January 25, 2017

Simple & Delicious Drinks to Help Beat the Winter Blues

Winter can be downright depressing what with the dreary short days and cold weather. The holidays are over, which is something of a let-down and spring feels so far away. 

Even though Knoxville has been experiencing a relatively mild winter these past few weeks, cold weather is supposedly coming. 

I've ramped up my Vitamin D intake and am trying to be kinder to myself and those around me during these harsh times. I'm also trying to drink more water. But water gets boring and sometimes it's fun to enjoy a special drink, especially when winter really gets you down. 

I'm sharing three of my favorite drinks to help you get through the most blustery winter day. Just think, March will be here before we know it! 

Morning - Rise & Shine Breakfast Smoothie

I tried to get on the green drink bandwagon, but many of the recipes I tried weren't really for me. There's something about sipping kale through a straw that I struggle with. 

But I found a great recipe for a breakfast smoothie that incorporates a little bit of green (spinach) with some yummy fruit for a tasty combination. I even added some hemp seeds for extra protein. 

To make it, you'll need: spinach + pineapple + banana + mango

One tip is to use frozen fruit instead of ice and your smoothie will be frosty and delish. 

Afternoon Pick Me Up - Dirty Chai Latte 

I only recently discovered my love of chai, which is the word for tea in many parts of the world. Chai (rhymes with 'pie') is a centuries-old beverage which has played an important role in many cultures.

Chai from India is a spiced milk tea that has become more and more popular in the past few years. It is generally made of:

• rich black tea
• heavy milk
• a combination of various spices
• a sweetener

The spices tend to vary depending on what region of India you happen to be in. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Indian chai produces a warming, soothing effect, and goes a long way on those cold winter days. I first tried it at a local coffee shop in my hometown and now I'm hooked. 

Add in a shot of coffee and it becomes a "dirty chai." 

You can make your own from scratch or take the easy route, as I have with a store-bought chai option from Tazo. 

Evening Nightcap - Honey Bee-tini 

I first tried this amazing drink while staying at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood. The hotel even has its own bees on the roof that produce the honey for the cocktail. 

To create your own bee-tini, mix equal parts vodka, tequila and lemon juice. Add in a teaspoon of honey and garnish with fresh honey comb. 

Great for those winter nights when your throat is feeling scratchy. Plus, it's just spirited enough to help you hang in there til spring! 

The world might feel like a harsh place right now, but let's all hang in there and hope that sunnier days are ahead!