Power Through the Holidays with… Healthy Coffee!
Colder temperatures have us in the mood for warm beverages and the occasional indulgent baked good. In the past, we’ve written about healthy warm beverages to enjoy during the holidays. Now, we turn our attention to perhaps the most popular warm beverage of them all: coffee! With finals season and the holidays fast approaching, businesses buzzing with Christmas preparations, and generally hefty to-do lists, it’s a time of year when many of us turn to coffee to power through.
Sometimes coffee gets a bad rep, but good quality coffee is full of health benefits. Research that’s been lauded by Harvard Health suggests that coffee drinkers are less likely than noncoffee drinkers to suffer from “cardiovascular disease (including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke), type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, uterine and liver cancer, cirrhosis, and gout.” Perhaps that single-origin, oat-milk latte may be just what the doctor (and your to-do list) ordered….
Not all coffee is created equal. At Rebecca’s, we carry many artisan coffees and ensure to buy from those who source their beans ethically from growers who use clean, safe growing practices. If you’re interested in reading more about what separates ethical coffee from the rest, check out this guide from Smithsonian Magazine. We’re also fans of many local roasteries! Some of the coffees we carry include Silver Moon Coffee (VA roasted), Trager Brothers coffee, Death Wish Coffee, and Kicking Horse coffee. We’re also fans of Bulletproof coffee and pairing coffee with MCT oil for an extra brain-boosting kick. (will link to biohacking piece)
We must, of course, mention that it’s important to watch your coffee and caffeine consumption! Too much brew can lead to anxiety, and caffeine is addictive. Track how much you drink, as there’s evidence that there is an optimal amount of coffee to consume to receive its benefits without overdoing it. As with most of what we consume, moderation is key.
Looking to get creative with coffee? Below are three recipes for tasty coffee snacks, that might also pair with coffee. Many of these are also excellent desserts for the holiday season. Dunk away!
Healthy Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies via Amy’s Healthy Baking
These chewy cookies are full of a rich coffee flavor. This can be made gluten-free, as well.
- 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter or Earth Balance, melted
- 2 tbsp (30mL) warm unsweetened cashew milk
- 2 tsp instant coffee crystals
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (96g) coconut sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp (35g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, and instant coffee. (It may take a little while, so be patient!) Stir in the vanilla until fully incorporated. Stir in the coconut sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in 2 tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet using a spoon and a spatula. Flatten the cookie dough to the desired thickness and width using a spatula. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
For a gluten-free flour substitute, I recommend the following: ¼ cup (30g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, 3 tablespoons (21g) coconut flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum. Many store-bought gluten-free flour blends will work as well, if measured like this.
The cornstarch helps keep the cookies soft and chewy. Use instant coffee! Don’t substitute regular coffee granules because the cookies will turn out gritty. Don’t substitute brewed coffee because its flavor isn’t strong enough. Do not substitute coconut oil! Instant coffee doesn’t dissolve in it.
Any milk may be substituted for the unsweetened cashew milk. Light brown sugar may be substituted for the coconut sugar. This recipe is easily doubled, and it freezes well too!”
Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake via What the Fork Food Blog
Coffee cake is delicious with coffee or on its own. We love this gluten-free version!
For the cake batter:
- 3 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup palm shortening
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup palm shortening, measured then melted
- 3/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Add the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the shortening and use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and set aside.
- To make the topping:
Add the melted palm shortening, flour, xanthan gum, sugar, and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix until it forms crumbs.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the cake.
- Bake the coffee cake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool before serving.”
Gluten Free Mocha Yule Log via Eating Well
This one is a bit more involved. Click here to read the full recipe for this holiday-ready dessert.
As always, come see us at Rebecca’s should you have any questions about trying a new type of coffee, or how to best prepare and bake with yours.
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