How to Turn Your Latte Habit Into a Healthy One

Three antioxidant-rich recipes that will improve your morning cuppa

Two years ago, I finally realized  why my syrup-filled, cream-topped, caffeine-packed Starbucks habit was leaving me bloated and in pain — it was lactose intolerance, which I hadn’t been aware of, or perhaps was just denying. On top of this new discovery, my reliance on caffeine was leaving me feeling fatigued, so I decided to switch up my hot drink habit for something healthier. If you’re feeling inspired by the current vogue for wellness culture, let me show you the light. Through trial and error, I came up with these three recipes that serve as immune-boosting substitutes in lieu of a usual sugary beverage.

Turmeric Ginger Latte

Turmeric and ginger are both hot trends right now on the wellness circuit, and for good reason. They are both roots with immune boosting, anti-inflammatory properties that offer a kick to your system and your taste buds. This recipe is caffeine-free, making great for all times of the day – whether you’re looking for an afternoon boost or a moment of spice-filled comfort.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of the milk of your choice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric root peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey, agave or maple syrup
  • A dash of sea salt

Recipe:

Heat the milk in a saucepan on the stove. Blend the ginger, turmeric, coconut oil, honey, and sea salt in a blender with a splash of milk for smoother results. Once the blended ingredients are ready, add the heated milk and blend again for about 30 seconds. Pour the liquid (strain if desired) into your favourite mug or tumbler and enjoy.

Cinnamon Matcha Latte

If you’re a green tea fan, this is the perfect latte for you. Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, and provides all the health benefits of regular green tea – antioxidants that improve brain function and lower blood pressure — with an extra kick in the flavour department. It’s great for early mornings, as it does contain caffeine, but without the negative side effects that come with coffee. Not to mention, the cinnamon in this latte offers anti-inflammatory properties and lowers cholesterol. Basically, you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp of matcha (try to avoid flavoured)
  • ¼ cup of hot water
  • ¾ cup of the milk of your choice
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of honey, agave or maple syrup (if sweetener is desired)

Recipe:

Add matcha to the mug of your choice and use a small whisk or fork to separate any large pieces. Whisk in hot water until matcha is dissolved. Use a steamer to prepare your milk or heat milk on the stove and whip until foamy. Stir the cinnamon into the milk. Pour the milk in the matcha mixture.  Add cinnamon as a garnish.

Lavender Latte

If the beginning of the new year is turning your stomach into knots, we’ve got just the fix you need. Lavender is praised for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety and enhance sleep quality. For these reasons it is also known to help reduce tension related pain and other pesky symptoms of headaches. Plus, we slipped some coffee into this one, so enjoy this latte with a clear head and a bright complexion.

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup of brewed coffee
  • ½ cup of your choice of milk
  • ¼ cup of dried lavender
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup white sugar (only a small fraction will end up in the final latte)

Recipe:

Bring water and dried lavender to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the stove and let the mixture cool. Use a strainer to separate the lavender buds from the water. In another saucepan combine sugar and 3 tsp of lavender water until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 4 minutes. Whisk the remaining lavender water into the simple syrup away from heat and place it in the fridge. Brew coffee and pour into your favourite mug. Stir in the simple syrup. Warm milk on the stove or with a steamer and pour it into and over top the coffee. Garnish with some dried lavender.

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