No matter where you live, what you do, and what time you wake up in the morning, the vast majority of us have one thing in common: We need a cup of coffee to function.
Coffee (on its own) has no fat, calories, or sugar, but unfortunately that’s not the way most of us consume it. Flavored syrups, milk-dominant lattes, and sky-high whipped cream toppings are all a no-go if you’re trying to keep your coffee healthy. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink it black. Try one of these 3 healthy coffee hacks to add flavor without putting a dent in your health.
1. Bulletproof Coffee.
The idea behind the Bulletproof brand (and the coffee trend it inspired) is to boost your brain power with a combo of natural energy (from caffeine) and pure brain food (from MCT oil). “Medium chain triglycerides” are a type of healthy fats that boost metabolism and brain function, and they’re found in certain foods, such as coconut oil. The idea behind Bulletproof coffee is to swirl coffee and a small amount of pure MCT oil together (a NutriBullet is perfect for this task) to create a smooth, frothy texture without adding any milk. This way, you’re feeding your brain pure energy, without unnecessary fat and sugar from dairy milk. Many people swear by this, so if you’re intrigued, give it a try. You can find the recipe here.
2. Unsweetened Milk.
Sorry to be a buzzkill, but opting for skim milk, oat milk, or almond milk is not necessarily a healthy choice either. Skim milk contains natural sugars, and most non-dairy milk brands have added sugar, so your good intentions are actually being dashed. Head to the grocery store and pick up a carton of coconut, oat, or almond milk that says *unsweetened* and lists as few ingredients as possible (avoid any carton that has a long list of other additives). If you’re a dairy fan, a tiny splash of pure cream (not half and half, which has lots of sugar) could add more flavor and keep you full longer, without the added sugar of skim milk.
3. Flavored Coffee Beans.
If you’re addicted to sugary vanilla syrups or caramel drizzles, try to get your flavor from the beans themselves instead. Most supermarkets and gourmet stores offer countless coffee flavors, which come from extracts and essences (like your favorite can of LaCcroix) instead of sugar. Ask them to grind the beans for you so you can just toss the grinds into your coffee maker (or brew them in a French press). If you like cold brew coffee, you can add 1 part coffee grinds and 2-3 parts water to your French press and leave it in the fridge to brew overnight, saving you $3-$5 a cup. Remember to add only unsweetened plant milks or a tiny splash of heavy cream for the healthiest final product.