Just like I believe in a daily green smoothie, healthy coffee is also a daily ritual I firmly believe in to kickstart my day. This coffee recipe isn’t just a caffeine boost, but an opportunity to infuse a variety of health benefits into your daily routine. Not all coffee is created equal… and it starts with the beans.
Sourcing the right coffee beans
I learned a lot about beans, as well as the impact they can have on farmers, soil and health benefits from Raj Jana, founder of JavaPresse, a small-batch coffee company. Let’s take a deeper dive into what I learned from Raj. He gave some awesome ways for us to get the most out of our daily cup of coffee by making it even healthier.
A hot mug of coffee isn’t just any drink for most of us—it’s the launch pad for each day. And yet, we often treat our morning coffee like an indulgent treat, rather than an opportunity to start each day with a healthy, life-enhancing habit.
Healthy coffee environmental certifications
There are a few environmental certifications you can look for to ensure your coffee’s grown naturally. These certifications use strict standards about what kinds of chemicals can be used, which makes them a safe bet:
- Certified Organic
- Rainforest Alliance
- UTZ Certified
There is a potential downside to only sticking with Certified Organic coffee, however. Most coffee farms don’t have enough financial security to invest in that particular certification, since it can be costly for small, rural businesses. By only buying Certified Organic beans, you may unknowingly penalize incredible farmers, because they can’t afford the certification. If there’s a local roaster you want to support, call them and ask how their coffee is grown + sourced. While they may not have the certification on their beans, their farmers may be following great practices that are worth supporting!
A balanced, healthy coffee recipe
Now that I’ve got the right beans for my coffee, let’s talk about what goes into that ‘perfect cup.’ For me, it’s a mix of moderation and using high quality ingredients. This healthy cup of coffee gives me stable energy, mental clarity, helps flush out my system and also keeps my skin glowing.
The recipe I use is quite radical for a cup of joe sorta person. It requires a blender (yes, blender), as well as a few niche products found through Amazon and the local grocery store.
The blender emulsifies the grass-fed butter and coconut oil, creating a creamy and frothy drink with a boost of beneficial fats. It’s inspired by Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee, who originally introduced me to this incredible coffee recipe.
Lately, I have been upgrading it EVEN more with grass-fed collagen powder. I think once you hit your 30s and the grey hairs start popping up, it’s time to take aging seriously. So I’m investing in my longevity with high-quality collagen and loads of healthy fats— which is exactly what this coffee recipe is all about.
If you’re a decaf person, then I recommend using Dandy Blend, as it is the best coffee alternative out there, in my opinion. I’m in LOVE with this stuff! It’s caffeine free, gluten free and delicious. I seriously don’t even realize I’m not drinking coffee, it’s so similar.
Healthy coffee morning routine
Along with my cup of coffee, I’m also trying to be more intentional with my entire morning routine. Enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a good book has been a recent experience for me. Right now I’m reading Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl Wash Your Face and feel like she’s been inside my head and talking right to me. You should read it if you want a good laugh and good “wake up and start living your life” pep talk from a new friend.
Back to my point: Your morning mug can be so much more flavorful, rewarding, and healthy (if you choose to embrace it!) Here are some tips on how you can do it:
1. Keep your coffee simple
I used to say “I like coffee with my half and half,” which was the truth. I would pour in the cream to make the coffee less bitter, as well as much creamier. Over the years, I transitioned from love for cream, to grass-fed butter in my coffee… and the results are where it’s at! Removing super-processed dairy from my coffee has not only helped with tummy troubles, but also acne and bloating. And the extra dose of healthy fats keep me satiated, because the creamy coffee kick starts my digestive system.
Maybe dairy isn’t your thing… maybe it’s sweetener. Well, it’s time to remove the sweeteners, because they are creating artificial energy at the sake of leaching nutrients from your body. It’s a short term win (happy energy) for a long term loss (weight gain, nutrient deficiencies). Try adding a dash of cinnamon or ground vanilla bean to naturally sweeten it.
Or, maybe even try drinking black coffee. According to Raj, this is the BEST way to get the most out of a cup of coffee. And yes, there is a way to do it without gagging from the bitterness or harsh acidic bite. Here’s how:
Buy specialty coffee and then brew it the right way. A good specialty-grade bean ground fresh and made in a french press—bitterness? Gone. Gross acidity? Gone. It’s incredibly balanced, as well as full of flavor on its own. No additives necessary.
2. Buy from the right farms and roasters
Not all coffee is grown equally. Buy from roasters who work with farmers focused on quality and sustainability. Did you know…
- Commercial coffee is heavily treated with chemicals at the farm level
- For a 100% pesticide-free coffee, buy from farmers obsessed with environmental sustainability
To ensure his beans are naturally grown and healthy as can be, Raj only sources coffees from farmers as excited about sustainability as he is—and they are almost always certified by an environmental organization.
By the time coffee beans have been extracted from the coffee cherry, roasted, and brewed into rich coffee, there’s hardly any chemical residue left from pesticides. However, especially with low-grade commercial coffee, many of the pesticides being used abroad are actually banned in the United States. This means there’s always a small chance you could be negatively impacted if one of these chemicals finds its way to your beans.
You can easily avoid this risk though, just by buying naturally grown coffee.
3. Go with the lighter roast
Light and dark roast coffees are both full of healthy nutrients. Yet you reap slightly more benefits from coffees on the lighter side. To get the maximum health benefits, opt for a light to medium roast when picking your next coffee instead of a darker Vienna or French roast.
Research has shown that light roasts have 10-15% more chlorogenic acid concentration than dark roasts. This means this lighter coffee has a greater ability to reduce inflammation and maximize the efficiency of antioxidants. So while light roasts have only slightly more antioxidants than dark roasts, your body uses them more efficiently when paired with those chlorogenic acids.
Healthy alternatives to morning coffee
What if coffee just isn’t your thing? I totally get it. I actually have a few other great morning drink recipes to start the day off strong:
How do you start your morning? I’d love for you to leave a comment with your fav morning routine + drink. Also, let me know if you’ve tried this healthy coffee!
How to Make Healthy Coffee
- french press
- 2 tbsp coarse ground coffee beans
- 1 tsp MCT Oil
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 scoop collagen powder, optional
- Grind the coffee at a coarse setting just before brewing to preserve the freshness and flavors and pour into french press.
- Heat water to boiling, then pour it over the grounds in the french press.
- Start a stopwatch. After one minute, take a spoon and gently submerge the grounds that have formed a ‘crust’ on the surface.
- After four minutes, press down the plunger. Pour brewed coffee in to glass/metal blender container.
- Gently add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Drink warm and enjoy the healthy fat and protein goodness!
- Standard pre-ground coffee is generally too fine for french press brewing and may get stuck in the mesh filter, creating a lot of resistance when you try to plunge.
- Regular brewed coffee can be used as the base if you don't have a french press.
- After plunging the filter, make sure to decant all the coffee—otherwise it will slowly continue to brew and become bitter within the press.