If you’ve been stuck inside lately, you may be finding it difficult to maintain your health and wellness – and you’re not alone! The added stress and uncertainty of this time can leave anyone feeling drained. One way to add a little more pep in your step is to make healthy choices with your diet.
Hopefully you don’t need us to tell you that fresh ingredients — like fruit and vegetables — are good for you… But do you know why? It’s because they’re naturally packed with micronutrients, the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to build strong bones, support healing, bolster our immune system, and process everything we eat and drink into energy.
Some vitamins and minerals are more susceptible to breaking down from heat and other chemical reactions. Water-soluble vitamins, like B and C vitamins for example, are particularly susceptible to being lost during cooking, boiling, or other high-heat processes. These vitamins are essential for promoting energy creation and release, as well as cell repair and the production of collagen to heal wounds and support blood vessel walls.
To make sure you’re not losing out on these vital compounds in your cooked foods, beverages can provide a solution. Drinks like 100% fruit and vegetable juices, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, aguas frescas, coconut water, coffee, tea, kombucha, and more are all delicious options that can help you stay on track (just be sure not to overindulge in the added sugars).
The best part? If you’re stuck at home, you can stock up on many of these drinks at the store or make them fresh yourself. Check out these guilt-free DIY drink options to get you started.
1. Make Your Own 100% & Cold-Pressed Juices
Juicing at home is easiest with a dedicated juicer — but you might want to invest in a masticating versus centrifugal machine to make sure you’re getting the most nutrients out of your juice. Masticating juicers create less heat during the pressing process, which prevents the breakdown of nutrients. This machine makes things simple: just add your produce and collect the juice. One step for a refreshing beverage.
If you only have access to a blender or centrifugal juicer at home, no worries. Just keep in mind that they will produce a bit of heat as they puree your veggies. It’s a good idea to chop up your produce into smaller pieces and even add a little cool water to reduce the heat generated and help you get the most nutrients out of your juice. There’s also likely to be a lot of pulp which, although it is an excellent source of fiber, may not be palatable for everyone. You can choose to remove some of the pulp by using a fine mesh strainer, to your preference.
Whichever method you choose to get your juice, you’ll be able to experiment with different flavor and ingredient combinations, each with their own array of health benefits. Try an apple, pineapple, kale and lemon mixture for a fruity and refreshing option to remind you of the beach. Or combine beets, strawberries and blueberries for a hint of summertime flavor.
2. Blend Together a Smoothie
Smoothies are easy too. Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals – and help yourself cool down in the summer heat. Make your own smooth concoction by blending together frozen produce or homemade juice and ice. Adding yogurt can also introduce a delightful flavor, creamy texture, and helpful probiotics. A handful of chia or flax seeds adds another nutrition boost and essential fiber.
We recommend a classic strawberry-banana or green kale, avocado, and cucumber mixture.
3. Whip Up an Aguas Fresca
To create your own delicately delicious aguas fresca, all you need is to combine 1-part chopped fruit or vegetables and 2 parts water, blended together until smooth. To finish it up, you just need to add a little lime juice and a sweetener of your preference.
Aguas frescas present a tasty way to drink more hydrating fluids – just go easy on the sugar. You can always opt for a lower calorie sweetener option like stevia or choose ingredients like watermelon that create a perceived sweetness, but without the added sugar.
There are a variety of recipes for aguas frescas to try, but we suggest cucumber-mint, watermelon and agave nectar, or cantaloupe with honey.
4. Brew Your Own Kombucha
Researchers claim that kombucha provides an array of health benefits – everything from supporting mental health and promoting gut health and weight loss, to lowering risk of infection and heart disease.
Although the brewing process takes some time, most of the ingredients and equipment needed can be found around your home. And once you complete your first batch of kombucha, it’s easy to make more. The fun part about kombucha is that everyone adds their own twist or flair to create new flavors – so get experimenting!
5. Create a Healthy Homemade Soda
People tend to reach for a soda because of its sweet, carbonated flavor. But what if we told you there was a healthier way to make your own soda at home using all-natural ingredients that tastes just as delicious? Finally, a caffeine-free soda that you won’t have to worry about your kids drinking!
This recipe teaches you how to make four different sodas packed with healthy ingredients like fruit and honey. Each soda starts with a simple honey syrup base (just honey and water), then you can choose whatever fruit combinations to add the flavors you want – strawberry, orange, lemon-lime, grape, and blackberry. That’s right, with just four ingredients and thirty minutes, you can become a master soda maker.
6. Make a Cyber-famous Dalgona Coffee
This fancy coffee became famous on Tik Tok at the start of the COVID-19 quarantine. At the height of a period where we could no longer go to Starbucks or Dunkin’ for our morning fix, dalgona coffee saved us (thank you). It helped turn ordinary people into Instagram baristas, showing off their fancy photo-worthy drinks which have since gone viral.
The best part about this fancy coffee, is that it’s not fancy at all – at least, it’s not too difficult to make. Instead of requiring expensive espresso and a $200 machine, it calls for instant coffee – you know, the kind you can get at the dollar store.
Simply mix two tablespoons each of instant coffee, water, and sugar until it becomes a thick cream with stiff peaks. This part might take a while if you don’t have a hand mixer. Once you’ve got your whipped coffee, grab a glass of a milk of your preference and scoop the coffee mixture on top. Snap a pic for the ‘gram, and then mix it together. The result is a thick, delicious, and Starbucks-worthy cup of coffee.
7. Batch Your Own Floral Simple Syrups
Drink trend or science experiment? This is one drink creation that your kids will love to help make. Floral simple syrups are usually made with lavender, roses, or violets, but you can use any type of edible flower – and yes, as long as you know they’re safe and free of harmful pesticides, you can just pick them from your backyard!
The trickiest part of this recipe is collecting the cup of flower petals – no green pieces allowed. After that, all you need is sugar and water. Most likely, you have everything required to make this aromatic syrup at home already.
Once complete, your finished floral simple syrup will be the perfect addition to level up a refreshing lemonade, herbal tea, or flavored water. Yum!
Drink Something that Makes You Happy!
Of course, just as important as your physical wellness is your mental health. Being isolated from friends and family and feeling uncertain about the future can take a toll on anyone, but with memories tied so closely to taste and smell, it can be comforting to drink something you feel good about, or that brings back a happy moment in your life.
It’s the little things, paired with other healthy coping tactics, that can help us get through these tough times together. So remember to make time for your health and wellness, even if it’s just to enjoy a tasty beverage.
Do you have an idea for the next big drink trend? Flavorman can help you make it a reality! Get started by filling out this form or giving us a call at (502) 663-8692.