Who doesn’t love a deliciously sweet warm beverage on a cold winter’s day? It’s that time of year where the big chains and local coffee shops alike add some of our favorite seasonal drinks to their menu, and while we’re all about the occasional indulgence (we’re only human, after all), you might not realize just how indulgent those fancy lattes actually are. Chock full of calories and loaded up with artificial ingredients that we can barely pronounce, these sugary caffeine pick-me-ups come at a price your body won’t like. But before you panic at the thought of a world without Starbucks Peppermint Mochas, know that you don’t have to give up on your liquid sweet tooth altogether.
Integrative Holistic Nutritionist Torie Borrelli, of The Vida Well, has come to the rescue with these 3 healthy, nutrient-dense alternatives that you can try at home—all of the taste and none of the guilt. Pull out your most Pinterest-worthy mugs because you’re going to want to post these once you try ‘em.
The Recipe: Turmeric Spiced Chai Latte
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 packet organic black tea
- 1 tea bag of chai tea or 1 Tbsp chai spices (a mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and cardamom)
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp turmeric (better absorbed through pepper and heating)
- 1 tsp honey, or 2-3 stevia/1 tsp stevia leaves to your taste
- Pour hot water into a large cup or bowl with black tea and chai tea. Let steep 5-8 minutes, until dark in color.
- In a saucepan heat milk until hot, then pour into blender or milk frother. Add vanilla extract, milk of choice, and turmeric, then blend for 1 minute or until frothy.
- Once they are mixed well, add to tea and serve.
- Sprinkle additional turmeric on top for look and taste.
If You Love Your Peppermint Mochas & Hot Cocoa
This is my spin on a hot chocolate that uses real cacao instead of the packaged kind, which is filled with sugars and inflammatory ingredients. The richness of the full fat coconut milk plus the healthy oil will give your brain the nutrients it needs, like antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, potassium and copper, while also making a decadent drink. Why cacao versus cocoa? Cacao is made by cold-pressed unroasted cocoa beans.This process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and doesn’t destroy the nutrients. Cocoa may look the same, but it is not even close. Cocoa powder has been roasted at high heats, which destroys the live enzymes, which changes the molecular structure and decreases the nutritional value. Manufacturers usually add sugary ingredients to this form as well.
If You Love Your Pumpkin Spiced Lattes…
The Recipe: Bulletproof Pumpkin Spiced ‘Latte’
- 16 ounces brewed coffee
- 2 Tbsp Grass-Fed butter or Ghee if dairy intolerant
1-2 Tbsp Brain Octane, or XCT, or coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp organic pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice or cinnamon
- 1-2 Tbsp local raw honey or stevia drops to taste ( I use about 3-5 drops per serving)
- Brew coffee by preferred method.
- In a blender, combine coffee, butter, Brain Octane, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice/cinnamon. Cover and blend about 20 seconds, until frothy.
- Add sweetener to taste if desired.
These drinks almost have it wishing it would stay cold forever. Almost…But we’ll definitely have fun enjoying them as long as we can.