Public health organizations and experts have been encouraging people to cut back on sugary beverages because they provide no nutritional value and lead to weight gain. Many site sugary drinks as a contributor to the obesity epidemic. Although water and unsweetened teas are the best choice, if you’re thirsting for a sweeter beverage, opt for lighter.
In June, Hanover Hospital will release a collection of healthier drink recipes on the Health eCooking section of its website. The beverages are healthier versions of traditional favorites.
For example, a recipe for fresh-squeezed Pink Lemonade has 9 grams of sugar and 38 calories per serving. A recipe for Peach Iced Tea features fresh ginger, fresh mint and ripe peaches and calls for 1/4 cup of sugar for eight servings.
At your next summer party, refresh your guests with this Watermelon Punch, made with chunks of watermelon, fresh lime juice, mint and honey. Although this drink is naturally sweetened, it also packs 8 grams of fiber, a nutritional bonus. Serve in the watermelon rind or in a punch bowl, and skip the glass of high-fructose corn syrup.
1 large seedless watermelon
1 cup brewed Red Zinger or hibiscus tea
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 liter (2 cups) club soda or seltzer water, chilled
1 cup fresh mint (leaves only), plus additional leaves for garnish
1. Prop the watermelon upright in a large bowl or pot. Slice off the top of the watermelon while the watermelon is standing upright.
2. With a spoon, scoop out the fruit and juice, and transfer to a blender. Add the tea, lime juice and honey to the blender, and purée (in two batches if necessary).
3. Add the club soda and 1 cup mint leaves and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve: Fill the hollowed watermelon with ice and the watermelon punch. Serve with a ladle in glasses garnished with additional mint leaves.
Nutrition information (per serving): 136 calories, 1 gram fat, 35 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 2 grams protein.