Love Your Heart a Latte
Too much caffeine can put stress on the heart by increasing cortisol levels and sending the body into fight-or-flight mode, which causes the heart to beat faster (or sometimes irregularly) and blood pressure to rise. You don't have to quit coffee altogether (some studies have shown that, in moderate amounts, it can actually be beneficial for heart health), but you may want to consider swapping that morning mocha for an herbal latte a few days a week to give your nervous system a rest AND get an extra boost of nutrients and antioxidants.
Some of our favorites are golden milk lattes (made with inflammation-fighting turmeric), dandelion lattes (made with dandelion tea, which has a rich, dark, coffee-like flavor and is incredibly supportive to your liver), matcha tea lattes (made with matcha tea, which has been shown to have cancer-fighting effects), and beetroot lattes (made with beetroot powder, which packs the same punch as eating whole beets and turns your latte a vibrant pink color). Recipes below!
Golden Milk Latte (serves 2) - recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker
3 cups coconut, almond or other milk
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 pinch ground black pepper
Sweetener of choice (raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, monk fruit extract, etc)
In a small saucepan, combine milk, ground turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon stick, and black pepper. Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling - about 4 minutes - whisking frequently.Turn off heat and stir in coconut oil and sweetener to taste (1 tsp to 1 Tbsp should be enough). You can add more turmeric or ginger for intense spice + flavor. Serve immediately, dividing between two glasses and leaving the cinnamon stick behind. Best when fresh, though leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Dandelion Root tea (either 1 teabag or 1 Tbsp loose tea)**
1 cup water, just off the boil
Coconut, almond, or other milk
Sweetener of choice (optional)
Steep tea in water for at least 5-10 minutes until strong. Add steamed or warmed milk and sweetener to taste.
*Our favorite brands are The Republic of Tea's Dandelion & Vanilla blend and Traditional Medicinals' Roasted Dandelion Root. For loose dandelion root tea, you can't beat Mountain Rose Herbs. Another great alternative is Rasa Koffee's blend of dandelion, burdock, chicory and stress-busting adaptogens.
Matcha Tea Latte - recipe from Bon Appetit
3/4 cup almond, coconut, rice, hemp or milk of your choice
1/4 cup water, just off the boil
1 tsp matcha powder
Sweetener of choice (optional)
Simmer milk in a small saucepan. In a heatproof cup, add one teaspoon of matcha powder and slowly stir in 1/4 cup boiling water. Add the heated milk to the cup, and sweeten to taste.
Beetroot Latte - recipe from Mind Body Green
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice), plus ½ cup extra for foaming
1 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice)
1 medium beet, cooked* OR 1 tsp beetroot powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
In a blender add all ingredients, except the extra ½ cup almond milk, and blend until smooth.In a small pot, heat up blended beet ingredients until boiling. Then pass through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Set aside.Add remaining almond milk into a glass or cup and foam with preferred method of foaming. You can use a handheld foamer, a cappuccino machine, or even just give it a whiz in a high-powered blender.Pour blended beet ingredients into two glasses or mugs, top with foamed milk, and sprinkle extra ground ginger or cinnamon! Drink away!
*You can buy pre-cooked beets at the grocery store in the refrigerated section (we like the brands Melissa's Baby Beets, Love Beets, and Trader Joe's. To make your own, heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet in foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces it (you can do this ahead of time).