Mocktails and Dreams
#AlcoholFreeFor40 campaign helps abstainers and Lenten observers
New Orleans is a party city. We celebrate the usual things like birthdays and anniversaries, as well as the more unusual things such as death and potholes being filled. If we woke up today, that’s reason enough to celebrate. It is an intrinsic part of our ethos and brings tourists here to savor a bit of that feeling for themselves.
But celebration does not always equal drunken debauchery. Many New Orleanians abstain from alcohol year-round, and especially during the Christian observance of Lent. With that in mind, local nutritionist and columnist Molly Kimball began #AlcoholFreeFor40 last year as part of her Nola.com column and has grown it to continue in 2017.
“Last year was such a success,” said Kimball. “We started it with Nola.com and then partnered with Ochsner Eat Fit NOLA in 2017. The partnership this year with Eat Fit NOLA helped to create low sugar mocktails in line with Eat Fit.”
Eat Fit NOLA was started by Kimball and others at Ochsner in 2013 as a collaboration with local restaurants to help them create and adjust recipes that are healthier options for diners. The Eat Fit seal next to items on menus identifies the meals that are specially designed for those “eating clean,” watching their weight, or working to control diabetes, blood pressure, or cholesterol.
Adding mocktails to the program was a clear next step. Kimball explained, “Participating restaurants sent in their mocktail recipes. Eat Fit NOLA did the nutritional analysis and told the restaurants how they could adjust the recipes to be in line with Eat Fit guidelines.”
Kimball said that frequent suggestions for adjustment included lowering the amount of simple syrup from a tablespoon to a teaspoon, or replacing with fruit juices. Because of the partnership all of the nutritional information of the approved mocktails is available on special cards at the restaurants and on the Eat Fit app you can download to your smartphone.
Seed is a restaurant specializing in organic, vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Their mocktail for #AlcoholFreeFor40 is the “Avocado-Cilantro Mockgarita.” Kimball shared the recipe with me (see below) and I made it for myself. It was delicious and refreshing. The avocado gave it a velvety texture while the cilantro and citrus kept it bright. It was sweet enough to feel like a treat, but not overpowering or guilt-inducing. For those abstaining from alcohol, I recommend making it. For those not abstaining, I recommend adding 1 ½ ounces of tequila blanco.
Visiting New Orleans and making healthy choices is easier than ever with efforts like Eat Fit NOLA. Kimball said that planning is key and using tools like the Eat Fit app make it simple to have a plan in place. Check out the app and the website for participating restaurants. There are over 100 that participate for food, and 14 restaurants offering 24 mocktails are taking part in #AlcholoFreeFor40.
Seed “Avocado-Cilantro Mockgarita”
Recipe courtesy of Molly Kimball of Ochsner Eat Fit and Seed
- ¼ avocado
- 5 cilantro leaves
- ¼ lime
- ¼ lemon
- 1 oz. fresh orange juice
- 1 oz. fresh apple juice
- Muddle the avocado and cilantro in the bottom of a glass.
- Squeeze in lemon and lime.
- Add ice, orange juice and apple juice.
- Mix well and serve.
Per serving: 105 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 13 mg sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 1 gram protein