As I make the transition from an all-day to morning-only coffee drinker, I am experimenting with colorful, healthy lattes made with a variety of herbs, spices and veggies for a caffeine-free change of pace.
Versions of these concoctions are popping up all over the country, from cozy cafes to trendy coffee shops where the health-conscious gather. I found it super-easy to make these beverages at home with just a few simple ingredients and a base of unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk.
DIY Healthy Lattes
My favorite is a creamy, golden latte made with tumeric. Tumeric’s health benefits are plentiful, from anti-inflammatory properties and improved digestion to cancer prevention and brain health. Often referred to as the Queen of Spices, turmeric is a member of the ginger family. When paired with ginger, lattes and turmeric teas provide an extra zing of healthy flavor.
Want to try a soothing, healthy latte at home? Here are some of my go-two favorites after experimenting with several concoctions. First up is a Golden Latte, a smooth, slightly spicy blend that is best served hot.
- 2 cups almond milk (unsweetened vanilla)
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 tsp. raw honey
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Warm milk in saucepan on low temperature.
Add spices and honey and whisk together. Stir frequently until very warm, but no boiling.
If freshly grated or ground spices are used, pour latte through a fine strainer into cup or mug.
Using a milk frother, whip the top of the milk for a few seconds. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top and serve.
Just Beet It
The next recipe took me a couple of times to perfect. When working with beets, things can always get messy. Fear not, by simply steaming the beats ahead of time and keeping them handy in a tightly sealed container in the fridge, you’ll have a supply at the ready.
Perfectly Pink Latte
Beet lattes are an eye-catcher and will provide a healthy boost of antioxidants to fuel your day.
- 3 cups almond milk, unsweetened vanilla ((can sub preferred non-dairy or dairy milk of choice))
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1 red beet
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Steam beet(s) in bamboo or conventional steamer and rough chop. Set aside.
In a blender, combine 2 cups almond milk, honey, chopped beets, cinnamon and ginger and blend.
Transfer to a saucepan and heat until very hot, not boiling. Power through a fine-mesh strainer into two mugs.
Use a milk frother to froth 1 cup almond milk. Pour 1/2 the mixture gently onto the top of the lattes and sprinkle with an extra dash of cinnamon to serve.
For the tea drinkers in the house, nothing spells healthy like matcha tea. I prefer this one made with unsweetened, vanilla coconut milk, which cuts a bit of the grassiness back from the matcha. Matcha is a natural detoxifier loaded with antioxidants to support the immune system.
Emerald Tea Latte
This matcha tea latte delivers powerful antioxidants to support your immune system. This one is delicious either hot or iced.
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 4 oz. water
- 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened vanilla ((can sub preferred non-dairy or dairy milk of choice))
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Measure out 1 tsp. of matcha powder into large mugs (12-oz. or larger).
Add 2 oz. hot water to each mug and whisk until well-blended into a thickish paste.
Add 1 tbsp. honey and 1/8 tsp. of ground cinnamon to each mug and mix well.
Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan until hot, not boiling. Slowly pour 1 cup milk into each mug and whisk continuously until blended.
Use a milk frother to froth the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk and gently spoon the foamed milk on top of the mugs. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.
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