The alarm startles the early morning hours with its noisy urgency, and suddenly we are thrust into the day whether we are ready for it not. As we fumble to hush the alarm, clutching desperately to the last few moments of cozy warmth beneath the covers, one of the first thoughts for the majority of us is: coffee. A faithful adoration and a lasting love affair, there are worse addictions to have. And there are many benefits to that daily cup of joe such as natural antioxidants that improve brain, heart and digestive function. But just like many things in life, there is a fine line between just enough and too much. Too much coffee can cause anxiety and jitters, irritate the stomach, cause weight gain, and rob you of your sleep. If you find yourself downing more than 8-16 oz. a day, you may want to consider these other healthy substitutions –
1. Hot Lemon Water
8 oz. hot water
Half of a lemon
1 tsp of raw honey
Juice half of a lemon into a mug. Pour in hot water and mix in a small spoonful of raw honey. Stir to combine. Rich in vitamin C, starting the day with cup of warm lemon water helps hydrate you for the day ahead, flush out toxins, and aid in digestion. It also rejuvenates your skin and gives you a healthy, beautiful glow.
This is also a delectable pick-me-up for that early afternoon slump! Nix the honey and throw in a piece of fresh ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper to perk you up.
1 or 2 earl grey tea bags
4 oz hot water
1/2 cup steamed milk (any kind)
1 tsp of raw honey or a sweetener of your preference
Dash of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of dried lavender (optional but highly recommended!)
To make a London Fog Latte, simply brew a strong cup of earl grey tea along with a pinch of lavender. Let the tea steep for about 3-5 minutes (or according to instructions), then remove tea bags and strain out the lavender. Combine with steamed milk along with your desired amount of sweetener and vanilla extract. Sip an enjoy!
This drink is perfect for those who can't break up with their caffeine. A staple in many kitchen cupboards, earl grey tea has many benefits besides a gentle caffeine boost. Consisting of natural fluoride and high levels of catechin, an antioxidant that fights oral infections, earl grey is good for your teeth. It has also been known to aid in digestion and soothe anxieties, stresses, and sorrows due to the calming aromatic qualities of earl grey's bergamot flavor.
Recipe courtesy of Gimme Some Oven blog
8 oz almond milk
1 tbsp raw cacao
1 tsp raw honey or more to taste
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan on the stove on medium heat. Whisk until combined and evenly heated. Pour into mug and enjoy!
Raw cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants on the planet. Made from raw, unprocessed cocoa beans, raw cacao powder helps protect your nervous system and support healthy heart functioning. Combined with the anti-irritant properties of cayenne pepper, the healing touch of raw honey, and almond milk which helps curb the potency of the raw cacao, this delectable drink is the perfect morning treat.
Recipe courtesy of Bldg 25 blog
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
2 oz water
6 oz milk
1/2 tsp of sugar, or your favorite sweetener (optional)
Additional matcha or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
Sift the matcha powder into a mug that can hold at least 8 oz and add any dry sweeteners you'd like to use. Bring water to a boil and allow it to cool briefly. Pour over the tea and whisk to remove any lumps from the mixture. If using a liquid sweetener, add now. Pour the milk into an airtight, microwaveable container, like a mason jar. Microwave without the lid over high heat for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Remove from the microwave and screw on the lid. Wrap jar in a towel and shake vigorously for 60 seconds. This will produce that lovely coffee shop kind of milk foam for your latte, no equipment necessary! Pour the hot milk and foam over your tea mixture. Dust with additional matcha powder or cocoa and enjoy!
Abounding with antioxidants including the powerful EGCG, matcha tea has grown in popularity because of its health benefits and gentle caffeine boost. Along with increasing energy, matcha is also rich with fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins. It boosts metabolism and burns calories, detoxifies cells, and inspires concentration and has a calming effect on the mind and body. More matcha please!
Recipe courtesy of Alyssa & Carla blog
Do you have a favorite coffee alternative drink? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!