Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Packing Drinks for Lunch

This is my favorite drink to pack in my lunches. It's peanut- and walnut-flavored soy milk. And it makes my lunch feel luxurious. I buy this from New Oriental Market, but most Asian markets will have a few kinds of flavored soy milks. I like this one because it's not too packed with sugar and it tastes like nuts!

Water is of course healthy, affordable, and easy to find. But there's no reason to limit yourself to just water with your lunch. Packing a more interesting drink can make your lunch feel special, which means you are more likely to actually eat it.

Other beverage options:
tea (hot or iced)
coffee (hot or iced)
plant milks
hot cocoa
fruit juice
apple cider
tonic with a squeeze of lemon or lime
coconut keffir
tomato juice
sparkling water
cafe au lait

I don't own a thermos, so I pack homemade drinks in a clean mason jar and reheat or refrigerate at work.

Hot Cocoa in a Jar
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
sweetener to taste
a pinch of salt
1 cup plant milk
flavoring (optional)

Pour a few tablespoons of milk in your jar. If you're using a crystalized sweetener like white sugar, microwave the jar for about 40 seconds. If you're using a liquid sweetener or sugar-free sweetener, you don't need to heat the milk. Add the cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt, and stir until everything is combined. It can take a lot of stirring to incorporate all the cocoa powder.

Add the rest of the milk and the flavoring if you're using it. Flavoring can either be an extract such as vanilla or mint extract (a few drops) or a syrup (1 to 2 tablespoons). If you're using a syrup, you'll want to reduce or eliminate other sweeteners. Cinnamon or cayenne pepper are great additions, as well. Stir everything together.

When you're ready to drink, shake with the lid on, and then microwave uncovered for 1-2 minutes.


Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

That soymilk sounds amazing!

panda with cookie said...

I always take a kleen kanteen of water to work and make sure I drink the whole thing before I leave. Or I did when I had a job. I used to be terrible at drinking enough during the day and that made it easy.

Jeni Treehugger said...

I'm loving the sound of that - it's so decadent.

mollyjade said...

I keep a mug at work that I occasionally remember to fill with water. More often it's filled with tea.