Looking for alternatives to sugary drink indulgences? You have come to the perfect place. We present to you several options that are not only low in calories but also high in a whole lot of goodness, that will help up your health quotient. Read on and sip on!
Hold on, before you give us that look; we are talking about infused and flavoured water. Take some jeera and dhania seeds, some mint, coriander and dry-fry them a little on a hot tava to release their aroma. Mix this in the water you are boiling. The water will have an awesome flavour not to mention give you an extra dose of health and keep your tummy in order. Alternatively, drop in some cherries or berries, a sprig of mint or coriander, cucumber, lemon, orange, apple any fruit or veggie that catches your fancy and infuse the water with their flavour. Drink the water semi-cold, just enough to quench your thirst.
Have you ever tried khus infused water? Take some dried khus roots (vetiver). Wash it and dry it. Then twist and make a small ball of these vetiver roots. Place it in a bowl of boiled, cooled water. If you get a khullar (earthen pot) instead of a regular vessel, it would be awesome. Let it sit in the water for a few hours. After that, strain and drink. Wow!
Pani mein sabja beej
We also suggest adding some soaked sabja beej in your water. Drizzle in some syrup. In a tropical climate like ours, this is a yum drink and superb to keep your tummy cool. You can use chia seeds instead of sabja beej.
Home-made lime juice is always a winner. Squeeze some lime juice in a tall glass. Add water. Here you will need to add a little sugar to the drink. But fortunately, the amount of sugar you add is in your control. Swap it with honey or jaggery if you wish. Mix in some of our Indian tadka like rock salt and jeera powder. Garnish with mint and drink it up. Dropping a few slices of lemon in your drinking water is known to balance your pH.
Ragi is one of the golden foods packed with iron, calcium and protein. Add a teaspoon of ragi to warm milk and keep stirring it while still on the gas. Add a teeny weeny bit of either sugar or salt. Take it off from the gas. Set it aside to cool and then eat it like you are having porridge. Healthy! Do we need to say more? You can try a variation of kanji with beetroot and other nutritious vegetables. Boil it and blitz it all together. Strain the juice and keep aside to cool. Before enjoying this super healthy drink add your desired flavour.
Not just gazpacho, have you tried cold cucumber soup, pumpkin soup, chilled watermelon soup or a cool green pea’s soup? What are you waiting for…lose the sugar, sip the soups!
Apple cider vinegar
A new drink which is trending is apple cider vinegar with water. It is believed to help in weight loss, reduce cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels. Take some of this vinegar in a tall glass. Add water and drizzle in some honey to enhance the taste. It comes with loads healthy benefits and has a low calorie count. And a great perk…it is tasty too!
Flavoured tea may still have more sugar than you would like, so here is what you can do. Pour in more water than mentioned on the pack in your flavoured tea to balance out the sweetness. Throw in some ice cubes. Infusion teas are great and also healthy. Flavours like grape, pomegranate, cranberry, lime, can be a little tart which means less sugar. Good.
Coconut water one of the most organic ways to quench your thirst. After all it is nature’s gift to us. It is healthy, eliminates toxins from the body, naturally sweetened and perfect for hydrating yourself after a work-out. Even the malai inside the coconut is healthy. Scrape it out and enjoy it with some gur (optional).
Grab some probiotic drinks like, kanji, chaas, lassi (creamier and more sugar) which we make at home. As we all know by now that these drinks are good for our gut and so healthy. Summers are still on so drink it up.
Try fruit juices. It is a healthy variety to have as a drink. Though orange juice or mosambi juice is not always sweet to taste, you can add a dash of sugar, a pinch of salt and bottoms up! Try the same with watermelon juice. Pomegranate juice can be tangier to taste. You may like it organic or add your bit of tadka. If the season is summer, some ice cubes will heal the heat.
Milkshakes and cold coffee
If you prepare milkshake or cold coffee at home then it is beneficial. Because the amount of sugar and cream you add in your shake is all up to you. So blitz up a healthy version (banana, fruits) and enjoy it on a hot summer afternoon. Milkshakes and cold coffees are filling. If you are watching your weight, have it accordingly.
Additionally, we list some alternatives for sugar which many people have incorporated into their daily diet:
In its organic form, it is the best alternative to sugar. It is unprocessed and therefore healthy, boosts energy, anti-viral, and is packed with vitamins. Make a slow beginning and try to replace sugar with raw, organic honey. Yet again, not too much else you will put on weight.
Palm sugar or gur
Gur, jaggery or palm sugar is yet another great replacement for sugar. It is unprocessed, natural as is prepared by boiling undiluted sugar cane juice. It boosts immunity and combats anaemia, removes toxins and is simply superb. It is also the best sweet replacement for diabetics, in a measured quantity of course. However, we will always advise you to get a “go ahead” from your doctor first.
So dear readers, have fun with your sugary drink alternatives. Yet if you under observation for a medical reason or on a prescribed diet (diabetics and others), please consult your doctor before you embark on these choices.