It is the festive season (and don't we know it!) and even if you do not go in for alcohol often during the rest of the year, you might feel that a celebratory drink or two is more than justified in December.
But can you combine “healthy” and “alcohol” in the same sentence?
It would seem that you can.
I have been doing some research and I have found at least 4 that fit the bill (courtesy of www.gismodo.com).
First is one known as Michelada
It is made with lager, limes, Worcestershire sauce, Valentina hot sauce, black pepper, natural sea salt and ice. While the health benefits of beer are sometimes questionable, the rest of the ingredients can safely be given a thumbs up. Lime juice with all its vitamin C; the hot sauce with its hot chili peppers; the natural sea salt helping replenish elctrolytes; and the Worcestershire sauce full of vitamin B6 foods and other benefits.
Here is one recipe for Michelada
where you will need:
- Lime juice
- Natural sea salt
- Ice cubes
- Hot sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- 4 Mexican beers, very cold
- Lime wedges for garnish
Place lime juice in a small bowl and salt on a small plate. Dip the rims of beer mugs or Pilsner-style glasses in the lime juice then dip in the salt. Fill the glasses with ice and add a few dashes of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Fill with beer and garnish each glass with lime wedge.
Second on the list is wine
While it may contain sugar and alcohol (a double wammy for the liver), wine does contain 4 to 9% of your DRI of iron, 9% of potassium and 5% of magnesium along with plenty of antioxidants. For the calorie counter, these range from 110 to 113 for a 5 oz glass of wine.
Third and perhaps not that well known to you is Guinness
This Irish drink even used to boast the advertising slogan of “Guinness is good for you”. With a reasonable calorie count of 128 for a 12 oz glass, Guinness is made from whole grains and has a high antioxidant level. A study at the University of Wisconsin in 2003 concluded that the beverage could help in the reduction of blood clots and heart related problems.
Our final suggestion is Sangria
Depending on the recipe chosen, the ingredients could include red wine, lemon, cut oranges, lime, sugar, orange juice, gin, apples, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and more. For a healthier option, choose one with less sugar and more fruit. Here is our suggestion and for this Spanish beverage, you will need
½ pint inexpensive red wine
¼ pint each of fresh orange juice and lemonade
½ Granny Smith apple
1 Kiwi fruit
Wash the fruit thoroughly before removing the apple core and slicing. Slice the tangerines including the skin but peel and slice the Kiwi fruit. Mix all the fruit together in a bowl before pouring over the liquids. Stir thoroughly but carefully with a wooden spoon, so as not to damage the pieces of fruit and refrigerate for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to infuse. Serve in large glasses with some ice and a spoonful of fruit. Garnishing the glass with a small twist of tangerine adds a little extra touch to the final presentation.
Now that we have got the important stuff out of the way, what about non alcoholic beverages?
- Top of the list is of course pure filtered water and nothing could be better for a hangover (from imbibing too many glasses of that alcoholic list above) than downing one or two glasses of water. Always avoid fluoridated and chlorinated water because those toxic additives along with others immediately take way the “healthy” label.
- While regular pasturized, commercial milk would not be considered a healthy drink, finding a source of RAW milk and using that instead can provide a much healthier alternative.
Kefir milk might be new to you. Kefir grains which you can buy online are mixed with milk (preferably raw or at least organic) and allowed to culture at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours (so that the beneficial strains of bacteria and benign natural yeasts proliferate) metabolizing the milk’s lactose and creating a sour, thick beverage replete with vitamins, probiotics, kefiran and other nourishing components. The longer milk kefir cultures the more sour and folate-rich it becomes - but too long and it becomes unpalatable.
Goats milk is another beverage that has recently become much more popular.
- The health benefits of freshly juiced vegetables, herbs and even a few spices have been widely written about including by me here.
- In the same way, freshly squeezed fruit juice from organic fruit such as oranges, apples and more are miles apart from those commercial boxed juices made from concentrate and extra sugar, found in the supermarkets.
Finally, a festive frozen beverage treat for the children
They are REAL fruit ice pops and all you need is 2 cups each of kiwi, mango and strawberries. Blend each with a little water until you have a fruit paste before layering each fruit in ice pop molds. Leave them in the freezer for an hour or two and serve. Adults and children alike will be fighting over these!