Beverage Recipes & Ideas
Let's Drink to Our Health...
I do like a refreshing drink, plus beverage recipes satisfy the inner mad scientist in me. Whipping up special drinks definitely began with my dad. When I was growing up, he (a teetotaler, I might add) would mix up these "everything AND the kitchen sink" drinks made from fruits, juices, Coca-Cola, milks, chocolate syrup, etc. complete with a neat spoon-straw doodad (which I still have to this day and have since learned actually have a real name: sipping spoons.) I thought of these drinks like special potions, so beverage recipes are really just good ol' concoctions to me. Fittingly so, since the root words of concoction relates to digestion and the preparation of medicinal potions. Just what we're after here with beverage recipes that taste delicious and nourish too!
Beverage Recipes: Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Cool Brew Coffee Fraps
A Quest for Perfect Iced Coffee - It's All in the Brew
~ In a pinch, a worthy Starbucks substitute is an Iced Ristretto Caffe Latte. Ristretto is a sweeter shot of espresso that's pulled quicker from the grinds for a shorter contact time that yields a smoother, bolder coffee bang.~
Love coffee flavor, but not a huge fan of it hot. But iced coffee? Yes ma'am! I think my yen for cold coffee actually stems from my first spoonful of coffee ice cream straight from the Häagen Dazs carton when I was about 10 years old. (Coffee was actually one of only three flavors that Häagen Dazs started out making; yep, vanilla, chocolate and coffee.) So, it's probably not just the coffee flavor that hooked me but that smooth, rich flavor and the creaminess too. Following a stubborn stint with Starbucks Frappuccinos (the bottled kind), I set out to find a homemade version with more robust coffee flavor, less sugar and no superfluous (i.e. unnecessary or unnatural) ingredients.
So... very much endowed to this New York Times article that quelled my dogged pursuit to unearth the ultimate iced coffee, I share these simple (and more energy efficient) instructions for authentic, bold but never bitter homemade fraps using cold brewed coffee. This concentrate is so smooth and rich, and equally good heated.
Cool Brew Coffee Frapps
1 8 Cup Coffee Press*
12 scoops (a scant tablespoon) of fair trade whole bean coffee
Mavenjoy Pick ~ Ruta Maya Organic Whole Bean Coffee ~
Organic milk or non-dairy beverage of choice**
Organic, fair trade raw sugar or maple syrup (optional)
Grind coffee beans to medium-course texture. Pour into bottom of coffee press carafe. Fill remaining carafe with water -- not hot, not warm. Cover and let sit overnight or at least 12 hours. This is your super smooth coffee concentrate.
For fraps, combine coffee concentrate with either equal parts milk or a 3:1 ratio coffee to milk. Add as much/little or no sweetener as you like, stir/shake well and pour over ice.
For a nice stock of fraps, add 1-2 teaspoons of sweetener to two or three 14-ounce bottles (those old frap bottles come in handy here). Fill each bottle about 2/3 full with coffee. Close with top and shake vigorously to combine well. Uncover and fill the remainder of each bottle with milk beverage. Store in refrigerator and pour over ice when ready to serve.
~ Make an extra batch of coffee concentrate to freeze in ice trays and avoid watering down your cool brew joy! ~
* You can also pull this off with a 32oz. mason jar, a strainer and a coffee filter. Add medium course grounds to mason jar. Fill with water. Lightly cover for 12 hours minimum. Double filter it by pouring it once through a strainer and again through a coffee filter.
** Happily, this method has stood the test of several milk beverage phases including cow skim milk, unsweetened soy, unsweetened almond (original almond too and you can skip the sweetener), and yes, surprisingly even chia milk. All good! But consider skipping the goat and coconut milks here, they just don't cut it in coffee, but they're tops in tea!
Avocado Cucumber Spritzer
A perfect post splurge pick-me-up or when feeling a bit sluggish -- it's clean, fresh, invigorating!
Avocado Cucumber Spritzer
1 small organic cucumber, peeled and seeded or 1 whole cuc, juiced
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 teaspoon organic lime zest
Juice of 1/2 to whole lime
1 can of La Croix Grapefruit sparkling water or other flavor, chilled
Place first four ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add La Croix, gently stir and pour over ice.
Orange Juice or Grapefruit Juice (fresh squeezed if possible), chilled
Organic Ginger Ale, chilled
Fill a tall glass with ice. Fill the glass halfway to 2/3 full with orange juice. Fill remaining glass with ginger ale.
Healthy Beverages: Quick Picks
A no-brainer, perhaps but still it is liquid perfection: no fat, no calories, cheap, readily available, refreshing! Careful not to undo what Nature gives as an inherently healthy choice: beware of water from a tainted source or contaminated container. Slap a carbon filter on your faucet or consider installing a reverse osmosis filtration system. On the go? Grab this super nifty aqua vessel that keeps your water cold for hours!
~ The Breville Juice Fountain Compact is a super starter juicer and budget-friendly for a great value! ~
Juicing just might be one of the quickest and most effective ways to kickstart a healthier daily routine and kick some bad habits too. We find that when we start our day all clean and refreshed with a health-packed glass of fresh vegetables, greens and fruit, we're more likely to want want to stay that way and do. We don't need or want some heavy, greasy breakfast or a big caffeine jolt (it's tops for curbing a runaway coffee habit!). Juicing tends to invigorate our bodies and our mindset. It counteracts cravings and makes us much more mindful of what we eat all day long and about getting in our exercise. It can also be self-perpetuating: the more we do it, the more we want. It's also an easy, convenient way to get in daily vegetable and fruit servings. Best picks for juicing include: organic curly parsley, cucumbers, carrots, celery, beets, apples, pineapple and every kind of greens. Slip in a bit of raw ginger or jalapeno too. Shoot for a ratio of less fruit and root vegetables to more greens and other vegetables and you're off to a running start.
- La Croix Sparkling Water
Raised on Coca-cola, as only a good Southern girl could be, it was a tough habit to kick (though made a lot easier when they gave cane sugar the shaft for corn syrup, a cryin' shame!) But La Croix can kick a soda habit to the curb and and have you never looking back. La Croix with a light squeeze of lime more than satisfies a bubbly "soda" craving. And it's a real thirst quencher any time of day -- clean, refreshing with no calories, no sweeteners, no sodium. Must-try flavors: Pure, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange and now Coconut! Try this healthy spritzer made with La Croix.
- Watermelon Juice
Honest to goodness watermelon juice! It could be the most refreshing juice with its super light taste that's not overly sweet, just right! Cut up a whole watermelon and store in container. After a few hours, just pour off the juice that naturally collects in the bottom of the container (the longer it sits in the container the more juice you get). You want just the juice so strain it if there's any pulp. Consider this naturally occurring juice the creme de la creme, but you can also remove the seeds from the watermelon meat, puree it, and strain off the juice. This strained juice is great for freezing as ice cubes to throw into cocktails and smoothies too. To kick up the healthy factor even more, juice organic watermelon (rind, seeds and all) with a few celery stalks, and some parsley -- super clean and refreshing!
More Beverage Recipes: Smoothie Recipes
More Beverage Recipes: Alcoholic Beverage Recipes
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