A work colleague of mine recently said he was on a mission to quit drinking coffee for 2 weeks. Complaining that caffeine no longer had an effect on him he wanted to look for substitutes that provided comfort on a wintery morning or afternoon. His motives were questionable but when I told him I had pretty much been caffeine-free my entire life, bar a bit of experimental dabbling, shocked is downplaying his reaction. The interesting thing is, when I do happen to have a casual latte, my body goes into shock and I can’t sleep a wink that night – even if I’ve had a coffee as early as 11am! Makes you think….
I concur that coffee does also have some health benefits like boosting you metabolism, and I definitely agree with the mantra ‘everything in moderation’, but I assured my colleague there were other warm drinks that satisfied me just fine. On a daily basis, I love my mammoth sized cups of peppermint tea or warm lemon water, whereas I try to avoid too much green tea in the evening as it’s also high in caffeine. For something a bit lush and special to replace your afternoon caffeine hit, why not try my guilt-free and super chocolately alternatives.
1 tablespoon organic cocoa powder
½ teaspoon honey or rice malt syrup (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon
½ cup warm milk
½ cup boiling water
- Place cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and honey or rice malt syrup in a mug. Splash in some cold milk and stir to form a thick paste.
- Top with hot water or warm milk. I like to use 50/50 hot water and warm milk.
- You can use any milk you like: soy, almond, rice milk…
* I like to use the Loving Earth brand of organic cocoa. http://thelovingcook.com.au/loving-earth-raw-organic-cocoa-powder/
** Check out my Products page for the T2’s White White Cocoa blend. Another guilt-free and delicious chocolate-tasting alternative to coffee. http://thelovingcook.com.au/t2-white-white-cocoa/
As the staple of many people’s diets, milk is such a highly debatable ingredient. While many people suffer from intolerances, cows milk still remains a good source of calcium and protein. Nevertheless milk is not equally beneficial to everyone. It’s definitely worth trying rice milk if you prefer a lighter tasting milk or creamy soy or almond milk for a unique nutty and lactose free alternative. Low fat, reduced-fat, calcium added, full fat… with so many choices out there it can be hard to decide what the healthiest and most nutritious choice should be for you. Through my studies I realised that less fat does not always equal ‘better for you’ when it comes to milk as low-fat often equates to added sugar. Reduced-fat is a far better choice in my opinion but I always read the labels. Personally, I find it hard to digest large quantities of milk so I reserve cows milk for things like hot chocolate or a light splash on my muesli in the morning. The key is to work out what’s best for your body.