Guilt Free Summer Drinks – Asian Edition

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What do you do when the days are hot and hazy?

Reach for a cooling yummy drink to perk yourself up!

There are many commercially available drinks out there, but they are full of sugar and colouring, or worse!

Liquid calories are the most dangerous form of calories. Most people are unaware of the extra calories they consume through what they drink. A cup of coffee of 250ml with sugar and milk has more calories than 2 apples, but you certainly do not feel like you have consumed 140 calories!

Here are the recipes to some of the drinks that I have been making for myself. They are economical, simple to make, and yummy. On top of that, they are healthy and have few or no calories.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Berry Party
Looking to boost your immunity and increase mental focus without having to pop a dozen vitamin pills a day? This is the drink for you! The dried longan used in this drink is high in iron and are said to improve concentration and memory. Dried red dates and wolfberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which can reduce the risk of prostrate, lung and stomach cancers.

Ingredients:
1. Water – 400ml
2. Dried Longan – 1 tablespoon
3. Dried Red Dates/Jujubes – 1 ½ tablespoon
4. Dried Goji Berry/Wolfberry – 1 ½ tablespoon
5. Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers – 1 tablespoon (optional)

Directions:
1. Place all dried ingredients in a large glass jar.
2. Pour in 400ml of room-temperature water.
3. Cover the jar and leave to steep in the refrigerator overnight.

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“Sugar” & Spice
Cinnamon has been proven effective in combating menstrual pain and infertility. It contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women. Honey stimulates the production of omega-6 fatty acids that regulate hormonal processes in our body. So drink up ladies!

Ingredients:
1. Water – 400ml
2. Ground cinnamon – ½ tablespoon
3. Honey – 1 ½ tablespoons
4. Fresh mint leaves – ¼ cup of chopped leaves (optional)

Directions:
1. Place ground cinnamon and honey in a glass jar.
2. Add 400ml of hot water and mix well.
3. Add in the chopped mint leaves and place the jar (covered) in the refrigerator overnight.

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Minty Fresh
Detoxification is currently a big trend, and juice cleanses and detox teas are becoming more and more common. Want to jump on the detox train without spending a bomb? “Minty Fresh” is the answer! The combination of lemon juice and mint in this drink will aid digestion and clear out your system. The lemon juice also acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent, due to its well-known antibacterial properties.

Ingredients:
1. Water – 400 ml
2. Fresh lemon juice – 1 ½ tablespoons
3. Honey – 1 ½ tablespoons
4. Fresh mint leaves – ¼ cup of chopped leaves

Directions:
1. Place the lemon juice and honey in a glass jar.
2. Add 400ml of hot water and mix well.
3. Add in the chopped mint leaves and place the jar in the refrigerator overnight.

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Spiced Up Lemonade
Adding ginger to traditional lemonade not only gives the drink a kick but also helps to soothe your intestinal tract. Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress by promoting the elimination of intestinal gas. So down a glass of this refreshing drink after a heavy meal to avoid feeling bloated!

Ingredients:
1. Water – 400ml
2. Fresh lemon juice – 1 ½ tablespoons
3. Honey – 1 ½ tablespoons
4. Fresh young ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tablespoon

Directions:
1. Place the lemon juice, honey and ginger in a glass jar.
2. Add 400ml of hot water and mix well.
3. Stir the contents and place the jar (covered) in the refrigerator overnight.

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Super Tea
Everyone knows that green tea can boost the body’s metabolism and fight disease due to its strong antioxidant properties. But did you know that adding lemon juice makes green tea even more beneficial? Purdue University research found that adding lemon juice increases the amount of antioxidants available for the body to absorb by more than five times! So make this power-packed drink today and maximise the benefits of your green tea.

Ingredients:
1. Water – 400ml
2. Green tea leaves (or teabag) – 5g
3. Fresh lemon juice – 1 tablespoon

Directions:
1. Place the green tea leaves (or teabag) in a glass jar and add 400ml of room temperature water.
2. Place glass jar (covered) in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Before serving, strain out the tea leaves (if not using a teabag) and stir in the lemon juice.