Regardless of whether you’re a coffee-lover or hate the stuff, you’re going to love this list of coffee swap recipes. The average American drinks 3.5 cups of caffeinated coffee a day for a variety of reasons, but one reason is because they aren’t aware of other alternatives that taste amazing.
I get the question, “Is coffee bad for me?” all the time and to be honest I don’t have a straightforward answer because the reaction of caffeine in a person’s body is very bio-individual. One person can be sensitive to caffeine and the next be able to drink a few cups a day. This is mainly due to the production of certain enzymes in the liver which determines how a person can metabolize caffeine. However, just because someone can metabolize caffeine, doesn’t necessarily mean that they can tolerate it. Caffeine tolerance is how your body will respond to caffeine over a long period of time and there’s a lot of research backing both ends of the spectrum here.
Yes, coffee in and of itself is a superfood. It’s packed with phytonutrients and there are some health benefits associated with moderate consumption, like increased stamina during exercise, increased memory, reduced kidney stone risk, and reduced mouth and throat cancer risk, just to name a few.
So based on this it sounds like we should be drinking coffee all day every day, right? Not so fast. There is something else going on in the body with two little tent shaped glands that sit on top of each kidney. These are your adrenal glands and they are receiving the full brunt of your coffee habit. Their job? To release hormones so that our bodies can prepare us for a fight-or-flight response when we’re confronted with stress. The caffeine keeps the adrenal glands constantly “on alert” and overtime this can lead to exhaustion or adrenal fatigue. This throws the balance of cortisol that we have in our body all out of whack. Naturally, cortisol levels are high in the morning to help us get moving to start the day, but people who have stressed adrenal glands are over producing cortisol so that it’s low instead of high in the morning. What happens next? You reach for your caffeine and an unhealthy cycle continues. High cortisol levels will also cause you to overeat and deprive you of a good night’s sleep.
Some other negative side effects associated with the overuse of caffeine may include headaches and migraines (even though the reverse of this is believed to be true), poor fertility in women, indigestion and insomnia (among others). Coffee will also prevent some from getting their necessary water intake for the day and will create a very acidic environment inside us, which is never good for those of us wishing to have a hearty immune system.
If you are looking to reduce your caffeine consumption, my advice would be to drink a tall 16 oz. glass of water in the morning before having your coffee. This will help to jump start and flush out your system so that over time coffee may not be the first thingyou want to reach for.
I would also recommend trying some of the following recipes, which are healthy, nutritionally diverse, and caffeine free!
Creamy Matcha Latte
These lattes look a bit high maintenance to make, but I promise you, they are simple, creamy, and loaded with antioxidants.
In fact, matcha tea has about 1,000 more antioxidants per serving than just regular green tea, which help the body clear up unwanted free radicals from your system.
Adapted from Japanese culture, matcha was traditionally prepared by sifting the green tea into a bowl and then using a bamboo whisk to incorporate the powder into hot, but not quite boiling water. There were different ways to prepare it depending on everyday use or for use in ceremonies and special occasions.
- 1 tsp. matcha powder
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. boiling water
- 1 cup hot almond milk
- In the bottom of a mug, place the matcha and maple syrup then whisk in
the boiling water to dissolve the mixture.
- Heat the almond milk up on the stove and then blend on high in
- Pour almond milk over top of the tea mixture. If you’ve blended it on high
speed long enough, you’ll have a nice barista-style foamy top to your drink.
Daily Detox Tea
Our Daily Detox Tea featured in October 2020, is a therapeutic and cleansing tea that will energize your body and mind. If you have a caffeine habit that you are trying to lose, try having this detox tea first thing in the morning prior to your cup of coffee.
Drinking this tea in the afternoon prior to when you usually experience an energy slump (for many people that would be around 3pm) can also provide a welcome afternoon boost of energy.
Golden Turmeric Hot Chocolate
- 1 tbsp Cacao Powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric (dried, ground)
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsps Coconut Butter
- 1/2 tsp Honey
- 1 cup Water (hot)
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Add the cacao powder, turmeric, cinnamon, coconut butter, honey, hot
water and almond milk to a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a mug and enjoy!
Grapefruit & Thyme Sparkling Water
- 1 grapefruit
- 3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cups sparkling water
- Cut your grapefruit in half. Squeeze the juice out of one half. Carve the flesh out of the other half. Add both the juice and flesh to the bottom of a glass along with the thyme sprigs. Pour sparkling water over top. Add a straw, stir and enjoy!
Homemade Chai Tea
- 2 cups Water
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 1/2 tsps Cardamom Seeds
- 1 1/2 tsps Whole Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 1 1/2 tsps Ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
- Combine all ingredients together in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes and then strain. Serve as is, or with almond milk and honey. Enjoy!