Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thirst-Quenching, Low-Cal & Low-Alcohol Drinks

Trying to figure out how to drink more water? Me too! These two drinks have become my favorite ways to drink more liquid.

Weight Watchers, can you say "zero points"? With these drinks, yes, you can!

Beer & Ginger Ale
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Brad Gilbert, the well-known tennis player, tennis coach, ESPN tennis announcer and author of Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis--Lessons from a Master, says this about hydration for athletes, “By the time you feel thirsty, it’s too late.” It’s true for champion athletes, it’s true for couch potatoes – and all of us in between.

A few years back, many nights I found myself gulping down a glass of wine while cooking supper, even with good wines worth a slow-sipping savor.

What I came to realize is that at six o’clock, my brain is ready for relaxation but my body is thirsting for – literally – a big, long swallow of liquid.

What a revelation! Perhaps I’m not alone? In January, I asked readers to share a “healthy habit” for the new year. (See the comments in Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad.) So many wrote, “I want to figure out how to drink more water.”

Here’s how I do it.

BITTERS & SODA Especially during the winter, the pour of choice while cooking dinner is now a Bitters & Soda: quick and easy to fix; lots of liquid; hardly any alcohol; and somehow it appeals, at that hour, in a way plain old tap water doesn’t. Many thanks to Karen Tedesco from FamilyStyle Food for introducing me to Bitters & Soda!

BEER & GINGER ALE My new summer drink obsession happened by accident. One warm Friday night, friends were coming for dinner. While cooking, I mixed a splash of beer with ginger ale and ice – and it quenched my thirst so quickly! So when everyone arrived, I offered the same drink to the women. Talk about lightweights (and cheap dates!), three of us drank a single bottle of beer all night long yet never had an empty glass!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite healthy drink recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

BEER & GINGER ALE

Hands-on time: 1 minute
Time to throat: 1 minute
Serves 1
  • Splash of beer (about 4 tablespoons or 2 ounces)
  • Ice
  • Diet ginger ale

Combine in a big glass, drink up!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per 4 tablespoons light beer: 17 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 1mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 0g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 0, PointsPlus 0

ALANNA’s TIPS While I never measure, the proportion I drink is 1:3 or 1:4 beer:ginger ale. You want to “taste” the beer but not “drink a beer”. Sealed with a wine cork, an open bottle of beer lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge, drunk just a splash at a time. I’ve become partial to Corona Light but other beers would likely work too. I’ve tried this with everything from Diet 7-Up to Diet Coke (whatever’s hanging around after family parties), but diet ginger ale really does the trick. I “like” this drink with other sodas but “love it!” with ginger ale. This is now my standard low-alcohol “party drink” too. Even people who don’t drink beer (or like beer) like this concoction.


BITTERS & SODA

Hands-on time: 1 minute
Time to throat: 1 minute
Serves 1
  • Splash of bitters (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Ice
  • Club soda

Combine in a big glass, drink up!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Teaspoon of Bitters: 8 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 65mg Sodium; 2g Carb; 0g Fiber; 2g Sugar; 0g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 0, PointsPlus 0

WHAT ARE BITTERS? Bitters are an old-time concoction, first marketed as a medicinal tonic. There are dozens of different flavors but all are “bitter” – a good thing! – but the only one I find easily is Angostura Bitters. Bitters have a high alcohol content (45% compared to 10-16% for wine) and come in small bottles the size and shape of Tabasco. Look for bitters in the liquor department, a tiny bottle is expensive but you consume it, literally, a teaspoon at a time.


What's Your Trick for Drinking More Water?

Share your favorite tip in the comments! The simpler the better! The more creative, the better! The wackier, the ... ... well, if it works, go for it!


This Week, Years Past

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This Week, Elsewhere

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Chicken & Dumplings from Mama Josephine's

A Veggie Venture
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More Summer Drinks

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cold-Brewed Coffee My Perfect Sangria Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade
~ more drink recipes ~

More Drink Recipes from A Veggie Venture






© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sliced Citrus with Orange Flower Water, Spices and Chocolate Shavings

Will you indulge me, please, and close your eyes, just for a minute? Now imagine a sunny afternoon in an orange grove, the light dappled, the breeze cool, the busy-ness of life a distance away. Reach up and grab a fat orange orb and break it off the stem. Feel its heft in the palm of your hand. Now scrape the skin with your nail and sniff as orange sweetness fills the air around you. Peel the orange with your hands, in one piece if you can! and cut slice it into juicy rounds.

I can't promise you an orange grove – but I can promise you an unforgettable dessert, sassy and sweet, even with just a tiny sprinkle of sugar. This is the quick and easy summer dessert recipe that's helping me give up processed sugar. Maybe it will you, too!

Citrus Slices with Orange Flower Water, Spices & Chocolate Shavings
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Anyone noticed? Early in 2011, I quietly began to reshape the new recipes appearing on Kitchen Parade. Desserts are rare here now and it’s on purpose. If desserts are something we should enjoy “once in awhile” then that’s about how often dessert recipes should show up here, too.

It’s been a few months now. To be honest, I still miss baking and I still miss having something sweet at the end of the day. But it feels right to remove refined sugar from our diets and trust me, no one’s starving. ☺

The saving grace is fruit, so long as I don’t fool myself (and no one) by burying fruit in cakes and pies and quick breads and then labeling it virtuous eating.

In all its many variations, this sliced citrus tastes like the real treat it is, slightly tart, slightly sweet. The first inspiration came from Simply Recipes. We found Elise’s recipe a tad spare, so started adding little bits of taste and texture contrast, just stuff we had on hand. The first night we added chocolate shavings, whoa, what a night! I especially like toasted pistachios on grapefruit.

HOW TO CUT AN ORANGE FOR SLICES Here's a quick photo tutorial, How to Cut an Orange for Slices.

LOVE THE IDEA BUT WANT TO AVOID SUGAR ENTIRELY? Try Savory Orange Slices!

WHAT IS ORANGE FLOWER WATER (also called ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER)? Close your eyes and imagine water perfumed with fresh orange blossoms, fruity and fresh, sweet and seductive. That’s the essence of the clear liquid called “orange blossom water”. It is traditional in Middle Eastern cooking and French and Mediterranean desserts.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite easy summer dessert recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

SLICED CITRUS with
ORANGE FLOWER WATER, SPICES & CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 70 minutes
Serves 1 to many
    PER SERVING
  • 1 orange, blood orange, tangelo, tangerine, even half a grapefruit
  • Orange flower water
  • A touch of sweetness – a sprinkle of powdered sugar (preferred, it ‘melts’ into the citrus) or demerera sugar or a drizzle of agave
  • A pinch of spice – cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, even cumin
  • Texture and flavor contrast –chocolate shavings or toasted pistachios

(If you like, peel off bits of citrus zest for garnish.) Slice the skin off the fruit, then slice crosswise into rounds. (For pictures, see How to Cut an Orange for Slices.) Arrange the slices in a single layer, overlapping a little if helpful, on individual plates or a serving platter.

Splash a little orange water over each slice, about a teaspoon per slice. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or so until the citrus soaks up some of the orange water.

Lightly dust the slices with a touch of sweetness, then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of spice and scatter chocolate shavings or toasted nuts across the top. Serve and savor. Who needs refined sugar?

ALANNA’s TIPS Tangerines and blood oranges hold together best during slicing. Oranges and grapefruit slice a touch easier when they’re chilled. If you can tell, choose seedless fruit. If you can’t tell, you might try purchasing different kinds of oranges, say, to find one that doesn’t have seeds. For sheer beauty, there’s no beating the dramatic appearance of blood oranges. But for color contrast, the chocolate shavings show up best against orange slices.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 107 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 5g Fiber; 20g Sugar; 2g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 1, PointsPlus 3 (but since fruit is now “free” with PointsPlus, you might count it as zero, especially since there is so little sugar, so little chocolate).
Adapted from and much inspired by Moroccan Orange Dessert from Simply Recipes.

I Heart Food Blogs

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Oranges? Delicous!
But So Are Grapefruit, Tangerines and Blood Oranges


Citrus Slices with Orange Flower Water Collage

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This Week, Elsewhere

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(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade