I would like to know if you can give me some recommendations for a good morning drink for my wife that doesn't have a ton of sugar, but still has some "pick-me-up" to it. She doesn't drink coffee or tea, an likes hot chocolate, but is looking for other options as well (she has only ever had Swiss Miss, btw). She's not much of an adventurous eater, but I can usually persuade her to try new things. I was actually embarrassed when she asked me if I could give a recommendation, because I am usually good at unique food ideas (unique to her at least).
I drink a lot of hot apple juice/cider...100% juice, no added sweetners or other ingredients. Though I'm not much of a hot tea drinker either, at least on it's own, I do drink a lot of tea in the winter time using apple juice as the sweetner(2/3 tea:1/3 apple juice, or 3/4 tea:1/4 apple juice). You can heat the apple juice in the microwave to add to the tea. You can use regular tea, or decaff, or for me herbal teas, such as lavender, chamomille, peppermint, etc. I also often will have hot tomato juice or V-8. I buy neither. I make my own in the blender 1/2 gal at a time using low sodium canned products, organic whenever available. Hot milk with a tbsp(or to taste) of organic honey, and a drop of vanilla extract is also another favorite(you can also add a "chunk" or morsels of your favorite chocolate to this....again, to taste).
I like the hot cider idea! Lots of variations come to mind (cinnamon, maple, etc).
1) vanilla drink: any kind of milk (dairy, soy, rice, almond) with vanilla extract and optional sweeteners (honey, splenda, molasses, maple syrup) - BTW: the last two sweeteners contain lots of healthy minerals
2) chai isn't much like regular tea: make it with milk, and you've got a tasty treat
3) grain drinks: like Horlicks, Inca, etc. They taste better than you'd think.
4) banana cinnamon (great energy boost), or banana peanut: use any milk and add banana & peanut butter (and/or cinnamon), blend - and enjoy!
May be too sweet but there are quite a few varieties of "syrup teas" that can be found in asian groceries. These are not true teas, so do not have the tea flavor.
These drinks are intended to be served hot.
Some examples are
Honey Ginger - semi spicy ginger and honey mix
Citron - Light citrus flavor - can be sugar or honey for sweetener
Honey plum - Plum and honey mix
Some other asian options
ginseng (not the ginseng/tea mix)
Kefir is great in the mornings, and if blended with frozen blueberries, provides a good dose of antioxidants. It can also be blended with frozen strawberries, bananas, raspberries, etc. and is great with fresh when they're in season. If you don't want to go the smoothie route it can simply be sweetened with honey or agave nectar or flavored with vanilla. I actually really like it straight up at room temp. Chocolate soy milk is another option since she likes hot chocolate. I like the Silk Soy Slender which is lower in calories and fat, but my SO prefers the full fat version.