Coffee-Free Power Lattes for the Cold Seasons

So the weather’s just starting to cool off and, in my neighborhood anyway, the sniffles have already begun. The fall/winter seasonal transitions can bring on allergy issues, colds and pesky new bugs. Though I’m not a coffee drinker, I love the ritual of a hot am cuppa when the weather is chilly. And we have so many specialty power-foods available to us now that “coffee hour” can become an opportunity to inject a pleasurable shot of preventive nutrition or an energy pick-me-up that won’t pull-ya-down a few hours later 🙂

The basic concept is to heat a cup of tea or nut milk and blend it with spices, pungents, superfoods, a bit of sweetener and a little shot of good fat like pastured ghee or MCT oil to give it staying power and assist with nutrient absorption. If the hot latte is acting as breakfast, it’s good to also add some form of protein, like soaked nuts/seeds or protein powder.

It’s great if you can take a quiet breath or two in the morning and tune into your body before you actually prepare your latte. At this early time of day it can be easier to “hear” messages from inside about what you need to fuel a great start.

Your body knows exactly what and how much food, drink and even medicine will fuel it best at any given moment and it’s always a good idea to check in directly before eating. All you need to do is relax and ground your busy mind in your body for a few moments – closing your eyes and focusing on your natural breath is a quick and easy way to do this. Then just bring your attention to your belly center behind your naval and simply ask your body what it needs in this moment. I call this “taking your deeper pulse” and you can do it anytime.

The body tends to “speak” in metaphor and might offer you something a little abstract – like the color green if you could use some salad, or a memory of snuggling with a childhood blanket if you need sleep, or an image of a running stream if you need more water. Don’t ignore anything you notice, be gentle in asking and with practice you will find that these “messages” get easier and easier to understand.

Right now I’m gravitating toward one of 3 latte “colors” – earthy chocolate-brown, bright matcha green, and deep turmeric gold. Each has a slightly different impact on energy and health. Check in with your body and see if you’re drawn to one or more of them…

Immunue-Boosting Mushroom Cocoa Latte

• 1 cup hot water or gynostemma tea
• 2 teaspoons almond butter or hemp seeds
• 1 generous tablespoon dark cocoa powder (or 1.5 T cacao powder)
• 2 teaspoons MCT or coconut oil
• 1 teaspoon chaga powder (or ½ teaspoon reishi powder)
• ½ teaspoon maca powder
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• Pinch salt
• Sweetener, to taste (several drops NuNaturals or Omica vanilla stevia, 1-2 T Lakanto, palm sugar or raw local honey)
• Optional to make it a meal: add 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Carefully blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary.
Drink hot.

Yield: 1 latte

Minty Matcha Lift Latte

• 1 cup hot almond milk
• 1 teaspoon MCT oil
• ½-1 teaspoon matcha powder
• 1 drop food-grade peppermint essential oil (or 3 drops peppermint extract)
• Few drops NuNaturals or Omica plain stevia, optional for sweetness
• Optional for more staying power: add 1 scoop plain collagen/peptides protein powder

Carefully blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary.
Drink hot.

Yield: 1 latte

Soothing Golden Ginger Latte

• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1.5-inch square peeled ginger root
• ¾-inch small thumb peeled turmeric root (or ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric)
• ½ teaspoon ashwaganda powder, optional
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
• Pinch black pepper
• 1-2 teaspoons pastured ghee, to taste
• Sweetener, to taste (several drops NuNaturals or Omica vanilla stevia, 1-2 T Lakanto, palm sugar or raw local honey)
• Optional to make it a meal: add 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or plain collagen/peptides protein powder

Blend all ingredients from coconut milk through black pepper in a high speed blender until smooth.
Transfer contents to a small saucepan, add remaining ingredients and heat over medium until steaming, but not simmering.
Whisk well, taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary.
Drink hot.

Yield: 1 latte

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