Ask the Chef: Can you recommend some healthy non-alcoholic beverages?

by Julie Morris, Navitas Naturals Executive Chef
January 7, 2017

Can you recommend some healthy non-alcoholic beverages?

Sorry sparkling apple cider: you’ve got some major competition this year.

Alcohol-free libations are becoming a borderline trend, and whether you have a new cleanse program looming, or are enjoying an ongoing commitment to a sober lifestyle, the amount of options now available “sans-booze” is reason alone to celebrate. From elixirs to haute mocktails, alcohol-free enthusiasts are becoming increasingly creative with what they’re clinking glasses with. Here are a few healthy favorites to try:

Superfood juices – Juice is one of the most refreshing and flavorful beverages to drink, period. Add some superfoods into this mix, and the results are as gourmet as they are energizing! If you have a juicer, try juicing in-season produce, like apple, celery, and winter kale. If you’re looking for something even more ready-made, mix some heart-healthy pomegranate juice with wheatgrass powder for an instant (and secret) green juice that is both cleansing and anti-aging! In fact, you can mix virtually any superfood fruit powder, like goji powder or pomegranate powder, into sweet beverages to quickly make them extra special and beneficial.

Kombucha – Thanks to its natural effervescence, kombucha is a wonderful way to mimic bubbly cocktails and champagne. Mix a little orange juice with kombucha for a mimosa-like experience, or pour over ice and sprinkle with maqui powder for a stunning purple libation that makes for a great presentation. (Note: some kombucha brands can contain micro-levels of alcohol. Check the packaging for specific alcohol notifications.)

Digestion Shots – To make a “to your health” toast in the most literal sense, try doing “gut shots” that promote digestion! These potent beverages, which are composed of fermented vegetable brine or grain brine (the latter known as rejuvelac) taste pleasantly salty or sour, and can do wonders for nutrient absorption and overall energy.

Keifer – Kiefer is a bit like a cross between kombucha and digestion shots. Also fermented, it is slightly effervescent and full of enzymes, and often made from coconut water. Because of its mild flavor and low sugar content, keifer is a good mixer for mocktails, and can be stirred into anything from fruit juice, to being flavored with cacao and a little coconut sugar.

Elixirs – The first elixirs date back to thousands of years ago as medicinal beverages, and are coming back in a strong way within the health community today. Think of elixirs like little, thin, more potent smoothies – they are extremely flexible in nature. To make an elixir, try using a base of coconut water or maple water for a mild sweetness, then blend in powerful superfoods with a functional purpose, such as goji berries, turmeric, coconut oil, camu, and cayenne (plus a little sweetener) for an immune-boosting drink. Blend up a big batch and serve your elixir in small shot or martini glasses for a sophisticated presentation!


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