#FoodieFriday: 7 Healthy Alternatives To Coffee

by Nick Bailey on January 20, 2017 in Food,
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For many Texans, coffee is a staple of their morning routine. Most coffee addicts swear by the bean, and can’t seem to function at a productive level without a vento double-caf, white chocolate, mocha snickerdoodle frappe. But believe it or not, coffee may be a subtle but serious roadblock in the dietary goals of many Texans year after year. There are actually many delicious alternatives to coffee to get your day started, and we’ve got seven of them here to help Texans take back their mornings

Matcha tea

cafe-1573364_1280This isn’t your ordinary green tea. Matcha literally means “powdered tea” and that’s the base of the difference from other teas. When you order traditional green tea, components from the leaves get infused into the hot water, then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves. Drinking matcha tea provides more caffeine than a cup of coffee, and provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals. This morning mug makes for a great way to get focus and energy. If you’re just starting the coffee cleanse, you can actually order a version of this at most Starbucks locations, but next week we’ll explain why that’s not the best idea.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp organic matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, blended

Directions:
1. Sift matcha tea powder through a tea strainer for a smooth texture, without lumps.
2. Pour 1 cup of hot water into a mixing bowl with the powder. Whip together until it becomes frothy.
3. Mix in 1 tbsp of coconut oil to the final product for some extra flavor. (optional).

Warm lemon water

lemon-1578377_1280When life gives you lemons… put them in warm water and get going. If you’re at your desk recovering from a wild night out, this drink will do you better than a normal morning mocha. Because of lemon juice’s characteristics, it can help relieve an upset stomach. Lemon water also helps out the enzyme functions in your body, stimulating your liver to help it flush out toxins. Did I mention the cosmetic benefits? Lemon water provides plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants. This mix helps you body’s collagen production, which is critical in smoothing out facial lines. Lemon water isn’t only for mornings in the officer either — grab life by the lemons after a workout.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 of a lemon (squeezed)
  • 1 cup of hot water

Directions:
Fill a mug with warm water and then squeeze lemon.

Almond milk

shutterstock_144112303You don’t have to be nuts to make almond milk at home, and it’s pretty easy to make — just be sure to prepare in advance. It’s both doable and delicious, and your body will thank you. A single glass of almond milk only has 60 calories and there’s no cholesterol or saturated fats, meaning this milk will be good for your heart, not make it work in overdrive like a grande cappuccino. Not to mention, almond milk can work with cereal and plenty of other foods, making it a versatile morning pick-up.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 2 to 4 dates, to taste
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Small pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 Nut milk bag or a fine mesh sieve

Directions:
1. Soak the almonds in water overnight. Rinse and drain well.
2. Place almonds into a blender with the filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean/extract liquid.
3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute.
4. Place nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This can take a few minutes.
5. Rinse blender and pour milk back in. Whisk in cinnamon and sea salt.
6. Using a funnel, pour into a large glass jar and secure lid. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Shake well before drinking. Enjoy!

Bone broth

bone-broth-3-2I know this sounds a bit crazy, particularly to replace coffee, but keep reading. Bone broth — technically stock — is rich in minerals and is made by boiling the bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. This drink has long been considered to be a powerful means of healing among many cultures, and today it’s worked its way into the diets of many successful professionals and athletes, including retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Not only is this mix rich in collagen — the stuff that helps you look younger — but it’s also be shown to help with sleep quality and memory retention.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A large stock pot to cook the broth
  • A strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
  • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. For the last 30 minutes, also add 2 cloves of garlic.

Directions:
1. If using raw bones, roast them in the oven first for improved flavor. Place them in a roasting pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. Place the bones in large stock pot (5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over bones and add vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in cool water.
3. Roughly chop and add vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, (optional).
4. Bring broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer until done.
5. During the first few hours of simmering, remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be removed with a big spoon. Throw this part away.
6. In the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, (optional).
7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

Rose water

Benefits of Rose Water
Benefits of Rose Water

Rose water can be a healthy alternative to coffee for those looking to gain some health benefits in the process of cutting the caffeine. Rose water is believed to have anti-aging properties and can help improve the drinker’s mood, sometimes helping to relieve depression. Drinking rose water can also help to relieve fluid retention and reduce wrinkles in the skin. Coffee, on the other hand, can increase anxiety levels and raises blood pressure.

What you’ll need:

  • Dried rose petals (or fresh from an organic, pesticide-free source)
  • Water saucepan with lid
  • Nut bag or several thicknesses of cheesecloth
  • Dark bottle for storage (spray nozzle optional)

Directions:
1. Measure 1/4 cup of dried rose petals into your saucepan. Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup if you are using fresh petals.
2. Pour 1 1/2 cups water into your saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce temperature to the lowest setting that still allows the water to simmer.
4. Simmer until the color of the rose petals has faded.
5. Leave the lid on and cool completely.
6. Pour water and petals through the nut bag or cheesecloth into a dark, clean bottle. You can use a funnel or strain into a measuring bowl with a pour spout and then pour into your dark bottle.
7. Store in the refrigerator for several weeks or on the counter for one week.

Smoothies

strawberry-smoothie-1418212_1280You don’t have to be on a cleanse diet to enjoy the benefits of a good juice smoothie. Not only are they a healthy alternative to coffee, there are countless combinations to create so you never get bored but you always get healthy. Smoothies can be made with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and even some spices and other ingredients. We’re not promoting Herbalife or any of the other diet trends that use shakes and smoothies as part of their diet, so grab some ingredients and get blending!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup of coconut milk

Directions:
Simply blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.

Coconut milk

dreamstime_s_29915154-e1431983433467This simple sipper is a perfect way to kick-off any day of the week. With a creamy texture and a sweet taste, this coffee alternative is practically a miracle in a mug. Coconut milk can help with improving heart health and lowering cholesterol thanks to its lauric acid. It can also assist in building muscle and losing fat because of the natural fatty acids stored within each cup, and the electrolytes help fight off fatigue. Take that cappuccino! And the beauty of this that there’s no actual milk involved, so it’s safe for just about any diet.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1 blender

Directions:
Place all ingredients into the blender for approximately 3 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Then chill in fridge or serve immediately. Optional: Strain through a fine mesh sieve or filtration bag for a smoother drink.

Coffee may be an addictive vice for most Texans, but if you’re looking for a way to kick the habit, then these seven healthy alternatives can help keep the cravings at bay any day of the week

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