Apr 7, 2018

30 healthy alternatives to packaged juices and aerated drinks

You might have heard of this quote - “Show me your friends. I’ll show you your future

When it comes to health and wellness, we can rephrase the same quote as “Show me your fridge. I’ll show you your future health”.

On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7th) today, I highly encourage you to take a look at your fridge and make a note of all the packaged food products you have in stock - juices, sauces, jams, spreads, readymade salad dressings, processed cheese etc. Take some time to look through the ingredients of each of these items and decide if the little convenience such products give is really worth compromising your health. 

With the onset of summer, we tend to load up our fridge with sugary processed squashes, syrups, tetra pack juices and aerated drinks. Apart from the high sugar content, they are also high on preservatives and other food additives, with very little fruit or vegetable in them.

Here are 30 healthy alternatives that will keep you cool, hydrated and fit this summer:

Lemon-based drinks:
1. Lemonade / Nimbu paani 
2. Lemon Kulukki sarbath (lemon juice, mint and soaked sabja seeds)
3. Ginger mint lemon drink
4. Shikanji

Traditional Summer drinks:
5. Tender Coconut water
6. Barley water
7. Paanagam (made with jaggery, lemon juice and spices)
8. Nannari sherbet (Sarasaparilla)
9. Kokum sherbet
10. Aam panna (raw mango based drink)

Vegetable juices (chop vegetable of your choice, blend it with lemon+mint+ginger+chaat masala/black salt):
11. Cucumber juice
12. Bottlegourd juice
13. Ashgourd juice
14. Amla juice
15. ABC Juice (Apple, beetroot, carrot)

Seasonal fruit juices:
16. Watermelon mint cooler
17. Muskmelon juice
18. Mosambi / sweet lime juice
19. Mango lemonade
20. Pineapple juice

Buttermilk-based drinks:
21. Buttermilk / Neer mor / Chaas
22. Masala chaas with mint, coriander leaves, ginger, green chillies

Flavoured water:
23. Khus water / Vettiver water (soak the roots in drinking water overnight preferably in a mud pot and drink it next day)
24. Spices steeped water (fennel seeds, coriander seeds)
25. Hibiscus lemon ice tea

Native/Local - special beverages:
26. Kambankoozh (bajra/pearl millet porridge)
27. Jigarthanda 
28. Aam ras
29. Lassi
30. Thandai

Many food bloggers have shared the recipes for these drinks. You can easily google and find out.

I agree that these drinks take some time to prepare but this time is an investment towards our better health. 

So on this World Health Day, let’s get rid of all processed, packaged, sugar-loaded juices from our fridge and take a pledge to make fresh, home-made juices and beverages this summer.

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