Alright y’all brew-tiful humans, what is the deal with your coffee? Why do you think that you can #JERF on the regular and totally forget your venti mocha chai caramel frappe pumpkin spice latte with nonfat creamer, splenda, and whip is the furthest thing from real? Also, why is your drink name longer than a fetus’ vocabulary?
Most of the time I like my coffee black but occasionally it tickles my fancy to switch it up a bit and when I do I always reach for REAL ingredients. If you’re drinking this bizznass on the daily you’re not just “cheating” on your real food diet with your morning joe, it’s a habit and it’s not a good one. Plus, if you have to add all this frankenfood to your coffee just to suck it down in the morning then you don’t actually like coffee and should probably stop drinking it. If it is the caffeine you feel like you need then there are other things to work on like sleep quality, understanding caffeine in the body, and superfoods. If you’re just looking for a little variety or perhaps a higher calorie bevvy like bulletproof coffee we’re on board. This is how to do it right… (#PearlandSassyApproved of course)
Coconut milk is a great addition for coffee. It provides both fat and a little bit of sweetness and can be the only think you need. Make coconut milk yourself or choose a brand that does not have BPA in the can lining and check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t include gums or other preservatives. Bonus points for those who live in tropical locals and can make it from scratch.
Raw cream or raw whole milk or at the very least non-homogenized is even better for those that tolerate it because it can be obtained from local sources. You should always choose dairy from grass-fed cows. For more information on dairy check this podcast , my pro-dairy post (check back soon!) and Sassy’s dairy-free challenge post.
I want to preface this section by saying we don’t encourage the regular addition of sweeteners to coffee. Sugar in any form is addictive and the more you give it to your body, especially in simple form like that of sweeteners, the more you’re going to crave it. It’s addictive and, in an effort to steer you away from a life of crying for ice cream like T Swift after a breakup, I recommend you skip it all together. But if you must…
Artificial sweeteners have been linked to an increase in obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. If that’s not enough reasons to avoid them they also have been shown to mess with your gut microbiome and increase your risk for neurological events like stroke. So, hard pass from the Pearl.
When you are eating a minimally processed diet you’ll begin to notice the natural sweetness in coconut milk and raw dairy so you may find that by switching to these creamer options you don’t actually need to add a sweetener. If you must, maple syrup and honey are better options than sugar because they also provide minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals in addition to sweetness. If you must use a sugar stick with coconut sugar which contains additional nutrients and raises blood sugar (slightly) less than white sugar.
Stevia is another sweetener option. Stevia is a herb that has be used in Central and Southern America for quite some time. It has been found to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Notice I said properties and not effects. We aren’t quite sure how much of that is actually helpful to humans but the good news is it isn’t harmful and could, in fact, be helpful in blood sugar control. I’ll give it the okay provided you are using the liquid extract form. I used to have a stevia plant which I would pull off the leaves, dry them, and crumble them into drinks I wanted to sweeten. At no point in this process did the leaves ever turn white so I’m not quite sure how these powdered forms of stevia got that color and it grosses me out so stick with the liquid extract form or, better yet, make it yourself.
Raw dairy and coconut milk do an excellent job of fattening up your joe but butter and coconut oil can also do the trick. Why would you want to do this? Adding fat to your coffee can help get caffeine and terpenes across the blood brain barrier which can enhance mental clarity and reduce inflammation. A coffee with fat and no sweetener can also provide a source of energy without increasing blood sugar. Maintaining this state of ketosis (where you are utilizing fat for energy instead of carbohydrate) in the morning can assist in weight loss. For more information on this check out our bulletproof coffee Q&A podcast.
Essential oils, extracts, and spices can all be fun and nutritious additions to your coffee. Sassy and I have recipes which include peppermint essential oil, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Sometimes I even put cinnamon in the coffee grounds before brewing for the flavor of cinnamon without the grittiness of adding it at the end. At my request Sassy is soon going to release a recipe for hazelnut flavoring so keep your eyes out for that!
Of course any of the linked recipes above
Lightener + vanilla extract
Butter + salt + honey
Cinnamon in grounds + coconut milk
Hokay pals I’d love to chat more but I’m currently enjoying a black coffee in the Atlanta airport and I think its time to stop working and start enjoying my vacation. Better latte than never, right?! Check my Instagram to see what I’m up to this week!