Ah, the sacred morning ritual. For most of us it probably starts with brewing our favorite cup of joe, right? But, what if you’re wanting to take a little break from coffee, need to lay off caffeine or maybe you’re just looking to shake things up a bit? Whatever your reason for wanting a coffee alternative, I take it upon myself to bring you new, exciting and of course, healthy ideas. Today I have 3 insanely delicious morning drinks that aren’t coffee! I LOVE all three of these and drink them regularly.
Sometimes we just need to venture out and try something different. I have 3 really yummy and also healthy options for you to try. I’m going to share my love of using different spices and super foods combined with your milk of choice to make lattes that are out of this world! Plus, I feel it’s good to mix up our antioxidant intake and get nutrients from different sources. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
The Matcha Latte
If you’re looking to radically increase your antioxidant intake, then look no further! I’ve really been into matcha lately and this is the one I like on Amazon here. The matcha latte is definitely going to fit the bill here. For those of you new to matcha, here’s a little history on it.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan (in most cases). The green tea leaves are shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth, increasing the chlorophyll content and creating a gorgeous green color. Then, the leaves are carefully ground with stone grinding wheels to produce a fine powder. Some of it’s benefits are said to be:
- Anti-Aging Power – Matcha powder has more antioxidants than many other popular health foods like blueberries, leafy greens, and nuts. Since matcha is a powder made from ground up tea leaves, the antioxidants are not only more prevalent but also more concentrated, which makes a big difference when it comes to the anti-aging benefits.
Longer-Lasting Energy – Since matcha tea has both regular caffeine and also the amino acid theanine, it produces a relaxed but alert mental state, boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves provide a pleasant clarity, so your energy boost is sustained over time, instead of just getting a surge of wakefulness before the inevitable crash.
Metabolism-Boosting Potential – Just like green tea has been shown to boost your metabolism after consistent consumption, matcha is rich in catechins, which may also help regulate and boost metabolism, helping to control body weight.
Traditionally, matcha is combined with hot water and whisked into a frothy drink. No sweeteners or milk are typically added. But I’m not going for the traditional ceremonial matcha here. This is how I typically enjoy my matcha latte:
Matcha Latte Recipe
1 tsp matcha green tea powder (this is the best one I’ve tried)
8 oz hot (175 degrees) non-dairy milk of choice (almond, coconut, cashew, etc.)
Honey or natural sweetener of choice (optional)
Froth, whisk or blend everything together and enjoy!
Now I have found the best and easiest way to get this blended is with a hand-held milk frother! I’ve tried just using a whisk but it doesn’t seem to get the matcha blended very well. You can also throw it in your Vitamix or blender but I prefer the easiest clean-up and was THRILLED to discover the ease of using the milk frother like this one here!
Turmeric Latte Recipe
The tumeric latte is something that I discovered last year and even did a post on it here. I REALLY enjoy this warm, spicy drink and I have it in place of coffee regularly, especially at night when I don’t want any caffeine. I’m sure many of you have heard all about the health benefits of turmeric spice that are being touted.
Some of the amazing benefits of this ancient spice appear to be:
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory
- Immune system booster
- Helps skin complexion
- May help depression
- May aid in weight-loss
- Is very high in antioxidants
It’s definitely an soothing, exotic, peppery drink that I can’t get enough of. Here’s how I make mine:
1 cup milk of choice (coconut, almond, cashew, rice, etc.)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric Powder (like this one on Amazon)
Dash of ground Black pepper (start out with a little and add more if you can handle it)
Dash of cinnamon (this is optional but really adds a nice depth of flavor)
Raw honey or maple syrup to taste (I prefer maple but that’s just me)
I typically just warm the milk in the microwave and then add my spices. I then break out the handy milk frother and blend it all up into a golden, yummy treat!
Now I realize hot chocolate may not be a news flash, but it can be if you start making it with raw CACAO powder! Put chocolatey goodness into a warm, creamy and healthy drink and I’M IN! I’m sure you’ve heard about the many health benefits of dark chocolate and here are some of the highlights of cacao powder:
- High in antioxidants
Cacao powder is high in flavonoids which make it a healthy kick. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that are found in red wine and vegetables. Antioxidants play an essential role in your overall health as they neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage, not to mention that they increase your risk of developing disease.
- Boosts cardiovascular health
Cacao powder can also boost your cardiovascular health as they are rich in flavonoids, which help with circulation. The flavonoids found in cacao powder can improve function of the heart, preventing the development of common problems such as heart attack and stroke.
- Improves mood
Furthermore, studies now show that cacao powder has mood-elevating effects. Chocolate has many chemicals, including endorphins, stimulants, phenylethylamine, and serotonin, which can help alleviate your mood. However, researchers argue that this effect can lead to addiction, thus should be taken in moderation.
These are a couple that I love:
1-2 tbsp cacao powder
1-2 tsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup, honey, stevia)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz almond or other milk of choice (coconut milk doesn’t seem to froth well)
1. You can warm the milk in the microwave or over the stove in a saucepan. Mix with cacao powder, sweetener of your choice, vanilla.
2. Foam the milk with your milk frother.
3. If you don’t have a milk frother and you want to try to make it foamy, you can heat everything together and then place it in the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
And there you have it, 3 insanely delicious, healthy morning drinks that aren’t coffee! I hope you’ll give these coffee alternatives a try. Have you tried any of these at home? Let me know in the comments below!
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