Winter is on its way, and like many people living in colder climates, I’m a little leary. I’m making plans and finding new hobbies for longer stretches inside. There are some perks to the frigid months, though: cozy couches, gatherings of friends, movie marathons, afternoons spent making batches of soup, clutching warm drinks while curling up with a good book.
There’s coffee and tea, sure, but here are three alternatives to keep you warm and healthy during the coming months.
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee: Farm to table? Try forest to cup. According to Four Sigmatic, indigenous people have been consuming mushrooms in the liquid form (via teas and soups) for thousands of years. Try the different coffee and superfood mushroom blends for a delicious way to increase your fungi intake, prized for their cancer-prevention properties. Mushrooms are harvested from the forest or their mushroom farms, and are then dried and turned into liquid extracts by boiling in hot water for hours. They’re then dried and combined with other goodies. They’re not cheap (one box of 10 packets, each about the size of an individually wrapped tea bag, costs $14.99), but the quality shows. It’s become the newest craze in the functional nutrition world, and people are loving it—but the “fun guys” (get it?) are sure to point out that this isn’t a fad. Plus, the company is cool: not only do they have a blast doing what they do, but they give back, too: when you buy a box of their mushroom boxes, they donate a portion of the proceeds toward offering free mushroom kits to cancer patients. In addition to the coffees, they also offer elixirs and hot cocaos, all made with ‘shrooms. us.foursigmatic.com
Teeccino: This caffeine-free herbal coffee is a great option if you’re trying to reduce the jitters and the acidity of coffee. It can be found in tea bags or in a ground form, which looks just like coffee grounds and can be brewed the same way. Made from a mix of carob, barley, chicory root, dates, figs, and almonds, it has a rich taste and contains prebiotics (thanks to the chicory root) to help prime your gut for beneficial bacteria to flourish. You’ll also get a dose of soluble fiber and potassium, great for your heart and for electrolyte balance. Note that because of the barley, many of the flavors are not gluten-free, but there are gluten-free flavors available using dandelion as the base ingredient. My favorite flavors are Vanilla Nut and Hazelnut, but there are plenty more to choose from. teeccino.com
Gaia Golden Milk: Turmeric tea is an ancient Ayurvedic traditional drink that makes an ideal winter immune-boosting drink. You can make your own blend or buy one that’s ready-to-go like Gaia’s version. The curcumin in turmeric helps douse inflammation in the body Turmeric does have a bit of a strong flavor, but mixed with dates, cardamom, black pepper, ashwagandha and vanilla, it offers a unique drink that packs a super potent health benefit. If you’re pregnant or nursing, ask your healthcare practitioner before consuming. gaiaherbs.com
I like my warm drinks creamy and latte-like, so I generally mix them with an organic or non-dairy milk and a dash of a sweetener like honey. A mug of one of these is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up and a little something to look forward to on cold, cloudy days.
Photo by Matthew Weiss/Soul and Structure