4 Coffee Alternatives That Wake You Up Without Cracking You Out
10.13.16
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I’d like to make one thing crystal clear: There’s nothing wrong with coffee. In fact, theres a lot to love about a magical bean that gives you energy, among other legit health benefits. That said, there are times when java isn’t the plan, i.e. you’re crashing, jittery or it’s keeping you up at night.

In times like these, it’s nice to have a proxy that’s equally hot and steamy, and can give you a boost. Below are four of my favorite superfood-based coffee-alternatives — all with ample healthy fat — to help keep you full between meals and snacks.

Matcha Tahini With Hemp Seeds

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Matcha is so appealing because it gives you a real energy kick without the jitters. That’s because it’s loaded with l-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation sans drowsiness.

Ingredients:

8 to 10 oz full-fat coconut milk

1 tsp matcha powder

2 tsp tahini

1 tsp maple syrup

pinch hemp seeds

To make: Combine all ingredients except hemp seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a light simmer. Whisk continuously until fully combined and frothy. Top with hemp seeds.

Spicy Turmeric With Cardamom and Black Pepper

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Turmeric’s golden pigment comes from curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that directly counteracts inflammation in the body. By trapping free radicals that can damage DNA and RNA, curcumin protects the brain from the damaging effects of stress.

Ingredients:

8 to 10 oz full-fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp coconut oil

dash cardamom

1 tsp maple syrup

pinch black pepper

To make: Combine all ingredients except pepper in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a light simmer. Whisk continuously until fully combined and frothy. Top with black pepper.

Vanilla Maca With Sea Salt and Bee Pollen

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This sand-colored root is known as an adaptogen, a fancy word for a plant extract that improves the body’s ability to adapt to physical, chemical and biological stress. Maca is know to boost energy, endurance and mental alertness — in fact, it was used by Incan warriors to keep energy levels up during battle. Pretty badass, right?

Ingredients:

8 to 10 oz full-fat coconut milk

1 tsp maca

2 tsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp maple syrup

pinch sea salt

bee pollen

To make: Combine all ingredients except sea salt and bee pollen in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a light simmer. Whisk continuously until fully combined and frothy. Top with sea salt and bee pollen.

Cacao Tahini With Mint

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Cacao’s boost comes from theobromine, a naturally occurring mild stimulant that’s very similar in structure to caffeine.

Ingredients:

8 to 10 oz full-fat coconut milk

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tsp tahini

1/4 tsp mint extract

1 tsp maple syrup

pinch cacao nibs

To make: Combine all ingredients except cacao nibs in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a light simmer. Whisk continuously until fully combined and frothy. Top with cacao nibs if desired.

Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD is a Los Angeles-based nutritionist and writer. She emphasizes self-compassion as a way to help people develop a healthier relationship with food. You can find Shira’s recipes and realness on Instagram @shira_RD. Visit her website and Facebook, too!; Photos by Shira Lenchewski. 

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