D

Deliciously Healthy Coffee Alternatives For Your Morning Routine

Some people can’t wait for that first sip of their morning coffee. It’s as if it is the only thing that will pep them up, get them started for the day, or maybe it’s just a ritual that they perform every morning. It’s comfort, it’s their energy source.

However, there are so many great health benefits to coffee alternatives out there. The extremely high doses of caffeine that are found in most coffees and the amounts at which the average American consumes can cause elevated levels of anxiety, general nervousness, shaking and trembling, or energy crashing later in the day. This leads to even more caffeine consumption later in the day, which can affect nighttime rest and quality of sleep.

It’s hard to kick that morning routine. In fact, many may have stopped reading by now. But trust us, it’s worth a try to see if there is another beverage out there that’s just as satisfying but with added health benefits.

Black Tea
This is the most similar option to coffee and might not sound too outlandish to our British neighbors. Black tea is a lot like coffee in that it can be made in a variety of ways and there are so many different types to try. Check out how to prepare the best cup of English black tea here.

Chai
This Indian traditional beverage is similar to other black teas. However, it is much more flavorful and can be prepared to be much sweeter than other teas. Usually, it is made with a high-fat content milk and plenty of sugar or other sweeteners. Richa Gupta has various recipes on how to prepare the perfect cup of chai.

Green Tea
Green tea is an East Asian strain of tea that is lighter and refreshing with a high concentration of antioxidants. You can brew with loose tea leaves, tea bags, and prepare with lemon, honey, milk, or sugar. There is no wrong way to consume this comforting beverage. And, don’t be fooled. It isn’t absent of caffeine at all. It merely adds other benefits to your caffeine consumption in the morning.

Matcha Latte
Matcha fights cancer! Although it hasn’t been proven via clinical studies, only population-based studies. Matcha is technically green tea, but the specific type of green tea that matcha is, contains even more health benefits than regular green tea. It contains catechin, which is a type of antioxidant. The most important one is EGCG, which is the catechin that promotes cancer-fighting effects in the body. It has also been known to help with diabetes, prevent heart disease, and weight loss. You can brew matcha straight or what is called “ceremonially” by whisking it with hot water or you can create your specific matcha latte. We think oat milk blends best with the matcha and honey as a sweetener really complements the natural flavors in matcha.

Check out our original recipe on how to brew the perfect cup of hot matcha latte.

Ingredients
1 to 2 teaspoons pure unsweetened matcha tea powder
2 tablespoons boiling hot water
1-2 teaspoons sweetener of choice
6 to 8 ounces steamed milk of choice

Equipment
Whisk
Small sifter
Small mixing bowl

Instructions
1. Sift matcha tea powder over a small mixing bowl.
2. Add boiling water and whisk until the powder combines. It should look like paint and not be too runny because it’s concentrated with the tea powder.
3. Add your desired amount of sweetener and whisk well until combined.
4. Add hot milk of your choice and whisk once more to combine. If you have a milk frother, use that to incorporate all ingredients for the best latte.

Smoothies
These yummy treats double as a vitamin-packed beverage and a source of energy. Plus, smoothies are super versatile. You can drink them all year-round by utilizing fruits and veggies in season. Our rule of thumb is to combine in a blender, 1 cup of leafy greens (kale or spinach work best) and 1 cup of liquid (water or milk) and then 2 cups of fruit (a popular combination is apples, mango, and pineapple with a little banana). Take a stab at creating your own or check out these two recipes from Anna Hinman at Crunchy Creamy Sweet!

Herbal tea
This tea may be the least favorite for some as an alternative to coffee as it has zero caffeine and unlike a smoothie cannot be utilized as a meal substitute. However, herbal tea is a lovely add-on to any of your favored caffeinated beverage routines. Herbal tea is pretty self-explanatory in that it often contains herbs, fruits and other roots and plants. When combined together and brewed in hot water, they are quite the tonic whether you want to drink herbal tea in the morning or at night. A favorite is hibiscus. This tea has so many benefits including but not limited to anti-inflammatory properties, lowers blood pressure, boosts liver health, and it’s packed with antioxidants.