Starbucks marketing has been very successful in making us believe that fall begins with a sip of their signature pumpkin spice latte. However, the PSL contains some unsavory ingredients like sugar, condensed nonfat milk, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and sulfites. It's also not the best choice if you are working on unwinding, de-stressing, trying to find balance, or improving digestion. Our healthy alternatives help to calm chaos as the season revs up. They are also sugar-free, dairy-free, and caffeine-free, while still providing the best taste, smell, warmth, and comfort of fall.
Ginger Pear Tea
Ginger is a warm and spicy herb that helps to improve digestion, and decrease bloating and menstrual cramps. It contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, antioxidants, and has antibacterial properties. In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is used to treat imbalances. It also improves circulation. To get the maximum benefits, it is best to use fresh ginger, which is easy to spot at the grocery store in the produce section. It also keeps for a long time, so buying fresh and using it up before spoiling is never an issue.
Ginger does bring the heat, so paring it with an in-season sweet fruit like pear makes it extremely sip-able. To make this homemade tea, set water to boil in a kettle and while it heats up peel and chop up a heaping tablespoon full of ginger and 1/4 of an organic pear. Allow all ingredients to steep together for about 3 minutes.
Enjoy this tea while watching leaves fall.
Herbal coffee is primarily made of chicory root. Chicory is 100% herbal and caffeine-free. It can be ground and brewed just like coffee and has a similar full-bodied flavor. As a former coffee drinker, the taste and experience of drinking herbal coffee is on par with the real deal and comes in french vanilla, hazelnut, and mocha. The brand Teeccino makes a great gluten-free dandelion dark roast that is my favorite.
Regular organic coffee is not necessarily a poor health choice, however, on a plant-based diet, I personally have gained so much energy from consuming greens and nutrient-dense foods that I no longer feel I need the caffeine from coffee. Caffeine can be addictive, dehydrating, and interfere with sleep cycles. It is best to be consumed in moderation. It is also very acidic, whereas alkalinity inside the body is a much better environment for digestion. Chicory supports the liver, cleanses the blood, increases digestive bile, and contains a soluble fiber that feeds digestive flora (good bacteria) in the intestines.
Herbal coffee tastes great with unsweetened coconut milk and a few drops of stevia. Savor while shopping for extra soft scarfs.
Rooibos tea is a red tea that is always caffeine-free. It's full of antioxidants and it is naturally energizing. Rooibos is my go-to tea in every season, however the chai rooibos blend made by Yogi Tea, blends in the spices cardamom, cinnamon, and clove, creating a caffeine-free chai. (Chai is typically a black tea and black teas always contain caffeine.)
Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte includes the same spices, cardamon, cinnamon, and clove, for flavoring but mixes them with sulfites and their other less than healthy ingredients. So a rooibos chai really will supply that fall feeling, but does not include ingredients that do not serve the body.
Be sure to drink this tea while picking up gourds and squashes at your local farmer's market.
Need inspiration to get new, adorable tea cups? Post your beautiful fall beverages on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and tag @forkfuloflove so that we can see how you like to savor these fall drinks! Wishing you the healthiest autumn ever.