Sleepy mornings mean you need a little something extra. Give your routine coffee a facelift with one (or more) of these 5 surprising coffee add-ins.
Thank you to CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement for sponsoring this post!
Late nights with fussy babies. Early morning carpool duty. The nonstop work grind. Maybe even all three (and more!) combined. These things usually add up to one thing—undeniable cravings for a steaming hot cup of coffee upon waking.
However, the morning coffee ritual has moved far past sleepily pouring a cup of weak coffee from a glass carafe into a stained “World’s Best Mom” mug and calling it a day. It has become a social outing, an escape, an experience, and a place for flavor seekers to experiment with unique ingredients.
While there are many upsides to the entire coffee shop revolution, there also are some downsides such as the expense (both for your pocket book and sometimes your health). I’ve talked to friends with teens that say their children work just to afford their Starbucks habit which may run upwards of a few hundred dollars a month. I’ve talked to other friends that have said their daily latte or frozen coffee concoction habit left them a few pounds heavier and not feeling all that great health-wise after a few months.
5 surprising coffee add-ins
This, of course, got me thinking…which ingredients do I already have at home can I add to coffee to still be able to explore and try new flavor combinations but that may also be a healthier alternative to what I may order at a coffee shop?
Sprinkle about 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon into a cup of brewed coffee for a slightly sweet taste without any additional calories. I picked up this trick from my brother-in-law who I often watch heavy handedly adding cinnamon to his cup and reveling in the taste. You can also try brewing your coffee with a cinnamon stick in the carafe to impart flavor.
2. CocoaVia® Cocoa Extract Supplement
When I started working with CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement, they sent me samples to play around and experiment with. I love stirring it into yogurt or combining with peanut butter to make a simple apple dip but I’ve noticed that Brent has been adding one powdered stick to his coffee each morning. He said that one powdered stick of his favorite CocoaVia® supplement flavor, Unsweetened Dark Chocolate, gives it an intense cocoa flavor. And of course, the dietitian in me likes to add, “all while packing in the highest cocoa flavanols punch.”
In fact, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that these cocoa flavanols found in CocoaVia® cocoa extract supplement promote healthy blood flow from head to toe.† Brent told me he started adding it to his coffee after his morning swims once he read up on the benefits of cocoa flavanols and how they promote blood flow through the body and that he really liked the flavor twist on his usual coffee.
† This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
3. Vanilla Extract
Another way to add sweetness to coffee without additional calories or sugar is to pour a few drops of pure vanilla extract to a cup or pot of brewed coffee. If you grind your own beans or purchase and store coffee grounds, add a vanilla bean to help infuse flavor. Many coffee-shop beverages have a vanilla flavor enhancer often in the form of a syrups or creamers but they aren’t always the most nutrition and don’t offer many (if any) health benefits. Pure vanilla imparts the same flavors you would find from a syrup while also adding a subtle natural sweetness.
Spice up your morning Joe by adding fresh or ground ginger to your cup. Ginger may help ease a sore throat, and even soothe an upset stomach. Simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ground ginger into your brewed coffee or go all out and get the full “gingerbread” flavor by also adding a dash of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
I love the simplicity of this Cinnamon Ginger Coffee by Lavazza.
5. Peppermint oil
In the same way that ginger helps to ease stomach discomfort, and nausea, a drop of peppermint oil in brewed coffee can have the same effect. Just the smell alone can help to relieve stress. I’ve found that a drop of peppermint oil and a CocoaVia® powdered stick pack in a cup of coffee may be my favorite combination so far (and with far fewer calories than a Peppermint Mocha).
What surprising coffee add-ins you do you like adding to your coffee? Our household is always looking for new suggestions!