Pleeaaasssseeee don’t go running in horror at the title of this post. I know, when I first heard of the concept of adding fat in the form of an oil to coffee, I was a little skeptical needless to say. Adding oil to coffee just sounds weird and I never expected it to work (how on earth would it mix together?) or taste good. I think it comes from the fact that it’s so engrained in us that dairy, or a dairy substitute and a sweetener is the only way to go. But please trust me, it does and it is amazing!
Since doing my cleanse, I haven’t reintroduced coffee back as a daily thing, but this is is something I tried quite a while ago and I wanted to share it. I’ve chosen to not drink it mainly because I don’t want to feel reliant on the caffeine for energy. However, I think I will allow myself the occasional indulgence, mostly in the form of decaf where possible. But let’s be honest, decaf is not the same as regular so I will be having the occasional caffeinated cup. My goal is about 1/month which I think is doable! And I know a lot of my readers really enjoy a cup of Joe in the morning and if that is the case I really urge you to try this coconut oil coffee! It’s dreamy ;)
Now why on earth would you even want to add coconut oil to coffee? Well coconut oil has to be one of the best things you can add to your diet (except of course green vegetable, fresh, fruit, hemp, whole grains…ok maybe there are lots of good things to add…) because it comes with a whole host of amazing properties!
Get ready folks, I have another information packed post for you!
Fearing Fat: Let’s take back the joy of eating fat-rich foods!
Today’s society has become one where low-fat and fat-free foods and products have become synonymous with healthful choices. The war against saturated and trans-fats has become a war against all fats. In order to seem more appealing to consumers, more and more companies are removing fat from products (in lieu of more added sugar and by products) to appeal to consumers who are honestly trying to make healthful, responsible decisions. This is health washing at it’s best- companies putting a stamp on their foods saying it’s healthy, but unhealthy secrets lurk beneath, requiring knowledge and know-how on the part of the consumer.
I too for many years was conned and seduced by the concept of low fat foods. My diet in high school was a very far cry from what it is today and like many teenager, my eating habits caught up with me in the form of weight gain when I was 16. It was not a hugely significant amount, I was still at a healthy weight. But at the time I was really involved in dance and music theatre and the extra weight made me very self conscious in the outfits and costumes I was wearing. I also found it very frustrating since I was dancing almost every night of the week for 3 hours at a time. I looked to my diet and saw how I had moved to a diet that revolved around convenience foods- namely fast food. Fast food was convenient when you only had half an hour between school and dance or had to drive an hour to said dance class. Fast food was receiving a lot of attention in the media for being high fat and weight gain-inducing. This led me to demonize all fat and I stopped eating fast foods and bought everything I could to be fat-free. While I wasn’t making what I now consider healthy choices, my fat (and by consequence calorie) intake was down. And it worked, to an extent. I did lose some of the weight I put on.
But looking back, I realize what a disservice I was doing to myself. Fat can be such an important part of a healthy diet and cutting all forms of it out is quite wrong. It is also an extremely important component of foods from a taste perspective. The addition of fat to foods gives it a richness and a good-mouth-feel that enhances the enjoyment of food. I can honestly say that I was not enjoying foods nearly as much then as I am now. By removing the fat, not only was I upping the sugar I was probably consuming, I was removing flavour!
My diet today incorporates healthy fats from a variety of sources: nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut and olive oils in moderation. While of course I encourage eating whole food sources of fat as much as possible, coconut oil is definitely one of my favourites for its versatility, taste and health properties. While I have briefly mentioned the health benefits of coconut oil in other posts, I want to give a conclusive list here. Please feel free to skip if all you want to know is it’s good for you and don’t care for specifics. I would completely understand :). I am also going to stick to the benefits of coconut oil from a consumption perspective. It has such a variety of uses as a topical application but we’ll save that for another post!
Benefits of Coconut Oil:
High smoke point- this means it can be heated to a high temperature before being converted to a trans fat (the bad kind). It is therefore my primary choice for cooking and baking
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)- medium chain triglycerides- this is a form of saturated fat, yes, but it is a special kind. Your body is actually able to use these fat molecules as energy immediately after being consumed as opposed to being stored as fat
Digestion- digestion of MCTs is very easy on the body, taking pressure off the pancreas, liver and digestive system unlike other fats. The nutrients in coconut oil are easily broken down and assimilated into the body, reducing digestive and thus overall stress on the body!
Reduced pressure on organs: Related to #3- since you use less digestive energy to break them down, there is more energy for organs like the pancreas and liver to perform other important health maintaining functions!
Improved sleep: less digestive and overall stress means less cortisol is released. Less cortisol means increased deep sleep which allows you to feel rested.
Improved absorption of minerals and vitamins.
Antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral- helps fight harmful invaders to the body and strengthens the immune system
I didn’t mention too many specific diseased states that coconut oil can help prevent or improve, but as you can see, since it supports so many vital components in health, you can see how it would play a role in the prevention and treatment of many diseased states!
So what’s the important message to take away from all this?
It’s so unfortunate that the same word is used for fat in foods and fat in our bodies. They are so different!
I’m not saying go out there and eat healthy fats with wild abandon either. Moderation is key with anything! I am just trying to say that we needn’t fear or demonize them the way society does. They are actually quite good for you! But we need balance and a little goes a long way with fats.
For anyone out there who doesn’t like coconut and is thus hesitant about trying it, don’t worry! It doesn’t have a strong coconut flavour or smell especially when used in cooking.
Now onto this coconut oil coffee I mentioned. I got the idea from Katie over at Katie Did when she mentioned bulletproof coffee. I followed her link to this post by the Bulletproof Executive which involved combining coffee, unsalted grass-fed butter and an MCT oil (optional) as an energizing start to the morning. Now, since I don’t consume dairy I initially wrote this off. But then I started thinking about it more. Why couldn’t I do the opposite- instead of making the MCT oil optional, why not make that the primary ingredient as opposed to the butter? And since MCTs are a great energy provider, the combination with coffee had potential to be a major energizer. So I tried it! I changed up his method though- I used cold-pressed coffee and a lower quantity of fat. I wasn’t looking for it to keep me going for 6 hours, so I didn’t think I needed to go the full way.
The result: an entirely vegan, low acid, super energizing, super creamy cup of coffee that tasted delicious and provides insanely long-lasting energy. Drink this before a workout for an awesome boost!
1/4 cup cold-pressed coffee + 3/4 cup hot hot water (I love the taste and low acidity in cold pressed coffee but 1 cup hot brewed coffee will work well too)
1 tbsp coconut oil
stevia or another sweetener, if desired
Put this all in a blender and blend!
I was shocked when the drink magically changed from the colour of black coffee to coffee with a ton of creamer in it. I never imagined they would mix so well! But they do and the results is a crazily smooth and creamy cup of coffee. It even develops a lovely foam on top as if you had frothed it. You have to try it to believe it!
I have no idea what this would be like with both butter and coconut oil. This beverage was pretty fatty and rich to begin with I think the addition of more fat would throw me off but I mean try it if you so choose :)
I think I’ll definitely make this with decaf coffee, or maybe even Dandy Blend! Hmmm I wonder what that would be like? I’ll report back!