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No matter how healthy we try to be, there are some luxuries that we just aren’t willing to kick completely.
By: Sophie Leaver
Health & wellbeing writer
For many, their daily comfort comes in the form of a delicious, warm, frothy latte. But instead of searching for that caffeine hit every day, why not transform your latte ritual with superfoods and let it be more healthy, vibrant, and energising than you’ll find in any Starbuck cup.
Caffeine itself isn’t unhealthy, but it’s often the milk, sugars, syrups and artificial sweeteners that we add, or just the sheer quantity of it that we drink, that does the damage. It’s easy to become dependent on coffee for energy, and drinking too much can wreak havoc on the nervous system, disrupt your sleep, and may even contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress.
I’ve always enjoyed the ritual of drinking coffee more than the taste itself. I enjoy the warmth between my hands, the rich smell, and the idea of quietly enjoying one in the morning while I get ready for the day. Luckily, none of this has to be abandoned when making the move over to superfood lattes! Using organic, healthy, nutrient dense ingredients to make a latte means that you’ll feel satisfied, nourished, and won’t feel the need for more.
Superfood drinks are extremely versatile, and you can alter any recipes to suit your tastes. If you’re after something sweet and creamy, Lucuma is the way to go. Known as the Gold of the Incas, Lucuma powder tastes rich an indulgent, and is the perfect way to add sweetness to your drink without loading in the sugar. Lucuma is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is great for your skin, encouraging cell repair and growth.
For a simple, creamy Lucuma latte all you need is:
1.5 cups of almond milk
3 Tbsp. organic Lucuma powder
A sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg powder
Optional natural sweetener, such as stevia, coconut sugar, or organic honey.
Add the almond milk to a saucepan on medium heat and slowly mix in the Lucama powder until it blends well. Heat to desired temperature, and finish by dusting with cinnamon or nutmeg powder to give it a warming, spicy taste. You can use an Aero whisk as a great way to blend the ingredients and get that extra frothy effect.
Of course, you can substitute the almond milk for whatever type of milk suits your taste and your dietary needs. Oat milk or rice milk have a mild taste, whereas coconut milk, soy or hemp milk have a stronger, distinct tastes.
MACA CHILLI CHOCOLATE LATTE
Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a mug of rich, delicious hot chocolate. Replace your normal sugary blend with a fragrant mix of nutritious superfoods and spices, and you’ll have a drink that will leave you feeling truly energised. For a hot chocolate with a kick try this simple recipe:
2 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp organic maca powder
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or honey, maple syrup, or stevia)
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups of whichever milk you prefer
Warm the milk on the stove, without bringing it to a boil, and whisk in the powders until fully blended. Add extra spice, depending on your taste.
While the amazing smell of the hot chocolate alone is enough to wake you up, it’s the potent blend of ingredients that are bursting with nutritional benefits. The raw cacao, as opposed to normal coco, is a fantastic source of essential minerals such as magnesium, anti-oxidants, and zinc. Raw cacao also contains theombromine, which helps to stimulate the central nervous system, repair muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy. The addition of organic maca powder to the mix brings important amino acids, as well as a hearty source of vitamins B, C and E. It is known to have a balancing effect on hormones, and can even boost your libido. With such a positive effect on mood balances, maca powder may help to alleviate stress, anxiety or depression. And if this wasn’t enough of a nutritional powerhouse already, the spices add that extra health kick! Cayenne pepper is known to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system, while cinnamon aids digestion and has strong antiseptic qualities. Time to get brewing!
Herbal teas are often promoted as a great substitute when trying to give up your daily coffee, but a matcha green tea latte brings you the best of both worlds! We’ve all heard the list of proven health benefits that come with drinking green tea: it helps to burn fat, improve brain function, and has a host of antioxidants. But Matcha is a powdered form of green tea that uses stoneground leaves. By ingesting the full leaves in their powdered form, we multiply the levels of fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. It has been said to give you a natural energy boost that will far outlast your normal coffee or cup of tea. Matcha lattes are easy to make, and best with only a few ingredients so you can let the matcha do all the work!
1 ½ cup almond milk, or any preferred milk
1 tsp of powdered matcha
1 tsp stevia or coconut sugar.
Heat all the ingredients on a small pot until warm but not boiling, and gently whisk together. Use an Aero whisk for extra foam.
These recipes are just a suggestion and you can experiment with a range of different superfoods, spices, milks and powders until you find what you like best. Once you notice how energising, delicious, and comforting they are, you certainly won’t miss your daily cup of coffee.