Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Real Food: Hot Drinks

Talking ginger tea got me thinking I should just post a big list of all the everyday hot drinks I love.  I've included some "Where can I  find it?" commentary for locals (and of course if you don't have it in your area, you can probably find it online.)

Let's jump right in......

Cherrybean Coffee, Caribbean Queen

This is a local roaster and I love this blend!

I get mine at Hy Vee in the Health Market (it's not sold in the regular coffee aisle.)  Cherry Bean always has a booth at the Farmer's Market, and some downtown businesses serve it (like The Cookie Jar.)

Yerba Mate

If you like green tea, this smells quite "green," but isn't related; Yerba Mate comes from a South American holly tree*.  The. best. way to brew it is with a filter bag- rather than a tea ball or french press- for removing sediment.

The jury is out on whether it's a miracle or carcinogenic.  I drink it a few times a week.  It's delicious, smooth, and gives a great energy boost.

You can find it at Pomegranate Market with the other teas.

Crio Bru

100% Cocoa beans, roasted and ground.  That's it.  Antioxidants and a lovely chocolate flavor in one.

You brew them just as you would coffee, though it is greatly improved in taste and nutrition if the grounds are allowed to steep for about 12 minutes, so a press or filter are best, rather than using your coffee maker.  There are many varieties, and I've tried three (there are only a few available at our local natural foods market.)

Cavalla is my favorite so far, though they've all been good.  It's amazing how distinctive the flavors are- beans grown in different environments.

I usually have this in the afternoon, and take it in a to-go cup when I pick up the girls from school.  On the days I have it, they get in the car and say, "Mom, the car smells like chocolate!" and they know what's in the cup.  Kids can have it, too- and though it does contain the stimulant theobromine (which you will notice) it's fine to have before bed without disrupting sleep.  It's great for chocolate cravings, and is a way to get the health benefits of chocolate on a regular basis without the added fat, sugar, and calories.

You can find it at Pomegranate Market in the tea and coffee aisle.

Lipton Superfruit Green Teas

These are easy and delicious.  We have several kinds in the kitchen at all times.  The girls make themselves tea fairly often; they love these!  Jim (not a big tea drinker in the past) has started having some almost every night.  He started when he had a cold, but kept it up.

Celestial Seasonings Decaf Green Tea with White Tea 

They make a great decaf green tea made with white tea that has a smooth taste for a low price.  I love this one before bed.

These teas are available at just about any grocery store and at Target.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos is also known as "red tea" or "redbush tea".  It comes from a South African plant.  Alone it has a sort of earthy sweetness, almost like honey.  It's naturally decaffeinated and is one of my favorite things to drink in the world.

I have been drinking it for a few years, but in Zambia there are two kinds of tea that you can get just about anywhere: Rooibos and Five Roses.  So it isn't just good, it reminds me of a place I love, and brewed it's as red as African soil.

Finding a good rooibos is a bit harder.  Sometimes you'll see a Tazo blend, like a vanilla rooibos at Starbucks; you can try that.  But you can get a great rooibos from Equal Exchange at Ten Thousand Villages, and there is a decent Twinings rooibos at World Market.

Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk 

This is the way to have hot chocolate.  Step one: pour in mug.  Step 2: heat.  Delicious.
You can cut in some original or vanilla almond milk to cut the sweetness if you'd like.

I have found this at Hy Vee in the Health Market and at WalMart in the dairy section.  I assume you can find it at Target as well.

Silk Coconut Milk and Almond Milk

These are both fantastic warm, too.

You can buy them already flavored with vanilla and slightly sweetened, or you can make your own sweet vanilla milk by adding extract and some honey or raw sugar.  This is what I do, so I have unflavored milk, which is more flexible for everyday use.

I like to take it up a notch and add in some cinnamon and cardamom for a nice vanilla spice "chai" without the black tea (though you could certainly add some.)

You'll find this with the Chocolate Almond Silk.  Sams sells a three pack of Original Almond Milk that saves us about $2, so that's where we get it.  

Again, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

*A certain Boy Who Lived had a wand made from a holly tree; maybe you don't understand.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I make yerba mate lattes with milk and honey. That's the only way I like it, because I don't really like Green tea in general.

That dark chocolate almond milk sounds delish!

I've made almond milk before and it's great too. We're thinking of switching to almond milk because of the difficulty in trying to find rBGH free milk (although apparently Wal-Mart sells rBGH free milk but that would be a special trip b/c I don't go there usually).

Have you seen "Genetic Roulette"?