Finding a way to make good tasting, healthy coffee was a big deal for me on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. When I first talked about our paleo lifestyle, I admitted I am addicted to Coke. And, I still am. But, it is getting better.
One big change I made starting in the new year is 1-2 cups of coffee a day, when I would have otherwise had a Coke. Since the new year I have lost another 5 pounds, yippee!
But, not all coffee is good for you, especially most of the things on your local Starbucks or Carribou menu. I used to be a huge fan of vanilla lattes and anything with caramel in it. To put in perspective, I only liked coffee when it was so heavily flavored and sweetened that it no longer tasted like coffee.
I believe coffee, at least for me, is an acquired taste. The more and more I expose myself to coffee with less flavoring, the more I grow to like the taste of the actual coffee.
My hubby, I am sure in part due to his Peruvian/Columbian genes, is a coffee connoisseur. He introduced me to really good home-made coffee with an Aero Press and freshly ground organic beans. Yum! But, at first, I was still adding sugar.
Then, I decided to stop using refined sugar, and looked for natural alternatives to sweeten or flavor my coffee. This change, and less Coke I drink as a result, is why I lost an additional 5 pounds in the last two months. And, I actually think these options taste better than the over-sweetened, calorie-heavy drinks from the baristas.
Here at my 5 favorite natural ways to add some flavor or sweetness to a cup of joe!
1. Stevia – A great substitute for sugar. Just make sure it is pure stevia extract with nothing added.
2. Pure Organic Maple Syrup – Yum! Sometimes I run out of stevia and use a 1/2 tablespoon of pure maple syrup.
3. Cinnamon – A dash of cinnamon goes a long way. We use highland harvested Saigon cinnamon. It is super strong and delicious!
4. Heavy Whipping Cream – Does this surprise you? This is one “dairy” item that is all fat, and little to no lactose or casein (read more on Clean Eats). It’s goof for you fat! Add it to your coffee for creamy perfection.
5. Butter – You have not lived until you have had a buttered coffee. Frothy heaven! And, it is way healthier for you than you think. Read more about bulletproofing your coffee for lots of healthy morning energy. We use Kerrygold grass-fed butter. Add 1-2 tablespoons to a cup of coffee. We also have the MTC oil recommended for Bulletproof coffee. To mix it well we put the coffee, butter, and oil in our NutriBullet. I like it as is, but you could add any of the above for extra flavor.
I’ve found I like my coffee different ways depending on the time of day. Buttered coffee is a great way to start the day. Later in the day, I prefer just adding Stevia or maple syrup. I love the cinnamon for rare late night coffee drinking.
Wow my friend just told me this weekend about how she likes to blend her coffee with butter and coconut oil. I thought it was so weird but I was also intrigued. I guess I need to try it now. :)
I, too, have cut out refined sugar. It was pretty easy other than the fact that I was totally addicted to Starbucks’ mochas. I have found that iced black coffee is pretty good and I actually don’t crave the sugary drinks anymore.
Great job on cutting out the bad stuff!
MB, So, that weird but intrigued feeling is how I feel pretty much everyday of my new Paleo life. I can’t believe how misled we all were for so long and it is like relearning everything. You have to give the buttered coffee a go…it is so yummy!
It’s funny I was on a really big coffee kick for awhile but since starting Paleo I’m craving tea and almost (key word) disliking coffee, although coffee is totally fine to drink on the Paleo diet. When I drink coffee I buy either organic locally roasted coffee or organic free-trade coffee and grind my own beans and take my coffee no sweetener with locally purchased raw organic cream (We live in an area of PA known for dairy farms). I am curious to try coffee with butter. It sounds good. Coffee sometimes seems to have a natural oil in it anyway so I bet butter will be really good. I’d love to see more of your favorite paleo dinner recipes posted on the blog especially ones that your kids really like (or even if you can share a few links). I’m struggling a little with making paleo dinners my kids love. Congrats on your weight loss-that is awesome. I’m getting there with my weight loss goals,very slowly :-)! I’m embarrassed to admit I hate to exercise and know I need to just do it!
Amy, Don’t be embarrassed at all. I am not a big fan of exercising either. Around the New Year I started p90X3. I did the original P90X after having my first baby and without my hubby’s encouragement I would have never done it. I really like the new version. The workouts are only 30 minutes (so I can never find a good excuse to skip) and there is a ton of variety throughout so I don’t get bored. You just gotta find a program that works for you.
P.S. I need to switch to tea in the evenings. Last night I made a poor choice to have coffee after 6pm and had a horrible time falling asleep. Tea would have been a much better choice.
Tiffany S. says
Congrats on the 5 lbs!!! I know how hard it is.
Thanks Tiffany. Now I am down to the last 5…the hardest I am sure. I think if I can kick the Coke habit for good that will make all the difference.
Sarah @ An Inviting Home says
I recently started using stevia too and cinnamon has always been a favorite of mine. Sam and I do the french press thing in the morning and I love it. Coffee…ahhhh. :-)
I love your posts. Who would think I’d wake up to a post on coffee?!! I have used heavy whipping cream at a restaurant but my favorite is SaveMart brand instant coffee. You see I’m a coffee snob –I admit. I do not really like anything else very much at all and I use half a mug of almond milk to half mug hot water, teaspoon of my SM SunnySelect instant and just a splash of pure chemicals. I know. CoffeeMate fat free Hazlenut creamer. Not much for I barely want to taste it. Once a day. But if I go to a restaurant, I may ask, may I have heavy cream please and real maple syrup for my coffee and a bit of butter with that too? For I know these items sound yummy in brewed coffee!!! I’m curious to try your ideas…I’m hungry for your banana bread too. I think its breakfast time!!!
Bravo for cutting back on sugar in your coffee! I work as a barista, but not the kind that serves up intensely sweet calorie loaded lattes. Coffee can be really flavorful and even super sweet without sugar or alternatives. Everyone says this, but it just takes time. Your palate is still adjusting to the flavors, but coffee is much like wine with several different flavor notes and even flavor changes in different temperatures. Check out your local specialty shop (not starbucks or caribou) if you have one and ask them about different coffees. Different regions, countries, and different varietals can yield different flavors. Have fun! Coffee is a huge world, that can be a part of a healthy lifestyle!
Kim, Thanks for chiming in. We have lots of great non-chain coffee shops in the Twin Cities and it is so fun to go and try something new. I would love to know what your favorite coffee is to drink black?
Try some African coffees, they are typically sweet and flavorful. I would try to stay away from “dark” roasted coffees, you’ll eventually find they aren’t very flavorful. I’m not in the Twin Cities area, but it looks like Dogwood Coffee Co. might be a good place to start. If you want to order online, my favorite in my area is Mountain Air Roasting (check out the Guji Shakiso). Sorry to go on and on, getting people into delicious coffee is one of my favorite things!
Kim, Thank you so much for the recommendations! I love that getting people into delicious coffee is your thing!!
Butter in coffee — I would definitely not have thought of that! I’m a Diet Coke addict but love my coffee in the morning, too. Splenda and a little fat-free half-and-half is my go-to, but I love the idea of naturally flavoring instead! Will have to try some of these, especially the maple syrup. My New Yorker husband will like that one!
Meg, Please do give some of these a try. They are so much better for you than artificial sweeteners. Report back and let us know which is your favorite!
I have been following your blog for about a year and have enjoyed it so much. I recently found out that wheat was making me sick. I have been reading up on different ideas about food(Eat Right For Your Type, Wheat Belly and Paleo). Thank goodness I am starting to feel so much better. I am so excited that you started sharing your recipes. We have tried both the chocolate chip cookies and banana bread…YUMM! I really hope you will post more advice on living Paleo and recipes of all kinds.
Cindy, Thank you. I will see what I can do :)