Summer is beginning to seem like a distant memory as many of us have settled into the cold air, early sunset, and crisp nights. Along with this cooler weather comes an abundance of comfy sweaters, leather boots and weekends full of fun fall or holiday family activities. What better way to start the day on a nice cool morning, or at the end of a fun filled outing than with a warm and delicious beverage? The only thing better than curling up and warming up is knowing that these beverages offer you some amazing health benefits!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
If you have little ones at home keeping you up at night, or even if you don’t, we think it’s about time you start playing the role of master barista as well as sleep deprived mom! And it’s not because we want to make your life harder, we want to make it easier and slightly more delicious! This Pumpkin Spice Latte is a delectable and wonderful accompaniment to your morning!
- 4 cups Almond or Coconut Milk
- Heaping 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (Fresh is preferred but canned will work)
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Tbsp Sweetener such as Maple Syrup or Molasses (Add more to increase sweetness)
- Strong Brewed Pot of Coffee (2 heaping tablespoons per 6 oz cup of water)
Have extra time or want to make it extra special? Try adding Coconut Whipped Cream to the top (Recipe Below).
- Combine milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, spices, cinnamon sticks and sweetener in slow cooker.
- Feel free to add whole cloves for an extra kick
- Cook on low 2-3 hours, or on “warm” setting overnight.
- Mix with hot coffee and enjoy this delectable fall treat.**We recommend trying 1/2 cup brewed coffee with 3/4 cup pumpkin spiced milk or adjust as desired.
Top with maple coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Put any extra in mason jars and store in the fridge; use as creamer for your coffee!
Impressive Health Benefits Of Pumpkin
- Just one cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. They are also rich in Carotenoids, including beta-carotene which the body converts into a form of vitamin A.
- Pumpkin is a great source of fiber
- Fantastic source of the refueling nutrient potassium- making it a great to refuel after a workout!
- Pumpkins are a solid source of the essential essential nutrient Vitamin C.
Superfood Hot Chocolate
Does hot chocolate bring back memories of cold winter days spent sledding outside with friends? Parents and children alike love warming up to hot cocoa! Unfortunately, store bought hot chocolate is a processed food full of artificial ingredients, sugar or sugar substitute and other harmful chemicals. Luckily there is a delicious and simple homemade recipe that is not only easy to make but also contains 3 amazing super foods! Raw cacao, raw honey and coconut oil come together for a great beverage to warm up with!
- Heat the almond milk on the stove top. Just before it is boiling remove from stove top and then add all the ingredients to the blender and blend for a minute.
- Cuddle up and Enjoy!
The coconut oil lends creaminess, richness and frothiness to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate! The honey and added cinnamon give just the right level of sweetness-with no artificial sugars in sight!
Super Food Super Facts: Raw Cacao
- Cacao is the raw and unprocessed form of chocolate
- Raw chocolate contains magnesium as well as other essential minerals including calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and also Vitamin E are also found in raw chocolate
- Contains protein, fiber and polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties
- Raw chocolate can improve digestion: The fiber delivered supports digestion and cacao helps to stimulate the bodies production of digestive enzymes
- The alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, found in raw chocolate all work together to improve physical and mental health
- Raw chocolate can lower blood pressure & improve circulation
Coconut Whipped Cream
What would a delicious latte or hot chocolate on a cold Sunday afternoon be without whipped cream? Luckily, we have a delicious coconut whipped cream recipe for you that is dairy free, paleo and vegan friendly plus requires only two ingredients! This is great for topping off either of the previously mentioned hot drinks as well as a great topping for endless amounts of other desserts!
- Can of full fat coconut milk (Make sure there is no guar gum in the ingredients) or coconut cream; Refrigerated overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Using full fat coconut cream is essential to getting the “whipped” texture of this recipe. Also-do not skip the overnight refrigeration.
- Open can of coconut milk or cream without shaking it or turning upside down
- Spoon out the top layer of thick and opaque white stuff that has gathered at the top of the can and put it into a mixing bowl. Spoon the rest into a different mixing bowl. You will be left with about 1/2 cup of white syrup-looking translucent liquid
Note: Save leftover liquid for use in other recipes of smoothies
- Whip the thick cream and vanilla extract with a hand beater froth until creamy. Start on low and move to a higher speed. Move the beater in an up and down motion to infuse the mixture with as much air as possible.
Coconut Milk: Friend or Fat?
Coconut milk is a high fat and high calorie food. However, that doesn’t mean you should be fearful of it as it does still have a healthy place in your diet, in moderation. Coconuts do contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, the fat that they provide is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in particular. Lauric acid, one of the particular MCFAs, is converted in the body into a very beneficial compound called monolaurin. This is an antiviral and antibacterial that assists in destroying a wide variety of disease causing organisms.
MCFAs are metabolized rapidly into energy in the liver. It is believed that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat. As we stated previously, it is still a saturated fat that should be consumed in moderation.
These delicious beverages will warm you up from the inside out! Enjoy the hot chocolate with your little ones after a cold snowy afternoon to take a trip down memory lane!
Photo Credits:Its A Logical Life