I have been seeing these colourful lattes all over Instagram lately and so I couldn’t resist making my own to see if they really are as good as they taste. I wanted to make caffeine free lattes that were not only tasty but also bursting with nutrients that are really good for you. Truthfully, I don’t think I *should* even be calling these lattes as they don’t actually contain any coffee but it kind of just makes sense seeing as they are warm drinks and contain steamed milk, so close enough! Another truth, I don’t know much about lattes or coffee because I have never had a cup of coffee before in my life… is that completely nuts or are there other coffee virgins out there?! Sometimes, I feel like I am the only one, so let me know if you can relate.
Is coffee hurting your adrenals?
So today I have got three caffeine free lattes for you to try (plus one with caffeine) to see how they compare to traditional lattes or if you are like me then just enjoy them for what they are, delicious and nutritious. I am not anti coffee by any means, I think it can be enjoyed in moderation here and there, the problem is most people are addicted to their cup(s) of coffee to get them going throughout the day. If you have issues with your adrenal glands, coffee can pose a greater issue as well. Your adrenals are glands that sit on top of the kidneys and their job is to release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response when we are confronted with stressors. This means that adrenaline is released throughout our bodies and our body becomes ready for action. The issue with coffee is that this stimulates the adrenal glands and activates the fight-or-flight response, but instead of releasing adrenaline so that your body can fight the stressor, the adrenals are releasing this hormone in response to your coffee consumption. Over time, your adrenals start to burn out, which can lead to adrenal fatigue, so you can feel more tired than you did before you drank it, after the initial buzz from drinking the coffee wears off.
So if you want to avoid these issues or if you are already suffering from adrenal fatigue, you can try switching up your regular coffee every now and then and trying one of these. Except for the green tea matcha, all of them are caffeine free and have tons of nutrients. Lets get to some of the ingredients and see why they are so great!
Caffeine Free Lattes For The Win!
Main Ingredient: Turmeric
What is it? Turmeric is one of the most highly studied plants and offers A TON of nutritional benefits. Turmeric is part of the ginger family with the root being the part that is utilized. It has a tough brown skin and deep orange flesh. The flavour is peppery, warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild, reminiscent of orange and ginger. It was traditionally referred to as Indian saffron and is one of the main ingredients in curry powder and is often used as a colouring agent in many foods, like prepared mustard.
What are the health benefits? The biggest benefit and the one most discussed is the anti-inflammatory properties of it. Curcumin, the yellow pigment has significant anti-inflammatory activity and numerous studies have shown that the effects are comparable to potent drugs such as hydrocortisone and ibuprofen, without the toxicity (Murray, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods). It has also been shown to be beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis as well. Beyond just the powerful anti-inflammatory properties, studies have also shown that curcumin has a very powerful antioxidant effect. This action enables it to protect healthy cells from free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to cancer (Murray, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods). Even more good news? Curcumin has also been shown to inhibit tumour growth, enhance the body’s production of cancer-fighting compounds such as glutathione, promotes the liver’s proper detoxification of cancer-causing compounds and may be able to prevent heart disease and neurological diseases, such as Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
How to buy and how to include it in this recipe? Fresh turmeric is always nice, but it can be hard to find, so feel free to use dried. If you are buying dried spices, you should try and buy organic as this means less pesticides in addition to it not being irradiated.
Main Ingredient: Matcha
What is it? Matcha is a traditional Japanese tea made from stone ground tencha leaves. Tencha leaves have a very unique growing process, which includes protecting them from light during the last few weeks before harvest. This preserves the smooth, rich flavour of the leaves and encourages maximum formation of antioxidants, amino acids and chlorophyll. High-grade, traditional matcha – such as withinUs TruOrganic Matcha – is made from tencha leaves that are harvested by hand, dried, and stone ground into a vibrant, emerald-green powder.
What are the health benefits? Matcha is packed with amino acids, nutrients, antioxidants and chlorophyll. The antioxidants in matcha help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is part of a class of antioxidants known as catechins, studies have shown that regular consumption may lower the risk of cancer, help prevent heart disease and provide metabolic benefits. L-Theanine is an amino acid that makes matcha so effective at boosting energy and mood levels. When it is combined with caffeine from the tea, it metabolizes more slowly, releasing the natural caffeine over a longer period of time and providing a stable three to six hour long energy boost. Chlorophyll is what gives the tea that green colour and is a powerful detoxifier, which can help eliminate chemicals and heavy metals from the body.
How to buy and how to include it in this recipe? Matcha is really popping up everywhere these days and you can find a variety of different brands in grocery stores, health food stores, mainstream coffee shops and online. Here is the thing though, due to the way in which tea leaves are grown, you want to ensure you are getting a good quality brand and one that is organic. I have tried different brands over the years and the best tasting one (by far) that I have tried is the WithinUs TruOrganic Matcha. I will be completely honest here, I am an ambassador for their products and as such I receive product from them, however I am an ambassador because I truly believe in their products 100%. I wouldn’t ever want to recommend something that I didn’t believe in, so without a doubt, this really is some great tasting matcha and if you can, give it a try for yourself and taste the difference.
Main ingredient: Beets (cooked)
What is it? Beets actually belong to the same family as chard and spinach, however unlike these greens, both the root and the leaves are eaten. When the opportunity to grab the beets and the leaves are provided, always take them and sauté them with a little sea salt, pepper and garlic just as you can with chard. Beets come in a variety of colours from red to golden.
What are the health benefits? Beets contain phytonutrients, are a good source of folate and betaine, can protect against heart disease, certain cancers, support detoxification and contain a special type of fibre. The phytonutrients in beets provide antioxidant support in a different way than other vegetables and may benefit eye health and overall nerve tissue health as well and studies are just beginning to emerge in this area. Beets are an unusual source of betaine, which is a key body nutrient made from the B-complex vitamin, choline. This is important in regulating our inflammatory status as its presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers. The anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems. The betalin pigments have been shown to support our body’s Phase 2 detoxification process. Phase 2 is when our cells hook activated, unwanted toxic substances up with small nutrient groups, this “hook up” process neutralizes these toxins and makes them water soluble, allowing for excretion in the urine. The fiber in beets have an unusual benefit which may be due to the pectin polysaccharides which significantly contribute to the total fiber content which is beneficial for our digestive tract and protective against colon cancer.
How to buy and how to include it in this recipe? You can find beets in almost any grocery store or market when in season and if you can buy them with the leaves attached try and do that. This usually means they are fresher and its a 2-for-1 deal as you can cook the greens which are super nutritious and taste similar to chard. The greens should be fresh looking, with no signs of spoilage, the beets should be firm, smooth and a vibrant red-purple, not soft, wrinkled and dull-coloured. If you get the beets with the greens attached, these can be stored in the fridge for three to five days, or if the greens are removed, in the fridge for two to four weeks. Chop off the greens and use them up quicker than the bulbs is always the best way to use them.
Main ingredient: Black sesame seeds
What is it? These small but powerful seeds are grown from a plant that is about 2 to 4 feet tall and the plant develops flowers that are tiny, with a pink or white colour, where the seeds vary in colour and are encased in a small pod. The Arabian tale of “open sesame” goes back to the ability of sesame seed pods bursting open when ripe (Murray, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods).
What are the health benefits? Sesame seeds contain lignans called sesamin which have been shown to display an amazing antioxidant ability. Research has shown that it inhibits the manufacturing of cholesterol in the liver of rats as well as reduces cholesterol absorption from the diet (Murray, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods). These seeds can also relieve constipation and remove worms from the intestinal tract (which is a bigger problem then you may think for a lot of people!). They also aid digestion, stimulate blood circulation and benefit the nervous system due to the high oil content.In traditional Chinese medicine, sesame is known to produce yin (body fluid) and can promote lactation (for all those breast feeding mommas out there). Sesame seeds are also very high in calcium and actually contains more than milk and is more easily digested and thus absorbed by the body. In addition to calcium, they are high in many other minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Often times, sadly, we are more deficient in minerals than vitamins due to the depleted soils we grow our foods in and so eating foods that offer minerals in addition to supplementation is key. The high vitamin E content also makes sesame oil great as a massage oil and can help with skin diseases and burns.
How to buy and how to include it in this recipe? Most of the sesame seeds you can find here are hulled meaning the outer hull has been removed. This can lead to rancidity, so it is best to store these in your fridge or freezer or in a cool, dry place away from light.
Get Your Latte On:
I hope this post was informative for you, I am a pretty big food nerd so I always enjoy learning more about foods and sharing them with people, so hopefully you got something out of all this! I could seriously do a whole segment just on my pantry foods and staples, why they are so great and how to store them. Maybe one day, as this would take A LOT of time and effort to put together, but I think could be something beneficial, especially for those just starting out on their health food journey.
I encourage you to pick and choose which latte speaks to you and your needs. If you are looking for something warming and healing, the turmeric ginger latte is a great option. Looking to detoxify a bit, try the beet latte. If you need a pick-me-up, definitely try the matcha latte. And if you need a boost of calcium or just want to try something different give the black sesame latte a try.
If you are looking to try withinUs matcha and their collagen, now is the time! They are currently offering a promo right now until February 12, 2017 for a further 10% off their matcha and collagen bundle. So if you are waiting to try it, now is the time! Plus a portion of all of their online sales for the month of February – will be donated back to pink shirt day in support of anti-bullying campaigns. I use both products, the collagen daily and have loved seeing the results. My skin texture has improved, my nails are stronger and my hair is also looking shinier. It truly is a great product, plus their matcha as I discussed above is top notch in terms of quality and taste!
For the turmeric milk, these are the products I use: turmeric spice, raw honey, lucuma powder.
For the pink latte, I use: ground cinnamon, ground ginger
For the black latte, I use: black sesame seeds and this vanilla extract.
- 1 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
- 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
- 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp ghee (or grass fed butter, or coconut oil)
- small pinch of cinnamon and cardamom
- 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp raw honey (added after- to taste)
- 1 tsp. lucuma powder (optional - adds some sweetness)
- Combine all of the ingredients except the honey into a small pot on the stove over low-medium heat.
- Whisk ingredients and allow to heat through, without simmering or boiling.
- Once heated through and it has deepened in colour (about 5-10 minutes), carefully pour into a blender and blend on high until frothy.
- Alternatively, you can froth a little extra milk and add it in to your cup and skip the blender.
- Add your honey and a pinch more of turmeric and cinnamon on top.
- Sip, relax and enjoy anytime of the day.
- 1 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
- 1/2 tsp matcha powder (up to 1 tsp)
- 2 tbsp. boiled water
- 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp. raw honey (added after)
- Dash of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 serving of collagen (optional)
- Boil some water.
- Add your matcha to your cup and add approx 1-2 tbsp. of hot water and whisk with a bamboo whisk made for making matcha, whisk until combined and no clumps remain.
- Froth your milk on the stove using a handheld frother or using another method to froth your milk.
- Add the frothy milk to your matcha cup along with optional collagen and vanilla.
- Add your raw honey and stir to combine.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus ½ cup extra for foaming
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 medium beet, peeled (and quartered)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 serving of collagen (optional)
- Heat oven to 400. Wrap beet in foil or parchment paper (I used parchment) and roast for about 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces it (you can do this ahead of time).
- In a blender add all ingredients, except the extra ½ cup almond milk, and blend until smooth.
- In a small pot, heat up blended beet ingredients until boiling. Then pass through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Set aside.
- Add remaining almond milk into a glass or cup and foam with preferred method of foaming. You can use a handheld foamer, a cappuccino machine, or even just give it a whiz in a high-powered blender.
- Pour blended beet ingredients into two glasses or mugs, top with foamed milk, and sprinkle extra ground ginger or cinnamon.
- You can maybe try steaming the beet, although this method may not taste as good.
- Roast the beet ahead of time if you can.
- Cutting the beet in half or quarter also helps the beet cook faster than when it is left whole.
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp. raw honey
- Pinch of bee pollen (optional)
- In a small saucepan, add your milk and sesame seeds.
- Bring to a low simmer and then add the vanilla, remove from heat.
- Carefully pour into your blender and blend on high.
- Pour through a sieve (optional) and into your cup, adding some raw honey to taste.
- Garnish with a few extra sesame seeds and bee pollen (optional)
- Sip and enjoy!