Drink to your health

healthy holiday drink recipesMore than any other time of year, the holiday season is a chance to treat yourself to some amazingly indulgent drinks. It seems like no party or gathering is complete without egg nog, hot cocoa, mulled wine, or hot cider. But while those beverages are festive, each sip can be packed with fat, sugar and calories. How to celebrate without going overboard? Whip up a lighter version of the real deal.


Healthier egg nog

  • 4 cups fat-free milk
  • 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
  • 8-ounce carton frozen egg product, thawed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground nutmeg for serving

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the fat-free milk, evaporated skim milk, egg product and sugar for 10 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened (be careful not to let mixture boil). Remove from heat, place pot in a large bowl of ice water, and stir until room temperature. Cover and chill the egg mixture for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Stir in vanilla extract and add extra fat-free milk if mixture is too thick. Sprinkle each serving with ground nutmeg.

Nutritional Information (makes 12 servings)
Per serving: 107.2 calories; 0.1g total fat; 106.8mg sodium; 17.2g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 7.2g protein  


Healthier hot cocoa

  • 1 cup 1-percent low-fat milk
  • 1/4-inch piece peeled, fresh ginger, sliced in half into 2 rounds
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon dark chocolate shavings (about 1/8th of an ounce)

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine milk and ginger. Cook until milk begins to scald, about 4 minutes. While milk is warming, combine cocoa powder and sugar in a mug and add water. Stir until mixture has a pasty consistency. Remove ginger pieces from warmed milk, add the cocoa powder mixture to the pan and whisk until slightly frothy. Pour hot cocoa into the mug and top with chocolate shavings.

Nutritional Information (Makes 1 serving)
164 calories; 4g total fat; 24g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 9g protein


Healthier mulled wine

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 2 strips fresh orange peel
  • 2 strips fresh lemon peel

In a large saucepan over low heat, combine wine, water, sugar, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, orange peel and lemon peel. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information (Makes 8 servings)
104 calories; 0g total fat; 4mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 0g protein


Healthier hot cider

  • Lemon rind strips from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 5 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup Calvados (apple brandy)
  • Additional cinnamon sticks for serving

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine lemon rind strips, lemon juice, apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour mixture through a sieve into a large bowl and discard solids. Stir in brandy and serve in mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Nutritional Information (Makes 13 servings)
173 calories; 0g total fat; 31mg sodium; 38g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 0g protein


When searching for the ingredients to make these delicious drinks, remember that Michigan Blues members have access to savings and special discounts on healthy products (including groceries!). Check out Healthy Blue Xtras to learn where you can save money around the state.


Photo credit: robbplusjessie

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