In the heat of the summer, nothing beats an icy, mocha coffee drink. While frappuccinos and iced lattes may be tempting, they are often loaded with unnecessary sugar, syrups, and artificial colors, chemicals, and additives. Basically, a seemingly innocent summer drink can be loaded with unhealthy ingredients that, after consuming regularly, can irritate your stomach and digestive tract, disrupt your adrenals and hormones, overload your liver, and drain your wallet.
If you love iced coffee during the summer (or any other time of year), try making a healthier, and quite possibly tastier, version at home, using carob and cold brewed coffee.
Why cold-brewed coffee? Coffee often gets a bad rap, and rightfully so. It is often grown and harvested in unsustainable environments and contains a number of harmful chemicals. It can also cause your adrenal and digestive systems to go haywire if you are sensitive to the caffeine and acid in coffee. However, it also contains numerous anti-oxidants and some studies even show a link between drinking coffee and less brain deterioration with aging. The key is to use organic coffee whenever possible, not to consume too much if you do have sensitivities, and to brew it cold.
Cold brewed coffee is less acidic and is a bit stronger than most other coffee. This means that is is less irritating to your digestive system, won’t upset your adrenals as much, and is less likely to cause a caffeine crash. Any additional irritation in the digestive tract is soothed by adding creamy, healthy fat from cashews. The fat from the cashews will help to digest the coffee slower, while coating your digestive tract. You can make cold brew at home with a french press, or jar and mesh bag, overnight, or you can purchase cold-brewed coffee at many stores and coffee shops.
Carob powder, from the carob fruit, is an ancient superfood, known for it’s chocolate flavor and health benefits. It is naturally sweet, so you’ll still taste the coffee and chocolate in your drink, without that sticky, sugary feeling. Carob is also touted for several health benefits, such as being an anti-oxidant, helping to lower cholesterol, and improves digestion. Carob is also high in calcium and contains no caffeine, so it is a much healthier, supportive alternative to chocolate syrup in your Iced Mocha. Carob can be found at your local health store or the health section of your grocery store.
Know that you now what it is, here is how to put it to use in this simple but oh-so-good Iced Mocha:
The Best Iced Mocha:
Makes 1-2 drinks, served over ice.
2 tbsp carob powder
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 cups cold brewed coffee (you can also use regular chilled or iced coffee if preferred)
*2 dates, pitted (for natural sweetness)
*1 tsp cinnamon (to soothe digestive irritation)
*1/2 tsp nutmeg (to counteract the caffeine aka jitters)
Add in all ingredients in to a blender and serve over ice.
This can also be made with hot coffee, or with cold-brewed coffee that has been heated for a Cold-Weather Mocha Latte.
Your turn – do you drink coffee? If so, what is your favorite way to drink coffee at home?