This week’s Body Love tip is for all the coffee lovers out there – especially for those who love it creamy:
Try making your own (easy, healthy & tasty) milk/creamer to boost the health benefits.
In follow-up to my article from a couple of weeks ago (How to Enjoy Your Comfort Foods Without Feeling Guilty), I realize that I’m in good company with my love of coffee 🙂 And if you enjoy drinking your coffee black, good for you! I, unfortunately, prefer mine a very, very light brown…which is what has spurred this week’s tip.
Coffee – Good for you or not?
As a nutritionist, I feel it’s important to first address the health aspects of drinking coffee: there’s been plenty of research over the years to support both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides of regular coffee consumption.
As always, I feel that, even more important than research, is tuning in to your own body to learn how it responds – because we’re all different, and research can’t tell us exactly what our bodies need or how they will react, either positively or negatively (another topic I passionately address in my upcoming book!)
But as a general guideline, research is definitely helpful – and fortunately, a lot more has come out recently on the pro-coffee side. Which of course, as a coffee lover, I’m super happy to hear.
As for the negative side, most of it can generally be boiled down to 3 things:
3) What gets put into it
Choosing organic, high quality beans helps to reduce exposure to toxins – like pesticides and other chemicals used in the growing and processing of the beans. And if you’re a decaf coffee drinker, make sure to choose Swiss Water decaf, as most other decaffeinating processes increase the chemicals in your coffee (rendering it not quite as healthy as you may have thought!)
Most positive research supports moderate consumption of 2-4 cups (even up to 6) per day. Negative effects are mostly associated with overconsumption (or when caffeine is contraindicated for specific health concerns). Also, the addition of cream, sugar, syrup and other toppings, as in with specialty coffee drinks, can turn coffee from a health food into a sugar-crash-waiting-to-happen very quickly!
So, how do you like your coffee?
Like many others (maybe even you), I love my coffee creamy – and if faced with a choice of black coffee, coffee with a little cream, or no coffee at all…I choose the cream.
But I don’t do terribly well consuming dairy products (I love cream, but cream doesn’t love me), which is also a common scenario, so whenever possible, I try to avoid the milk-based products – the only problem is that I’ve been challenged in finding healthy non-dairy coffee creamers that I like!
My coffee is the one area that, until recently, kept me from avoiding dairy altogether.
I find the store-bought varieties of non-dairy creamers to be either too watery, too sweet, or too “healthy” tasting – and this takes all the pleasure away from my most treasured morning ritual.
Organic soy milk is the only thing I’ve found that remotely tastes good, but now the jury’s really leaning towards the anti-soy side, so I try to keep that one to a minimum (and I recommend you do too).
Frustrated with lack of success in the grocery stores, I’ve had to take it to the kitchen to see what I could create on my own. I’ve tried several recipes, and with a few modifications, I’ve found one that’s become my go-to as a suitable and tasty substitute for coffee cream, especially when I’m drinking more of it.
Healthy Homemade Hemp Milk (a.k.a. yummy coffee creamer)
I never liked hemp milk until I made it myself. But this recipe beats the store-bought stuff by a long shot!
Though I call it hemp “coffee creamer”, since most of mine goes into coffee, it also tastes great in cereals and smoothies and can be used in baking as milk substitute too.
Made with hemp seeds, I also know that it’s giving me a boost of nutrients, including protein, calcium and omega-3 and -6 fats (vs. the saturated fat in cream). It also has a naturally sweet-nutty flavour, and doesn’t need to be sweetened much – though I personally like it slightly sweetened.
Eve and I made a video this week to show you how we make it. If you’re trying to make the switch from dairy too, watch and give it a try (recipe below), and vary it up to suit your own tastes. Just don’t expect it to taste just like milk – it’s a very different (yet yummy) taste.
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Natural sweetener to taste (stevia, agave, honey, maple syrup – liquids mix well)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
- 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
The last 3 ingredients are what makes it great for coffee – the little extra flavouring makes it almost like a specialty coffee beverage, without the high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavours.
- Blend all ingredient in a blender on high until creamy (I use a Vitamix, but regular blender will work well).
- Store in refrigerator in a sealed container – and use within 5 days.
Note: some sediment will settle at the bottom of your container as it sits. Shake it up before pouring to ensure you get all the good stuff – or you can also strain it out before storing, with a nut milk bag, and use it in a smoothie or oatmeal, so nothing goes to waste!
Did you like this tip and recipe?
Please pass it on to the women (and coffee lovers!) in your life who can use a little more Body Love.
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