If you’re a coffee lover like me, I’ve got great news for you! It doesn’t just taste delicious- there are multiple health benefits when it comes to drinking coffee. A hearty cup of joe contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals, is high in antioxidants, and is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. You may not be surprised to learn that coffee is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It contains caffeine which is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep and cause problems for some people. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to opt for decaffeinated coffee, which uses solvents to extract the caffeine from coffee beans. However for most, caffeine can cause a short-term boost in energy levels, brain function, and even exercise performance.

Coffee contains a small amount of some vitamins and minerals, which can add up if you drink multiple cups per day (not that I recommend that for everyone) and is high in antioxidants. It’s definitely not required for optimal health by any means, but the research does favor coffee as a means of improving health-span (at least for the general population)

For example, in a recent study people who consumed 1 cup of coffee a day (including decaf) were 12% less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease over 16 years compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. People who drank 2-3 cups per day were 18% less likely. The notable thing about this research was that the study population was highly diverse and varied in ethnic makeup which makes it more likely to apply to the general population (although still, its a correlation, which cannot prove causation).

While coffee on its own is full of health benefits, there are also ways to maximize them. One way to get the most bang for your buck is to not add a ton of sugar. Most coffee drinks that you find at cafes contain hundreds of calories and a ton of sugar- promting the question: since when did coffee become dessert?! Coffee or not, these drinks are unhealthy if consumed regularly. Of course treating yourself to a sugary drink like that on occasion isn’t an issue but I want to make sure you’re making the smart choice on a day-to-day basis.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t sweeten your coffee at all! You definitely don’t want to overdo it on the sugar, but 1 teaspoon of sugar is not what is causing a huge problem. It’s the store-bought foods and drinks that have so much added sugar, you wouldn’t even dare to add that much to your food or drinks at home.⁠ The standard medium mocha from a popular coffee shop has 35g sugar – that’s a whopping 8.75 teaspoons. Would you add that much sugar to your coffee? No, no you wouldn’t. Drinks that would be considered healthy at home like a matcha-latte often come pre-sweetened at these commercial coffee shops, containing a whopping 28g+ sugar.⁠ So when you think about it, a teaspoon of sugar is a much more reasonable amount.

Creamer is another common addition to both store-bought and homemade coffee beverages. Whether you opt for the dairy version or a non-dairy substitute, it’s important to always look for the unsweetened versions since flavored creamers can have lots of added sugar.

If you do like to sweeten your coffee, here are some other options to flavor it up that have more nutrients than regular sugar:

  • Splash of unsweetened almond milk: low in calories, contains vitamin E, lactose free
  • Splash of coconut milk:   low in calories, contains potassium, lactose free
  • Stevia or monk fruit extract: both have 0 calories & are much sweeter than table sugar which means you don’t need as much
  • Cinnamon: is a potent antioxidant that can help fight inflammation & lower blood sugar by slowing down the breakdown of carbs and improving overall insulin sensitivity
  • Coconut oil or mct oil: great source of MCTs (pro tip: blend it with hot coffee – comes out creamy!)
  • Vanilla extract: may help reduce inflammation & contains the antioxidant Vanillin

All of these healthier sweeteners make it possible to re-create some of the most beloved coffee beverages like the Pumpkin Spice Latte & Peppermint Mocha. That’s why I wanted to round up 3 of my favorite healthy coffee recipes that will satisfy any coffee craving you may have!

#1 – Looking for an equally delicious and aesthetically pleasing drink? Try making a stunning Whipped Coffee:  

If you haven’t heard of the whipped coffee trend yet, here’s the download on it. When you combine 1-2 tbsp of instant coffee with sweetener of choice and 1-2 tbsp boiling water then whisk the crap out of it, you end up with a fluffy, delicious looking coffee.⁠⠀

If you’re whisking by hand though, you’ll most likely need to whisk the coffee until it feels like your hand is going to fall off but the good news is it doubles as an arm workout. If you have an electric handheld mixer, you’re in luck and it will probably only take you about 2-4 minutes.⁠⠀

What you need:⁠

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee⁠
  • 8oz-12oz unsweetened almond milk⁠
  • 2 tbsp water (boiling)⁠
  • Sweetener of choice (stevia & monk fruit are two of my favorites)⁠
  • Dash of cinnamon⁠

What to do:⁠
1 – Bring the water to a boil.⁠
2 – Add the instant coffee, boiling water and sweetener to a bowl.⁠
3 – With a hand whisk, whisk until your arm feels like it’s going to fall off (about 15min+). With an electric hand mixer, whisk for about 2-5min.
4 – Top the whipped coffee mixture over ice cold almond milk or hot milk if you prefer.⁠ Add the cinnamon on top.⁠
5 – Mix & enjoy.

#2 – Craving a refreshing and sweet treat? Make this upgraded Peppermint Mocha:

With this homemade recipe, you can enjoy all of the chocolate-minty goodness of a peppermint mocha without the filler ingredients and all the added sugar.

What you need:⁠

  • 8-12oz unsweetened almond milk⁠
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 instant coffee packet or espresso shot⁠
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract⁠
  • 1/2 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil
  • Stevia to taste

What to do:⁠

1 – Heat the almond milk on the stove.⁠
2 – Add the hot almond milk and rest of the ingredients to a blender.⁠
3 – Blend and enjoy!

#3 – Want to cuddle up with a comforting pumpkin spice latte? Whip this healthier version up:

In this recreation of the classic PSL, you get to taste the creaminess & flavors of a pumpkin spice latte without all the added sugar and filler ingredients.

What you need:⁠

  • 8-16oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk⁠
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree⁠
  • 1 instant coffee packet or espresso shot⁠
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice⁠
  • dash of cinnamon⁠
  • Stevia to taste⁠

What to do:⁠

1 – Heat the almond milk on the stove.⁠
2 – Add the hot almond milk and the rest of the ingredients to a blender.⁠
3 – Blend & enjoy

I hope you love these recipes as much as I do! What’s your favorite way to drink coffee?

MeowMeix aka Amanda