This cinnamon vanilla herbal “coffee” is a great substitute for those who have had to give up regular coffee for whatever reason. In my case, when I started on my healing journey, I had to eliminate all forms of caffeine, and while I didn’t drink coffee regularly, I do love it and I needed to have a go-to substitute for it. All of the herbal coffees that I could find used barley and rye (gluten-containing grains), so those were a no-go. There is one brand that says it is gluten-free even though it does use barley and rye, but even that makes me nervous. So, I decided to just make my own.
For years, I had heard about people adding coconut oil to their coffee (or tea). Well, the #1 super food in my house is coconut oil (most of you know that by now). And I eat A LOT of it, so it only made sense to start adding it to my herbal coffee. In my post about how coconut oil has been helping my on my journey to health, I shared how much coconut oil I was eating at the time. Many people were shocked when I announced that I was eating 9-12 tablespoons of coconut oil a day. Yes. You read that correctly — the equivalent of 1/2 to 3/4 cup of coconut oil per day. The #1 question people would ask is “how on earth do you eat that much coconut oil?” Well, this is one of the ways. P.S. I am not currently eating as much as I was then. I’m averaging about 4-6 tablespoons per day now.
For me, it’s easy to eat a lot of coconut oil. Coconut oil is the primary cooking oil in my house. When it comes to cooking and baking, the majority of the time, I am using coconut oil. I do also use extra virgin olive oil, ghee, avocado oil, and sesame oil on occasion as well. So, cooking and baking with coconut oil makes it easy to get a lot into your diet. That said, my #1 favorite way to eat my coconut oil? Add it to my tea and “coffee”.
Most people initially respond with “Ewwww! Doesn’t that create an oil slick on your hot drink?” Well, yes, it does. Careful not to burn your lips. Not that I would know, of course.
Or, even better, isn’t it awfully clumpy to add to iced coffee? Yep, it is. Made that mistake too.
But I don’t have to worry about now that I have discovered my secret weapon.
My immersion blender.
OK. Not really a secret weapon, as a blender would work just as well. I bet one of those frother tools would work well too, though I’ve never tried it. And while I felt like a genius when I figured this trick out, I’m sure many of you are laughing right now, thinking, “Duh, Jessica! I’ve been doing this for years!”
I’m slow. Cut me some slack!
So yes, I make my daily cup of “coffee” and add coconut milk and coconut oil to it, use my immersion blender, and viola! Magic in a cup! Once you whiz everything together, you can also pour it over ice and not have any lumps.
The coffee substitute consists of two herbs, dandelion root and chicory, that have been roasted, yielding a nice, earthy, coffee-like taste. Both of these herbs have been used for various health purposes for hundreds of years, but I won’t go into all of those benefits in this post, as I’m working on a separate post for that! Here’s a brief overview in case you’re interested. You can buy either the root or the powder. I have only ever used the whole root, which I then whiz up in my food processor into a coarse powder. You can drink it however you like your coffee: black (pictured above), hot with coconut milk (pictured below), or my personal favorite — iced (pictured a little further down).
Now, a few notes about this “recipe”:
- I got my chicory and dandelion from my affiliate partner Mountain Rose Herbs. They have high-quality, organic herbs and are my go-to source, because I trust them and their products.
- My coconut oil, as always, comes from my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions, and I prefer the taste of the Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil in this recipe.
- You can use homemade coconut milk (learn how to make homemade coconut milk here), or if you use canned. If you choose canned, I prefer Natural Value, as it has no BPA linings, no thickeners, gums, stabilizers, or whiteners (keep in mind that many brands contain these extra ingredients, even if they’re not listed on the label).
- I like my “coffee” really strong, which is reflected in the recipe below. If you don’t want yours as strong, just add more water.
- This makes 2-3 servings. I sometimes will make a double batch and just keep it in the fridge and reheat as needed.
Cinnamon Vanilla Herbal “Coffee”
1 heaping tbsp. roasted chicory root (ground into a powder)
1 heaping tbsp. roasted dandelion root (ground into a powder)
2 1/4 cups of filtered water (learn why I love my Berkey Filtration System)
1/2 cup coconut milk or cream
3-4 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (learn why I LOVE Vietnamese cinnamon)
1 tsp. high-quality vanilla (learn how to make homemade vanilla extract)
stevia, honey, or sweetener of your choice to taste (optional)
1. If you’re using the whole root, whiz it up in a coffee grinder until it’s a coarse powder. If you’re using the root already ground, proceed to step 2.
2. In a small pan, add the chicory, dandelion root, cinnamon, and water. Whisk together.
3. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat. Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Because you are using the root, you are creating a “decoction”, meaning that the herbs must be heated/soaked longer than if you were using soft plant materials like leaves, flowers, etc. If your granulated root is already very fine, you won’t need to brew it as long.
4. After 20-25 minutes, your “coffee” is ready. Remove from heat and strain off the roots. Some people reuse the roots, but it is not nearly as strong the next batch. I’ve tried it and it’s just too weak for me.
5. If you’re using an immersion blender, add the the “coffee”, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and sweetener of your choice to a jar or bowl (a quart wide-mouth Mason jar works nicely). Use your immersion blender and blend for about 60 seconds. The beverage will be frothy and creamy. If you’re using a blender, just toss everything in there and blend until frothy. You can drink as is, or pour over ice for an iced “coffee”. If you want to make a frozen drink, just cool the coffee to at least room temp and then blend together with ice.
Hint: Sometimes I like to make the basic “coffee” (chicory, dandelion, and cinnamon) in big batches up and then just store in the fridge. Then, I just reheat it as needed and then add the coconut oil, vanilla, and coconut cream. If you have a Vitamix or BlendTec, I bet you could blend everything cold and it would turn frothy without having to be heated. My blender sucks, so that doesn’t work for me, but it might for you!
So, tell me. What is YOUR favorite way to eat more coconut oil? Have you ever tried herbal “coffee”? Do you like it? If you’re interested in purchasing chicory and dandelion root, I highly recommend the products from my affiliate partner, Mountain Rose Herbs. They have both the granulated and the larger root chunks. Like I mentioned above, they are my go-to source for herbs, because I trust their practices and their products.
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