Iced Mocha Mania!
Updated: Sep 14
Kicking the coffee habit, whether you WANT to, NEED to, or BOTH, doesn't come easy, and will differ depending on the role it plays in your life.
While it smells and tastes so good (I can agree!) the impact on the body, on so many levels, can't be denied.
Some of its main impacts include
*Increasing blood sugar levels
*Increasing cortisol levels (our 'stress hormone') - when cortisol levels remain high, our body goes into fat storage/protective mode, so weight management can become more challenging
*Estrogen levels (contributing to what is known as 'Estrogen Dominance' - impacts thyroid hormones/thyroid function); the thyroid gland regulates our metabolism and energy use/expenditure
Therefore, if you're already struggling with being on the blood sugar rollercoaster, are having difficulties managing your day-to-day stressors, your hormones are out of whack (i.e. stress hormone, thyroid hormones, sex hormones - estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), your adrenals are depleted from ongoing high stress and burning the candle at both ends, your gut is acting up, you're having difficulties with stubborn weight around your abdomen, you're fatigued and/or you have autoimmunity in the picture, coffee is definitely not for you.
I hate to be the one to potentially burst your bubble, but the sooner coffee makes an exit from your day-to-day choices, the better off you'll be! ;)
Coffee is also a diuretic! As you've probably noticed, it causes you to have to run to the washroom likely soon after you've consumed it. The diuretic effect means it's capable of flushing important nutrients out of your body.
My joy as a practitioner (one of many!), comes into play in helping my clients to kick this habit to the curb...for good. If you're enjoying coffee on a regular basis, especially if it's being loaded up with milk, cream, sugar, and/or 'whip, etc., whatever it might be, the resulting beverage is contributing to already-existing inflammation associated with the scenarios I've pitched above.
Therefore, I love to expose clients to pantry staples that are health-promoting in more ways than one - versatile ingredients that can quickly and easily become go-to ingredients in crafting stovetop and blender-made beverages that mimic your Starbucks favourites, without the refined sugars, 'concentrates', and excessive calories and pro-inflammatory ingredients from non-whole food-based sources that come with the $5-7 expense.
Including, the chilled 'elixir' below!
An elixir is simply a concoction that is designed to be a therapeutic beverage, wherein each ingredient has a role in BUILDING your health, beyond providing flavour and contentment upon consuming it! This same beverage below could easily be enjoyed hot, as well!
Here's a quick peek at why I chose to include the following ingredients:
*Reishi & Chaga Mushrooms - medicinal, therapeutic mushrooms, these mushrooms contain a unique carbohydrate 'beta-glucan', which possesses immune-modulating effects (helps to calm down an overactive Immune System, or support an under-active Immune System)
*Raw Cacao Powder - a wonderful source of our 'anti-stress' mineral magnesium and a rich source of antioxidant nutrients
*Coconut Butter - a creamy, anti-inflammatory fat to support the Nervous System and keep us satiated
*Collagen - a high-quality source of protein, supporting the lining of the gut and also contributing to satiation
*Pure Maple Syrup - a touch of this unrefined/unprocessed natural sweetener helps offset the bitterness of the raw cacao, providing some mineral content and just a subtle touch of sweetness for the palate
*Vanilla Extract - provides a subtle touch of flavour, to offset the bitterness of the raw cacao
*Sea Salt - helps bring out the flavours of the elixir and an electrolyte in the body
*'Ceylon' Cinnamon - a source of the mineral 'chromium', supporting blood sugar balance
Hopefully that provides you a sense of this strategic ingredient profile!
I think it's time to enjoy one!
Iced Mocha Mania
Yield: 1 serving (approx. 1.5 cups)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
+ 45 min. (steeping the reishi/chaga mushroom tea)
+ chill time overnight
1 1/2 cups steeped reishi and/or chaga mushroom tea
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 heaping tbsp. coconut butter, melted (I used a locally-made Collagen Creamer)
1 heaping tbsp. collagen powder
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
Sprinkling of sea salt
Sprinkling of (Ceylon) cinnamon
A few ice cubes
Raw cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)
For steeped tea ~
1. Add about 5 large (or 10 small) pieces of dried reishi mushroom and 2 tbsp. dried chaga mushroom pieces to a medium-sized pot and add 1L filtered water.
2. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce heat to 'Low' so it may steep. Let steep for 15-60 minutes, depending on personal preference.
3. Once done steeping, strain the mushroom pieces from the tea using a sieve.
4. Lay out the mushroom pieces to air-dry on a paper towel, as they can be steeped a few times!
5. Pour the tea into 1 mason jar or a few 500 mL jars. Let cool, then store in the fridge overnight to chill.
For making the beverage ~
1. Combine mushroom tea, raw cacao powder, melted coconut butter, collagen powder, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender and blend thoroughly until smooth.
2. Pour into your favourite glass or jar, add a few ice cubes, and garnish with raw cacao nibs, if desired. *Alternatively, add iced cubes to the blender.
This beverage is best enjoyed freshly-blended, as the warmed melted coconut butter will naturally curdle a bit when it meets the cool temperature of the other ingredients. To be expected, so best enjoyed immediately after being blended. Stir occasionally, as needed.
Process and ingredient photos below!
Dried reishi and chaga mushrooms combined with 1L filtered water on stovetop.
Bring to a boil on 'High', then switch to 'Low' heat
and let steep for 15-60 minutes (based on personal preference).
Once steeped, strain with a sieve and pour steeped tea into glass storage jars.
Let cool, then store in the fridge overnight to chill.
Raw Cacao Powder from Prana Organic
I happened to use a combination of coconut butter and collagen, based on a product local to me here in Calgary. You may opt for these ingredients in separate forms, depending on what is available to you!
Organic pure, maple syrup
Organic alcohol-free, vanilla extract from Simply Organic
Organic 'Ceylon' (true) cinnamon from Simply Organic
If you choose to make this elixir, please reach out and let me know, or tag me in social media if you snap a pic of it and decide to share it! I'd love to know how it went!