Dry January: My Alcohol-Free Alternatives

Dry January

I know so many people who have decided to take on a ‘Dry January’ to kick-start their new year. Of course for many it might be easier said than done. There is nothing worse than feeling restricted or deprived when you are attempting to undertake a healthier lifestyle.

Having had a couple of nights out over the festive season, I myself am completing a ‘dry’ January in order to give my body a break from alcohol. No one likes the feeling of being hungover and I for one am quite happy not to experience it for a while!

I have come up with a few alternatives that I would like to share with you which might help you in completing your own dry January (or any other period of time sans alcohol!). Have a look through the list and see what healthier alternatives you could enjoy while your weekend tipple is out of reach!

Dry January

Kombucha

Kombucha is a probiotic effervescent fermented tea. It is essentially like a fizzy drink that is actually good for you! You can get Kombucha in lots of health-food shops in the refrigerated section. You can also make your own Kombucha if you can get your hands on a Kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). I’ve been making my own Kombucha for about nine months now. Each batch takes about 7-10 days to brew. It has been one of my favourite drinks to serve chilled in a nice wine glass on a Friday or Saturday night.

Dry January
Bottled Green Tea Kombucha

 

Dry January
A glass of chilled Kombucha

Infused Water

I’ve been using my large Kilner drinks dispenser to infuse bottles of Pellegrino with different flavours. Simply pour your sparkling water into a container and add your flavourings, leave for an hour or so to infuse and strain the liquid into a glass. The possibilities are endless but recently I’ve been enjoying these combinations;

Dry January
Cucumber and Mint Infused Water

 

Dry January
Hibiscus and lime infused water – this one turns a gorgeous shade of pink

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Matcha Lattes

I’ve been making Matcha lattes for quite a while now and I really love them! There are so many health benefits associated with green tea, so apart from being delicious, Matcha is also really good for you. I tend to make my Matcha lattes with almond or rice milk. I like to sweeten it with a little bit of local honey also. In my experience, the best (cheapest!) place to buy Matcha green tea powder is from an Asian Supermarket as they tend to have it far cheaper than health food shops where you will pay a lot for a small amount of premium Matcha.

Dry January

Dry January

Chai Lattes

My other favourite type of latte is a chai latte. I make these using my Pukka Organic Vanilla Chai teabags and milk. The trick is to boil the water up in a pot with the teabags in it for a few minutes to really release the flavour and get a nice dark colour from the tea before adding your steamed milk. You just won’t get the same flavour from making this in a mug by pouring hot water on a teabag! I also sweeten these with some local honey. Chai lattes are so warming and delicious – if you haven’t tried them then definitely give them a go!

Dry January
Vanilla Chai Tea

Herbal Teas

I love herbal teas and green teas and I find making a big pot of herbal tea is great for ensuring you’re drinking lots of fluids. There are so many different flavours and variations to try that you are bound to find one you like!

Dry January
Peppermint Tea

Coconut Water

Coconut water is super refreshing and really hydrating, a perfect dry January alternative. Try to get your coconut water from a brand that uses young coconuts. I really like Dr. Antonio Martin’s organic coconut water. If you don’t like the taste of natural coconut water you could try a flavoured variation or you could infuse it yourself.

Dry January

Juices

Have a go at juicing this January. Make sure your juices contain more vegetables than fruit so that you are not getting too much sugar from them. Again the possibilities are endless when it comes to juicing! Juices are great for detoxing as they provide you with a condensed and easily absorbed dose of nutrients. If you don’t have a juicer at home there are lots of companies now that offer bottled juices such as Sprout & Co. I haven’t tried them myself however as I use my own juicer.

Dry January
Dry January: Black Kale Juice

Smoothies:

Try out some smoothie recipes during your dry January. Try adding in some greens in the form of spinach, kale and cucumber, along with some fruit for sweetness. Add in nuts and seeds or some avocado for some good fats too. Greek yogurt or protein powder will also boost the protein levels in your smoothie helping to keep you full for longer! I have a series of Rock ‘n’ Roll smoothies on this site which includes Purple Haze and Brown Sugar.

Dry January
Dry January: Mixed Berry Smoothie
Dry January
Dry January: Raw Cacao and Coconut Smoothie

Dry January: You Can Do It!

So whilst you swap your sambuca shots for spirulina shots and your hot whiskies for hot water and lemon, rest assured that completing a dry January will give you the opportunity to try lots of new drinks that you may not have had the chance to yet. I hope this post gives you some inspiration and keeps you on track for a clean start to the year 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

Dry January

 

Recipe: Indian Dal

 

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This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and packed with goodness. Its also really addictive and one of my favourite recipes to make (and eat!). I’m not vegan but I did complete a week-long Vegan Challenge in August 2015 which I blogged about at the time. Trying a variety of vegan dishes inspired me to get creative in the kitchen with plant-based cooking. This is one of the recipes I came up with and it has proven popular even among the most dedicated meat-eaters of the family! It is one of my favourite comfort foods.

recipe, vegan recipe

This recipe makes one big pot or about 4-5 servings. I tend to always make the larger amount and just freeze whatever is left over in portions. More often than not though, nothing is leftover!

Indian Dal: The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 4 large Cloves of Garlic
  • A thumb of fresh Ginger
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 4 Carrots
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons Curry Powder (I use Schwartz Hot Curry Powder)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Lentils
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 tin of Chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 1 tin of Tomatoes
  • 4 cups of Vegetable Stock
  • 2 teaspoons Liquid Aminos (Can use gluten-free Tamari also)
  • Splash of Balsamic Vinegar

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For the Salsa Dressing:

  • Lime
  • Curly Parsley
  • Avocado
  • Tomato

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Method:
  1. Place a large saucepan on a medium-high heat and add the coconut oil and mustard seeds. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  2. Add chopped onion, minced garlic and ginger the pot and fry off for about 3-4 minutes until softened.
  3. Next add the finely chopped celery and carrot to the pot and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring consistently.
  4. Add all of the spices to the pot; a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, himalayan salt, ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper. (Note that the addition of Cayenne pepper adds a significant amount of heat to the dish and if you do not like it too hot then you should reduce the amount to a half or quarter teaspoon accordingly). Also add in the 2 tablespoons of curry powder – I really love the Schwartz hot curry powder in this recipe.
  5. Allow the veg to cook in the spices for a few minutes, continuing to stir, and then add the stock and lentils. I usually use a variety of lentils to make up the one and a half cups. For colour, I like red lentils as pictured below.
  6. Add the tin of tomatoes and frozen peas and turn up the heat to a boil before reducing to simmer.
  7. Allow the mixture to simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked. Stir every so often.
  8. Whilst the lentils are cooking prepare your salsa. Per person you will need half a large avocado and one tomato both chopped into cubes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and the juice of half a lime (increase amounts per person as neccesary).
  9. Once your lentils are fully cooked, stir in the rinsed chickpeas, and add the liquid aminos and a dash of balsamic vinegar. (If you don’t have liquid aminos you can use gluten-free tamari, or if you don’t mind the gluten you can use soy sauce).
  10. Serve in a bowl, topped with salsa and a slice of lime.
  11. Enjoy!

The Clean Coconut x

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