Your morning cup of Joe can be a big hiding place for sugar and junky ingredients that are doing your body no good at all! From store bought creamers to those fancy espresso drinks at the coffee shop, you might be shocked by what you’ll find in the ingredients.
First up, let’s look at a common coffee creamer from the grocery store: Coffee Mate Caramel Macchiato.
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (High Oleic Soybean and/or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed), and Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate (a Milk Derivative)**, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan. **Not a source of lactose.
So… how many of these ingredients look like something you’d have in your kitchen? I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t have most of these taking up space in my pantry! What about the sugar? In 1 Tbsp of creamer (the suggested serving size), there are 5 grams of sugar (which is just over 1 tsp of sugar). If you’re a creamer fan, do you only use 1 tablespoon of creamer? I think not!
Now let’s look at the coffee shop version of the Caramel Macchiato.
Ingredients: Milk, Brewed Espresso, Vanilla Syrup [Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Caramel Sauce [Sugar, Corn Syrup, Butter (Cream [Milk], Salt), Water, Heavy Cream, Nonfat Dry Milk, Natural Flavors, Salt, Mono & Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Sulfites].
I’ll ask the question again, how many of these ingredients look like something you’d have in your kitchen? Now for the sugar… there is 25g of sugar in a 12oz caramel macchiato (just over 6 tsp of sugar). That a heck of a lot of sugar to be taking in!
So whether these beverages are a morning staple for you or you have a different poison (I’m not kidding) of choice, you can do SO MUCH better!
Here are 8 ways that you can clean up your coffee that will not only taste great, but are good for you!
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: If you’re a mocha lover, adding a small scoop of cocoa powder can give your coffee a little of that mocha flair. I love this raw cacao powder from Thrive Market.
Vanilla, Peppermint or Almond Extract: Adding a small splash of these extracts can boost the flavor and even give the perception of sweetness without the sugar.
Coconut Butter: This is a fun addition that makes your coffee smooth and tasty. Plus, you’ll get a boost of healthy fats. This is the one I use.
Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend: These are easy ways to flavor up your coffee! Sprinkle some on top or blend a little into your coffee.
Full Fat Dairy: If you tolerate dairy, opt for grass-fed, organic and full fat varieties. If you have raw milk available in your area, even better! Choosing milk that is full fat and raw (if available) means you’re milk is far less processed than conventional dairy.
Coconut, Cashew or Almond Milk: If you do not tolerate dairy, or you’re looking to try something different, a non-dairy milk could do the trick. Look for brands that are free of gums, carrageenan and sweeteners. Homemade is even better, and you can find several recipes online for how to make your own.
Unsalted Grass-Fed Butter or Coconut Oil: OK, this might sound a little weird to you, but it’s really tasty! Adding fat to your coffee, like the coconut butter, can make your coffee extra creamy, frothy and smooth. You’ll of course get those healthy fats in as well. You’ll want to blend your coffee and butter or coconut oil together with a blender, immersion blender or a handheld milk frother.
Unflavored Grass-Fed Collagen: Add some healthy protein and collagen to your coffee to promote gut healing, and healthy skin, hair and nails! I talk a lot about the benefits of collagen in this post about my favorite brand, Vital Proteins. Don’t worry, it won’t make your coffee taste funky!
OK… If you’re freaking out a little bit about cutting out sugar cold turkey, just breathe. Try adding a splash of organic maple syrup or raw local honey to sweeten your coffee. A little goes a long way with these two, so don’t overdo it. Consider these a baby step to unsweetened coffee!
AND if unsweetened coffee just sounds like crazy talk to you, you may not actually like coffee. I know, shocking. Maybe you are in need of a sugar detox? If that’s the case, be sure to check out this page so you can see when the next sugar detox is coming your way!
Are you a coffee drinker? What do you like to put in yours?