Too much sugar can mask the wonderful and real flavours of what you consume.
It dulls the satisfaction of enjoying the full-bodied roasted aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the delicate scent of a floral tea or even the layered notes in a handcrafted mocktail.
Furthermore, sugar consists of empty calories — mainly carbohydrates with no nutrients — and could displace key nutrients in your diet.
In Singapore, the recommended daily sugar intake is not more than 10 teaspoons, or 200Kcal. It may not seem like much, but this can translate to close to 1kg of weight gain in just one-and-a-half months.
Here are some tips to add a delicious twist to your usual beverages:
Add a citrus kick
Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are packed with vitamin C that supports our immune system.
Get hydrated in the morning with a glass of warm water pepped with a refreshing squeeze of lemon.
You can also infuse your drinking water with citrus slices to add some zing to it. This will no doubt help you to increase your intake of water.
Citrus fruits cleanse the palate really well by cutting through rich and heavy flavours, so you will thoroughly enjoy your next bite after a swig of lemon-infused water.
From the kitchen cabinet
Kick things up a notch with common culinary spices and herbs such as ginger, mint and even chilli.
Ginger adds a jolt of heat that warms the tummy. For variety, add spice mixes such as chai (black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg) to warm milk or tea.
Or crush mint leaves to add in your drink for that characteristic refreshing and cool sensation with every sip, or add a dash of chilli to give your beverage a fiery punch.
Tease your taste buds. Experiment with non-sweetened cocoa powder, matcha powder or a sprinkling of finely-ground toasted nuts in your beverage.
Chrysanthemum, jasmine, osmanthus, rose and other blossoms make lovely teas that are light and yummy. There are also other types of tea that not only delectable, but also Instagram-worthy.
Dried butterfly pea flowers, when steeped in hot water, turn the liquid a deep blue. And when you add lemon juice, it transforms to a rich violet.
It’s not magic, just science. The colour changes with its pH (acidity/basicity).
Blueberries, strawberries and other berries are full of with antioxidants, fibre and other nutrients.
These fruity gems are fantastic in yoghurt smoothies, teas and sparkling water. Muddle them to release the flavour.
You can even freeze them to make them last longer and add texture to your drinks.
Use a stalk of lemongrass or a cinnamon stick as a stirrer, so that it imparts its signature aroma to your drink. Just remember to bruise the lemongrass stalk before placing it in your drink to help release its fragrance better.
You can even use cucumber, carrot or celery sticks. As a bonus, munch on your vegetable “stirrer” for added fibre and vitamins.
Ice, ice baby
Turn to the freezer for inspiration.
Freeze espresso shots so you can add it to plain milk or jazz up your unsweetened cold brew coffee. You can also make ice cubes from freshly pressed fruit or vegetable juice, and add cut/whole fruits, spices or herbs.
The ice cubes not only help to keep your drink chilled but also infuse any plain beverage with flavour.
Free drinks up for grabs
Try local-inspired, creative lower-sugar drinks for free at Ah Heng Drink Stall (while stocks last).
Cool down with Bukit Coco, a coconut juice slushie accentuated with toasted grated coconut, cheer yourself on with pomegranate-scented Pom Pom Parade, or ask your other half to get you a Milo BTO (how’s that for a subtle hint?).
Join in the fun at:
Bukit Panjang Plaza: March 31, 11am to 3pm, at the L1 outdoor area; and
Nex: March 31 and April 1, from 12pm to 8pm at the B2 event plaza.
Visit gethealthy.sg for more information and learn how to craft your own lower sugar beverage.