I've prepared this recipe for years, because it's both nearly calorie-free and delicious, making it easy for me to pass on high-calorie drinks that are so popular this time of year. Plus, it's simmered with fruit and spices, which are loaded with phytochemicals that are good for you. I use my slow cooker, so I can make it ahead of time and keep it hot while decorating for the holidays, or when company's visiting. As an extra bonus, it fills the house with a sweet-spicy aroma!
If you prefer, you can use reduced-sugar apple juice, or regular apple juice, but be aware that doing so will add calories. You can also add a splash of brandy or rum (which will not only increase the alcoholic content, but the calories, too!).
Hot Spiced Cider
2 quarts apple-flavored sugar-free beverage (such as Crystal Light) or apple juice
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice berries
1/2 orange, thickly sliced
1/2 lemon, thickly sliced
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker (or on stove top). Cook on HIGH until boiling, then reduce heat to LOW.