies or puddings, but I’m eager to try.

I share two recipes in the video: One with milk and the other with cream. If you are on a fat fueled or Ketogenic diet, the recipe with heavy whipping cream may be appropriate for you.

Summer Recipe: 1.5 heaping teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon salted grass fed butter, 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean. Directions: Boil water. Fill cup with water. Then after 20-30 seconds, empty water into kettle and boil. Now your cup is hot. Add heavy cream, butter, cocoa and vanilla. Add water and mix well. Top with unsweetened whipped cream and sprinkle cocoa powder and vanilla on top.

Winter Recipe: 1.5 heaping teaspoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of salted grass fed butter, 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 8 oz of whole milk. Directions: In a frother (or on the stove), add milk, cocoa, cream and cinnamon. Froth until the cocoa is warmed and has about an inch of froth. Add butter. Let it melt and then froth again. Pour into cups and top with unsweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This one isn’t as hot as a stove top recipe and is just right for children.

How To Make Chai Tea | Indian Tea

I’ve been both praised and cursed for my tea. Praised because it always tastes so good, cursed because it’s so strong that my tea drinkers are usually up until the wee hours of the morning, tossing and turning because they can’t sleep.

So with caution and fair warning, here’s my tea recipe (which is a combination of tea recipes from my sister in law and a couple of close friends): 2-4 cups of water 5-8 peppercorns 2-3 crushed green cardamom 3-6 cloves 1 cinnamon stick or a generous sprinkle of cinnamon powder 2 teaspoons of loose black tea 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or more or less of your desired sweetener 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or similar creamer Add all spices (not tea, sugar or cream) to a pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for as long as you’d like (sometimes I give it 5 minutes, other times, I put it on the lowest flame and leave it for 30 minutes or more while I do something else). Add tea and cover. Remove from heat and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Next, add cream and sugar and bring back up to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for a couple minutes. Using a strainer, pour into a cup and enjoy! You can get creative with your chai! Some people like a bit of fresh ginger as well. You can also make this tea with tea bags. In my experience, you need more tea bags than typical to get the desired strength and color.

Hydrating Summer Juices and Smoothies

Sometimes simple smoothies and juices are just right as they are. These three drinks are as easy as they come. They are hydrating, refreshing and subtly delicious.

I like the celery juice first thing in the morning. And honestly over the year, I’ve had times where I’m very much craving this drink and other times when I’m not. I found as the weather cooled, I didn’t long for this as much, but as the days warmed up, the idea of starting the morning with cool celery juice was definitely appealing. I use my ancient juicer to make celery juice, but I’m sure there are new varieties that juice better and leave a drier pulp. I’ve not found a use for the pulp, so I compost it. I recommend going with organic celery as celery is one of the foods that is highly recommended you go organic to avoid the pesticides and other chemicals that might be present in the non-organic celery. I’ve found that my celery juice flavor depends on the celery I’m using. Sometimes it’s light and refreshing, while other times it’s pungent and earthy. If you are consistently getting pungent earthy celery juice, try changing when or where you buy your celery. It really makes a difference in the enjoyment of your drink.

Watermelon juice is one I love in the summer. I actually resisted trying watermelon juice the first time it was offered to me because I love the cool crisp bite of fresh watermelon. But I’m so glad my friend insisted I try it because it was delicious! It’s especially good for those watermelons that were a bad pick and aren’t firm and crisp. I took my juice up a notch by adding maca powder. I only recently learned about this nourishing supplement from my naturopath, and she said maca powder is especially good for women and balancing hormones. I love the balance of earthy undertones mixed with the sweeth thickness of the watermelon. It’s truly an addicting combination once you acquire the taste for it. If your watermelon isn’t chilled, add a few ice cubes to the mix when blending. I used my NutriBullet to make this.

The last drink I’m sharing is a refreshing ice smoothie with a tart yet mildly sweet bite to it. The hardest thing about this drink is making sure you don’t get any lemon seeds in the mix! Once you’ve juiced your lemons, add a bit of stevia, lots of ice and water and blend together in a blender suitable for ice. I used my NutriBullet, for a Vitamix would work splendidly. I like to serve and drink this one right away, actually, I like to serve them all right away as they lose flavor right away. Before the ice has a chance to melt, you can scoop out this drink with a spoon and let the icy mixture melt in your mouth as your lips pucker, or you can drink it with a straw and enjoy the mix from the bottom up!

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