I’ve never been one for drinking coffee, aside from a brief phase in my twenties where I drank coffee daily (well, I should say cafe mochas — a mixture of hot chocolate and coffee — or Starbucks Caramel Macchiatos. Tasty but loaded with sugar).
Since that short-lived phase I look for alternatives to have in place of a coffee. I start the morning with one lemon with 24 ounces of fresh water. This wakes me up in the morning and helps detoxify my body. Lemon has so many beneficial effects for your body, is loaded with vitamin C and makes you feel fresh and energized in the morning. (See more about lemons on my earlier blog post https://www.thewellnessequation.ca/blog/lemons )
I felt like I was missing something in the evening though. Most people have an after-dinner coffee or latte or espresso (I personally would be up all night if I did that). So, I started playing around with different drinks. I always loved the vanilla crème from Starbucks, but once again it was loaded with sugar from sweetened soy or almond milk, plus that shot of vanilla syrup. Then a few days ago I created my own version of it.
Almond Vanilla Crème
Serves 2 (or 1 Really Big Serving)
2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk*
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract (I like Simply Organic as it is pure with no unwanted additives)
5 Organic Dates (you can add less or put more in depending on desired sweetness)
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
Take the above ingredients and place them in a high-speed blender. I use the Vitamix. It is one of the most expensive blenders out there but is worth the investment. You can do everything from frozen desserts to soups in it!
Put the blender to the Soup setting and let go for about 6 minutes until warm. If it isn’t hot enough put it in for an additional 2-3 minutes.
** You can always omit the dates, and add extra honey or maple syrup instead if you do not have a blender.
Note on Almond Milk:
Consider these three options to get a healthier version of almond milk.
1. Buy pre-made unsweetened almond milk from the grocery store. I like the one in the fridge section as there are less ingredients and fillers in it.
2. Make your own in your blender. Soak 1 cup of almonds for 8-12 hours, then add the soaked almonds and 4 cups of water to your blender and puree until smooth. Take a cheese cloth or nut bag and strain out the pulp (which can be made into cookies/muffins etc. so there is no waste).
3. Buy an Almond Cow. Yes, that is right — I said an Almond Cow! I never knew these existed until my friend purchased one off Amazon (see the link above). She absolutely loves it and it’s nice to get almond milk without all the preservatives. Once again you can use the pulp for other baked goods so there isn’t any waste.
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