Brunch is the perfect time to break out the cocktail shaker to celebrate the weekend. Who doesn't love a spicy Bloody Mary with eggs and toast? But there's no need fall off the healthy diet wagon when it comes to cocktails: These five brunch favorites have tons of healthy ingredients and don't worry — you can make them without alcohol if you're a teetotaler. Get mixing!
1. Coconut Chia Cocktail
If you've been struggling with cravings all winter long, try this brunch cocktail that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Nathalie Chantal de Ahna, an orthomolecular nutritionist based in the Netherlands, recommends mixing one cup of coconut water, one tablespoon of chia seeds, the juice of half a lime and a splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice in a blender for a refreshing beverage. Add an ounce or two of rum or vodka if desired. Combined with flavorful coconut water, the chia seeds offer a healthy boost to this drink. Chia seeds are a true superfood and are loaded with fiber. CALORIES: 282 per serving (including alcohol).
2. Pomegranate Iced Tea
Add a twist to your green or black tea by mixing in a quarter cup of pomegranate juice and garnishing with a lemon slice or mint leaf. To make it a true cocktail, add an ounce of rum to the mixture. Unsweetened green and black tea has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease, weight management and diabetes prevention, according to Ann Purcell-Murray, a registered dietitian at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut. CALORIES: 40 per serving (including alcohol).
3. Bloody Mary
Spruce up your brunch with healthy and tasty options. A bloody mary -- virgin or with alcohol -- offers a variety of health benefits. Made with one and a half ounces of vodka, eight ounces of tomato juice, a pinch of celery salt, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper and topped with a lemon wedge and celery stick, this beverage features produce and spices designed to quench your thirst and keep your body healthy. If you prefer your drink even spicier, you can add two teaspoons of horseradish sauce and two dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Kelly Jones, a Pennsylvania-based registered dietitian and ambassador for PHIT America, an organization that encourages active, healthy lifestyles, says the tomato juice in a bloody mary offers a great source of vitamins A and C as well as potassium. CALORIES: 152 per serving (including alcohol).
4. Sparkling Cucumber Refresher
Start off your brunch with a cocktail complete with nutrients designed to restore your hydration and flush out bloating. With two simple ingredients -- sparkling water and cucumbers -- you can drink your way to vibrant skin, says Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse Lakatos, New York-based registered dietitians. If you want to make this an alcoholic cocktail, add one ounce of vodka. Cucumbers contain a lot of water and some potassium, both of which help to restore fluid balance in your body by counteracting and flushing out excess sodium. They're a good source of vitamin K and also offer some vitamin C, which helps maintain strong bones and overall immunity, respectively. "Having this drink [without alcohol] is a fantastic way to hydrate in the morning and help rid the body of excess sodium that may have been consumed the night before," says Lakatos Shames. CALORIES: 74 per serving (including alcohol).
5. Green Lantern Smoothie
For an alcohol-free green treat to celebrate St. Patrick's Day or a midday brunch, opt for a healthy dose of protein with fruits and vegetables. Ohio-based doctor Rob Kominiarek, aka America's Fitness Doctor, suggests breaking out the blender and combining a cup of water, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, one cup of baby spinach, one celery stalk, four slices of seedless cucumber, half an organic green apple, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and ice for a refreshing smoothie. Apples are loaded with the antioxidant quercetin, and baby spinach fills your body with vitamins A, C and K. CALORIES: 196 per serving (without alcohol).
What Do YOU Think?
Are you a fan of weekend brunch? Did you like the sound of any of the cocktails on our list? What are your favorite brunch cocktails? Share your suggestions and ideas by leaving a comment below.
- Nutrient Facts: Tomato Juice Nutrition Facts
- America’s Fitness Doctor: Dr. Rob’s Weight Loss Secret -- The Green Lantern Smoothie
- USDA: Food-A-Pedia -- Spinach, raw
- USDA: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; Cucumber, Peeled, Raw
- OrganicFood.com.au: Cucumber Nutrition Information
- MedlinePlus: Green Tea
- National Institute of Health: The Promising Future of Chia
- Dr. Lindsey: The Chia Super Seed
- American Society for Nutrition: The Real Scoop on Chia Seeds
- Kelly Jones; Registered Dietitian; Pennsylvania
- Dr. Rob Kominiarek; America’s Fitness Doctor; Springsboro, Ohio
- Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse Lakatos; Dietitians, Co-Authors; New York City
- Ann Purcell-Murray; Registered Dietitian; Middletown, Connecticut
- Nathalie Chantal de Ahna; Orthomolecular Nutritionist; The Netherlands