Tag Archives: coffee

Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee (Paleo, Vegan)

Enjoy this sweet and creamy Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee with all the flavors and no dairy! It’s a paleo and vegan version of everyone’s favorite iced coffee.

Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee

The first time I had Thai iced coffee, my first thought was, “WHAT IS THIS CRACK THAT I’M DRINKING?” No joke. It was love at first taste. It’s the creamiest coffee ever that’s deliciously sweet, and it basically tastes like coffee ice cream in liquid form.

Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee Recipe

With the temperature hitting the 90s these days, there’s just no way I’m drinking hot coffee in the mornings. So I decided to make a paleo and vegan version of my favorite iced coffee, and I’ve been absolutely loving it!

This Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee is so decadent without a hint of dairy. The key is to make a thick and creamy sweetened condensed milk using coconut milk, which is much easier than you think. All you have to do is simmer the coconut milk and a sweetener until it’s reduced, then add almond extract and cardamom to make it taste truly authentic. It’s seriously the best combination of flavors.

Coconut Milk Thai Iced CoffeeCoconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee

The Key to Tasty Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee

To make your coconut milk Thai iced coffee super yummy and not watered down, it’s important to make your coffee super strong. I used my espresso maker to brew my coffee, which turned out perfect. Then you can add plenty of ice to keep it cold and enjoy every sip!

You can even make the coffee and the sweetened condensed coconut milk ahead of time and enjoy it for a few days. Just make sure to whisk the coconut milk before pouring it over the coffee because it can separate as it sits in the refrigerator. It’ll combine well to it’s original creamy form once you shake it up a bit, so mix it up and enjoy the most delicious coffee, perfect to cool down with in the summer!

Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee

Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee (Paleo, Vegan)

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 197 kcal
Author: Jean Choi

Enjoy this sweet and creamy Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee with all the flavors and no dairy! It's a paleo and vegan version of everyone's favorite iced coffee.

Print

Ingredients

  • 4 cups strongly brewed coffee
  • Ice cubes
  • Additional dairy free milk optional

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

Instructions

  1. Place the coffee in the refrigerator to let it chill.

  2. Add coconut milk in a saucepan. 

  3. Heat over medium high heat while whisking, until it starts to boil. 

  4. Reduce the heat to low to simmer, then add maple syrup.

  5. Simmer while whisking occasionally for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to half.

  6. Stir in cardamom powder and almond extract. 

  7. Remove from heat and let it cool. Refrigerate to chill for at least 1 hour.

  8. To make the Thai iced coffee, place ice cubes in 4 glasses. 

  9. Divide the coffee into the glasses.

  10. Whisk the sweetened condensed coconut milk if it's separated, and pour over the coffee.

  11. Stir together and enjoy! You can add more dairy free milk if you want it creamier.

Nutrition Facts
Coconut Milk Thai Iced Coffee (Paleo, Vegan)
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 197 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Sodium 37mg 2%
Potassium 303mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g 2%
Calcium 0.5%
Iron 12.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte (Whole30 Option)

This Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte is a much healthier version of everyone’s favorite Fall drink, and it only takes minutes to make!

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Well, it’s somehow pumpkin season again! While it still been hitting 90 degrees here in LA County, I’ve been seeing many people get excited about pumpkin again, and especially about Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Why I Make My Own Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

As a pumpkin fanatic, I remember back when I didn’t really think about what I was putting in my body, I would enjoy this drink almost daily as soon as they released it. These days, I’ve done my research about the ingredients, which is why I haven’t touched the original version for several years now. If you are curious, here are the ingredients:

Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents]

As you can see, that’s A LOT of sugar and artificial ingredients with very little pumpkin. So in order for me to enjoy one of my favorite Fall drinks again, I decided make this much healthier version: Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Made with REAL, organic pumpkin, there’s nothing in this pumpkin spice latte that’s questionable or fake. And, in my opinion, it tastes so much better than the Starbucks version without being loaded with sugar.

I’ve been making my lattes using my immersion blender, and it works really well in creating that foamy layer. You can use a regular, high-powered blender as well or a latte frother if you have fancy gadgets in your kitchen.

Instead of spending your hard earned dollars on the Starbuckp Pumpkin Spice Latte, make this healthier and tastier version at home instead! It only takes a few minutes to make and your wallet and your body will say thank you.

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice LattePaleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 87 kcal
Author: Jean Choi

This Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte is a much healthier version of everyone’s favorite Fall drink, and it only takes minutes to make!

Print

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place pumpkin and coconut or almond milk in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it starts to boil. Whisk together then take off heat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender or use an immersion blender, and blend for 2-3 minutes until foamy. Add more maple syrup, if desired, and blend again.
  3. Pour into a mug, sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice before enjoying.
Nutrition Facts
Paleo and Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
Amount Per Serving (1 latte)
Calories 87 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 172mg 7%
Potassium 242mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 10g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 190.7%
Vitamin C 3.1%
Calcium 18.1%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Is Coffee Good For You?… Or No?

coffee goodAs a nutritional therapist, I get asked this question often and it’s easy to see why. Coffee is AMAZING (yes, it’s one of MY biggest weaknesses) and so many people love its aroma, taste, and the jittery high they get from it.

It’s estimated that 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee daily, and they drink an average of 3 cups a day. It’s an addicting habit (and expensive, if you don’t brew at home), so I get why many are curious if their daily cup of joe is doing their body any good… or harm.

First, the Benefits…

I hear various research findings every week on how coffee is so great for our health in so many ways, and yes, many of them can be true. Here are some of the potential benefits that we know about coffee:

1. Full of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect us from aging, diseases, and cancer by disabling free radicals in our body so coffee can be quite beneficial for our health in this way. A study ranked the highest antioxidant-rich foods, and coffee came in within top 50, after various spices and berries. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation in the body, which is an underlying cause of many chronic conditions.

2. Improves our mental health. Coffee can act as a mild antidepressant by producing serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline. One study found that drinking coffee daily actually seemed to reduce the risk of suicide by about 50 percent. The caffeine in coffee also gives our brain a jolt, helping us become more productive and acute in our thinking (Yes, I’m enjoying a cup of coffee while I write this). There are also claims that coffee may impede the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

3. Aids blood sugar control and may promote weight loss. Increasing coffee consumption has been associated with lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, in a study done on mice, coffee intake improved glucose tolerance and reduced body fat. This makes sense because caffeine is a stimulant, increasing our adrenaline level and metabolism to a certain degree.

4. Helps us be better athletes. The caffeine in coffee causes the body to break down fat cells into our bloodstreams, which we can then use as fuel. Also, caffeine increases our stress hormones, initiating a “fight or flight” response, gearing us up for intense physical exertion. One study showed that caffeine ingestion improved exercise perform by over 11%!

coffee good

So… What’s Wrong with Coffee?

Don’t you wish I would just talk about all the good things coffee does for us, and end the post there? Me too, but sorry. As heavenly and beneficial as that sip of coffee can be in the morning, it does pose some potential problems that you should know so you can make the best decision for yourself about whether it’s right for you.

1. Pesticides and work conditions. Did you know coffee beans are one of the most chemically treated crops in the world? As if that wasn’t enough, many conventional coffee farm workers earn below minimum wages working in harsh conditions constantly being exposed to cancer-causing pesticides. Child labor is also prevalent in coffee cultivation. Always look for Fair Trade and organic when purchasing your next bag of beans to not only avoid ingesting harmful chemicals in your coffee, but also to avoid supporting horrible conditions of coffee workers worldwide.

2. Sleep loss. If you have trouble getting 7-9 hours of sleep, you may need to cut back on your caffeine intake. Yes, that 1 cup you drink in the morning can very well affect your sleep 15 hours later. After I started having sleep issues I cut back on my coffee, and it improved my sleep drastically. Sleep is extremely important for our body and mind to function optimally, and even for weight loss. Especially during a period that you are stressed out, it’s even more important to reduce your caffeine intake.

3. Stress and hormonal problems. For those suffering from chronic stress, and many people do in the modern world, coffee can spike up the stress hormone cortisol and exacerbates the already inflammatory condition your body is in. Chronic high levels of cortisol lead to various problems in the body affecting the thyroid, sex, and adrenal hormones. It even leads to weight gain and various diseases related to stress. When I feel especially stressed out, I cut out coffee for a few days so I don’t have to deal with the consequences of putting my body in overdrive.

4. Hard on the liver. Your liver is one of the most hard working organs in the body and has numerous functions. One of its job is to metabolize caffeine. If you feel especially jittery and wired after drinking a cup a coffee, it may mean that your liver may not be detoxing caffeine optimally. You may be a “slow metabolizer,” which is a genetic condition in which you metabolize caffeine slowly, and it means that caffeine stays in your bloodstream longer when it should be getting ready to be excreted out of your system. This can lead to adrenal fatigue and cardiovascular problems, and I advise that you cut out coffee completely, or limit it to 1 cup a day.

5. Leads to mineral deficiency. Caffeine blocks the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals by inhibiting their receptors and promoting excretion of certain water-soluble nutrients. Vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins are especially affected. Keep in mind that chronic stress also depletes minerals in the body so pouring coffee into an already stressed out body can lead to a damaging outcome.

6. Dehydration. Coffee is a diuretic and it increases the blood flow through the kidneys, promoting the loss of fluid from the body. While the effect of this alone isn’t strong enough to cause dehydration directly, so many people aren’t drinking enough water already so it can exacerbate the situation. It especially concerns me because I find that clients quench their thirst with caffeinated drinks instead of water, further contributing to the problem. If you do drink coffee, I advise you to fit in 1.5x that amount in water in addition to your regular daily intake.

7. Digestive distress. If you have compromised digestion, coffee can worsen your condition. Many digestive symptoms stem from low stomach acid, leaky gut, and dysbiosis (when good gut bacteria is diminished and overtaken by bad bacteria). While coffee is acidic, it has an opposite effect on the stomach and raises the pH of the stomach, further contributing to problems like diarrhea, bloating, acid reflux, gas, and lowered immunity. Its role in elevating stress levels can also worsen digestive issues.

8. Addiction problem. There’s a reason there are ton of memes and funny quotes about how we can never give up coffee and how coffee is our best friend. So many of us rely on it heavily to wake up in the morning and get going. It doesn’t matter if it’s drugs, alcohol, sugar, or coffee, addictive behavior is not healthy and you shouldn’t feel like you NEED it to feel “normal.” To find out if you are addicted, try to go without it for a few days and see how you handle it. I even suggest making it a habit to cycle in and out your caffeine intake week by week or even monthly to keep your addiction in check. The first time I tried to give up coffee cold turkey, I actually went through detox symptoms had unpleasant digestive reactions for several days until my body normalized again. After realizing how much my body was addicted, I do a week of no caffeine every month now.

coffee good

coffee good

The Verdict??

So is coffee good for you?

And the answer that EVERYONE loves…: It depends.

Coffee can be a healthy addition to your diet if you are feeling good, you buy organic and Fair Trade beans, and don’t go overboard with your intake (keep it to 2 cups a day max). However, for anyone suffering from stress, sleep issues, and digestive problems, it may be a necessary healing step for your body to let go of caffeine for a period of time. This doesn’t have to be permanent, but always be mindful of the way your body feels so you can adjust your intake accordingly.

What about decaf?

If you are sensitive to caffeine, decaf coffee can be a great option. Unfortunately, many standard decaf beans contain carcinogens and known toxic chemicals. This is because one of the main decaffeination processes is to rinse the beans with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to reduce the caffeine. If you decide to purchase decaf coffee, make sure the label states that it’s been decaffeinated by the “Swiss Water process” or the “CO2 process.” These two are the safest and cleanest processes used to take the caffeine out of the coffee beans.

Also keep in mind that decaf coffee isn’t 100% caffeine-free. There is still a small dose left in there, and if you are especially sensitive, that little amount can still affect you and be mindful of your intake.

Any more questions about coffee? Leave a comment below or contact me! I’m happy to help you figure out your coffee intake, and some healthy substitutions you can make to let go of your caffeine habit!

coffee good

Is coffee good for you? Or no?