Every year Christmas seems to become ever more extravagant. The John Lewis TV ads. The latest iPhone. The Boxing Day blockbuster. More indulgent still, the seasonal coffees that high street chains dream up in a race to out-barista each other. As the temperature drops, the lure of those festive winter recipes increases exponentially. But beware. Because so too does the amount of calories and sugar that come with them. One in particular contains 600 calories and almost 70 grams of sugar in a single cup.

Enjoy a healthy dose of decadence

Instead, let’s take a look at some drinks that are easy to make and give the latest syrup-flavoured, cream-topped, coffee-based creations a run for their money. And knowing that they’re packed with nutrient dense superfoods and free from refined sugar makes them taste even better, if that’s possible.

Coco Whip

We’ll begin with a low sugar, dairy-free alternative to whipped cream. Try an exotic dollop of whipped coconut on top of your warm drinks and you’ll never look back.

What you’ll need

A can of coconut cream

An electric whisk (unless you’ve been using Esquared a lot and think you’re up to doing it manually).

How to make it

Chill the can of cream upright in the fridge overnight, along with your mixing bowl and whisk attachment. Next morning when you take them out again, make sure the can stays upright. Then simply spoon out the thick cream into the chilled bowl, leaving the liquid behind. Whip for a few minutes until it becomes light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean extract and natural sweetener such as Natvia if desired et voilà.

Esquared-Christmas-warm-drinks-healthy

Big name café X’s Mint Hot Choc vs Mint & Coconut Hot Chocolate

This decadent option comes with a whopping 556 calories and 68.8 grams of sugar in a single large serving. That’s the equivalent to eating 4 doughnuts. Instead, try Pana’s mint chocolate paired with raw cacao powder to enjoy a generous serving of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that taste amazing while avoiding that sugar slump or headache.

What you’ll need

(Serves 2)

Pana Mint Chocolate

2 cups coconut milk or oat milk

1 teaspoon raw cacao powder

Coconut whipped cream (from recipe above)

1 teaspoon agave nectar

How to make it

Melt the Pana mint choc in a bowl over a pan of water, then slowly add the milk. Like an extra chocolate kick? So mix in an extra teaspoon of raw cacao powder. Slowly stir with a whisk making sure it doesn’t boil to retain the goodness of the raw chocolate. Add agave nectar to taste before pouring into warmed mugs. Top with whipped coconut cream and garnish with shaved mint chocolate and another drizzle of agave nectar. Oh yeah. That’s good.

 

Big name café Y’s Hazelnut Milano vs. Healthy Hazelnut Hot Choc

Chocolate and hazelnut are a dream combo, but the offering from this well known café is a nightmare for the waistline with 519 cals and 49.3 grams of sugar. This cheeky creation is made with the addictive Pip & Nuts spread and will more than satisfy your sweet tooth. At the same time, it’s high in healthy fats and protein.

What you’ll need

(Serves 2)

2 cups hazelnut milk

2 tablespoons Pip & Nut Cacao, Coconut & Hazelnut Spread

Coconut whipped cream (from recipe above)

Agave nectar

Whole roasted hazelnuts to garnish

How to make it

Slowly melt a few tablespoons of spread in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water until it takes on a liquid consistency. Pour in the hazelnut milk and keep stirring with a whisk to ensure the spread doesn’t stick to the bottom. Pour into warm mugs, top with coconut whip, finish with a drizzle of agave nectar and garnish with crushed roasted hazelnuts. Mmm-hmm.

Esquared-Christmas-warm-drinks

Big name café Z’s Gingerbread Latte vs Immune Boosting Ginger Spiced Latte

There’s no need for artificial syrups and 49.1 grams of sugar to create this classic Christmas flavour. Spicing things up with the real deal not only turns up the heat, but also comes packed with a myriad of health benefits. Ginger is amazing for the digestion, cinnamon boosts your immune system and nutmeg supports healthy brain function and glowing skin. In fact, it really has no business tasting this good too. Leave out the espresso for a dessert to warm up a cold winter evening.

What you’ll need

2 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon molasses

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract

1 shot of espresso

2 teaspoons raw honey

Coconut whipped cream

How to make it

Combine the almond milk and other ingredients in a pan, stirring with a whisk until warmed through. Sweeten to your taste with the molasses and honey. Top with coconut whip, dust with cinnamon, sprinkle with ginger, drizzle over sweetener of your choice and enjoy the ride.

 

From sipping your stuff to ripping it

Enjoy your winter workouts at London’s premium gyms and studios. The free Esquared app gives you access to the whipped coconut cream of the crop, offering 2-hour gym sessions and one-off studio classes on demand – no memberships required.

Search Esquared on the AppStore or on Google Play.
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