By Lauren Chambers, guest blogger
Oh hey! My name is Lauren and I'm a nutrition and healthy lifestyle coach and culinary food blogger of Sofreshnsogreen.com, a blog dedicated to empowering readers with plant-based, nutritious recipes that are simple to incorporate into every day life and taste really damn good. So you can live your healthiest, happiest life- no deprivation or dieting allowed.
With that mission in mind I've created a creamy, rich and nutrient-dense mocha to swap for those seasonal holiday coffee treats my clients look forward to every year but KNOW aren't really serving them or their bods (Starbucks #PSL I'm talking to you!)
That's because the majority of these drinks have a ton of added sugars, chemicals our bodies store as toxins in our fat cells (which lead to weight gain), and low-quality milk or dairy most don't digest well. And if you think you're being healthy by swapping dairy for soy or nut milk- think again. Most conventional dairy-free alternatives offered contain harmful emulsifiers like carrageenan which create inflammatory responses in the gut that can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and even type 2 diabetes. They're also typically pasteurized and primarily made up of filler that’s pretty much just sugar with a small amount of nuts and water (i.e. basically zero nutritional qualities).
I don’t want to discourage you because you’re probably thinking IS NOTHING SAFE TO EAT ANYMORE?! I still believe these options are a step in the right direction however the closer we can get to whole, un-processed, REAL ingredients the better, and the easiest way to do this is by making our own nut-milk. Second would be to check with your local coffee joint. Jujubeet, for example, offers carrageenan free, unsweetened organic almond milk.
The homemade cashew milk in this coconut cashew mocha is really what makes this recipe so good. It not only provides a creamy, decadent texture and taste but is nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, and high in magnesium and copper (which are vital for bone, skin and hair health).
With the addition of healthy, metabolism-boosting fats like coconut oil and coconut butter, antioxidant-rich cacao powder, and naturally sweetened with mineral-loaded dates you've got yourself a serious superfood concoction (not to mention it's totes Whole30, Paleo and Vegan approved)!
Not a fan of coffee? No problem! It'd make an amazing hot chocolate this season and an excellent healthy treat for the kiddos sans caffeine.
Soak all ingredients in a large bowl overnight. Blend together the next morning then pour through a high-mesh strainer or nut milk bag to get an even smoother texture. Pour into a mason jar or airtight container and chill in the fridge until ready to drink.
Instructions for the Mocha:
On a stovetop pan melt the coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao powder and dates over medium heat. Once melted add in 2 cups of the cashew milk and stir over the stove until warm/hot. Pour into blender with either two shots espresso or 1 cup black coffee (or no coffee if you prefer!) Blend until well mixed and frothy. This will make two cups, maybe more or less depending on how large your cups are (mine tends to be bottomless ;))
Sidenote- It’s best to drink the cashew milk within the first few days of making. Because you’re not adding shelf-stabilizing fillers these milks won’t last as long, but I don’t think you’ll have any trouble guzzling it down quickly.
Happy Healthy Holidaze loves!