December has always been a month I associate with celebration. Christmas, obviously, but also because December is my birthday month. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but now I have yet another reason to celebrate in December - I’m engaged!
This is probably a more elaborate story for another time, but just this past weekend I went away with my now fiance (that's a fun new word). On Friday, he surprised me with a couples photoshoot for my birthday, something I had wanted for a long time. This was wonderful alone, so when Lyle said to me at the end “I have one more surprise”, I could not even believe what was happening. All this to say, that was the easiest "yes" I ever said and we are over the moon!
With this, we are well on our way to a celebratory month. If you're anything like me though, you might find at times, all the cozy drinks, treats and special holiday meals can be a bit overwhelming. In saying that, I wanted to share 5 simple and “healthified” holiday cocktails/beverages for you to try this month so you can navigate this season with confidence.
I’m all for practicing moderation. With these holiday drink options, you can rest assured that you have options that don’t compromise your goals, while also allowing you to experience all the goodness of the holiday season, restriction-free.
1 Bottle Red Wine of Choice
1L Bottle Diet Ginger Ale
1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
½-1 Bag Frozen Cherries
1-2 Fresh Apples
Soak apples (1-2), cranberries and cinnamon sticks in your red wine for a minimum of 30 minutes
When ready to serve, add the diet ginger ale and a couple handfuls of frozen cherries (this will act as ice, if you want more, add it).
Makes Roughly 10 Glasses
Nutrition Information (per glass): 106 Calories, 0 Fat, 0 Protein, 10g Carbs and 2g Fiber
1 oz Tequila
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
¼ cup Light Cranberry Juice
10 oz Sparkling Water (lime flavored)
Add tequila, lime juice, cranberry juice, and ice to your glass, then fill to the top with sparkling water. Stir and serve.
Or, add everything except sparkling water to a cocktail shake with ice. Shake and serve. Top with sparkling water.
Makes 1 Glass
Nutrition Information (per glass): 69 Calories
*Sourced from here.
Holiday Moscow Mule
1 Shot of Vodka
1/2 Can Diet Ginger Ale
1 Shot of Light Cranberry Juice
4 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Slice of Fresh Ginger Peeled
Copper Moscow Mule Cup
Orange Peel Curl
Stevia Dusted Cranberries
Muddle the fresh mint and ginger or chop very fine. Add ice to your copper mug. Pour in the vodka, ginger ale, and light cranberry juice. Add in garnishes.
To make the sugar-dusted cranberries rinse cranberries with water and sprinkle with stevia.
Makes 1 Glass
Nutrition Information (per glass): 73 Calories, 0 Protein, 0 Fat, 11g Carbs, 1g Fiber *Modified from this recipe.
3 Cups 1% Milk
1 Vanilla Bean
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Cornstarch
Optional: Spiced rum or bourbon (increases calories)
Heat 2-1/2 cups milk in a medium saucepan.
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and pod to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until it turns light yellow.
Temper the eggs by gradually pouring the hot milk mixture, about 1 cup at a time, into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (this is important, otherwise you'll make scrambled eggs).
Pour the mixture back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the eggnog begins to thicken about 6-7 minutes.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Remove the vanilla pod, let it cool and transfer to a pitcher, chill until ready to serve. Spike the eggnog with liquor, if desired, and garnish with nutmeg.
Makes 7 Servings
Nutrition Information (per glass): 104 Calories, 6g Protein, 3g Fat, 15g Carbs, 0 Fiber
*Sourced from here.
Skinny Hot Chocolate
1 Cup Light Coconut Milk (from the can)
1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (Possibly 2) Tablespoon(s) Stevia
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Sea Salt
Add all ingredients to a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Whisk vigorously to combine and to get rid of any lumps of cocoa.
Do NOT let the hot chocolate boil or you risk burning the almond milk, which can turn the flavor into something you do not want.
Simply warm in the pot until steamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Once the hot chocolate is hot, remove from heat and pour into 2 mugs. Top with chocolate shavings or a dusting of cocoa powder on top is fun too! Enjoy!
Makes Roughly 3 Servings
Nutrition Information (per glass): 83 Calories, 2g Protein, 7g Fat, 4g Carbs, 2g Fiber