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Ayurvedic Roast™ Review: I can’t believe it’s not coffee!

Hi all! So in case you missed it last week, I elaborated on my absolute love of coffee yet my desire to find a caffeine free alternative that could help me cut back 0r (gasp) even quit caffeine. Well, one day…maybe…haha…but at least cut back. In case you missed the post in which I shared some of the negative (sigh) effects of long term caffeine consumption, check it out here.

I should mention that I’ve tried Teeccino and Pero, two fairly well known coffee substitutes. While they weren’t bad, I didn’t find them comparable enough to be able to replace my beloved java. Sort of like how I feel about chai…it’s good, but it’s not coffee.  So after scouring the internet for other options, I came across this brand called Ayurvedic Roast that had glowing reviews for tasting the most like coffee. I read that “a blind taste test was conducted comparing Ayurvedic Roast™ with the top three coffee substitutes on the market (of which I’m certain Teeccino & Pero were included). Over 200 people tasted all four herbal coffees, with Ayurvedic Roast™ being chosen as the best tasting by the highest percentage of participants.”  On top of that, the stuff brews just like coffee. You can boil it, use a regular drip coffee maker, a coffee or tea press or espresso machine.

My interest was, understandably, piqued.

The info on the site was impressive. It’s 100% certified organic, GMO-free, non-acidic, vegan, and naturally caffeine free. Its unique formula is comprised of barley, rye, chicory root, and includes three antioxidant, adaptogenic, and immunity-enhancing organic ayurvedic herbs: Ashwagandha (an anti-oxidant that boosts the immune system, eases anxiety, helps regulate blood sugar, and can help lower both cholesterol cortisol levels); Shatavari (helps with mood, digestion, and fertility); and also Brahmi (which helps maintain mental clarity, increase circulation, and improve thyroid function).

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So I ordered a bag of the vanilla and, after talking to a gentleman at the company about my plans to review the coffee for my site, had a bag of the original flavor included for a comparison. It’s reasonably priced, and I was very eager to see if it lived up to the hype from the site and other reviews I found online…but tasting is believing.

When my package arrived, I was somewhat skeptical (as any die hard coffee lover would be) but very excited. Upon opening the packages, both the vanilla and original smelled coffee-like out of the gates…the vanilla marginally more so. And the grounds looked coffee-like. So far I was pretty impressed.photo 5

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Look pretty coffee-like to me!

I decided to brew it as I normally would…using my drip coffee maker. I used about 1 rounded tsp per cup, as I normally would with coffee grounds.

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Very impressed with the dark, coffee-like color! To the naked eye, I wouldn’t know it wasn’t coffee!

As it brewed, I was very impressed with the coloring. And as I poured it into my cup and added a bit of coconut sugar and homemade almond milk creamer (the way I normally have my coffee at home), I was pleasantly surprised at how much it looked like my usual coffee!

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Straight out of the pot

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With my almond milk creamer and coconut sugar…Looks yummy!!

Looked good. Smelled good. But now for the real test…the TASTE test…

DELICIOUS !!!!!! Wow! I was seriously blown away. Taste-wise, I prefer the vanilla (marginally) over the original, but then again, I also like flavored coffee. Either way, both taste so much like coffee that I almost wouldn’t know the difference if I hadn’t made it myself.

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You’re looking at a VERY satisfied customer! I can’t believe it’s not coffee!

And as the day went on, I felt surprising very alert, even with no caffeine!  And because I can prepare it just like I do my coffee, it feels the same as far as my morning ritual!

If you’ve ever considered cutting back on caffeine, or even if you haven’t and just want to try a healthy, yummy drink, I HIGHLY recommend trying Ayurvedic Roast. So far, it’s available only online, but I feel so excited about the product that I’m going to see if I can help get it into some stores around me.

Hmmm…now that it’s getting warmer, I may have to try it iced as well 😉

Cheers!

Ciao for now!

-E

Liquid Armor Coffee

The time has come for me to post the much anticipated (at least I’d like to think so) recipe for my delicious, and relatively nutritious, Liquid Armor Coffee!!  As I mentioned previously, this is my modified take on the over-hyped BulletProof ® coffee that has Paleo enthusiasts, cross fitters, and even just us regular folks who love a tasty cup of joe, going crazy and jumping on the buttered/oiled coffee bandwagon.

So, in case you haven’t come across the heavily promoted (and in my opinion, overpriced) recipe for this coffee that will, metaphorically, protect you from being pumped full of encapsulated explosives…here’s the scoop. Basically, you need to buy the coffee that that the BulletProof® head honcho endorses. It’s around $20 for a 12 oz bag because it’s organic and low in mytotoxins, which supposedly will make you feel better than any coffee you’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about paying extra for healthy foods if it’s going to make a significant difference, but to be honest, the coffee I buy for $6 to $8 at Trader Joe’s tastes great and makes me feel pretty darn good, and who’s to say what level of mytotoxins is in your average cup of coffee, particularly if you buy organic. That said, I will at least give credit to the Bulletproof site for mentioning tips to finding the highest performance coffee in your city if you don’t want to pay for the stuff they market on their site.

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Can you tell I love this place? haha

Anyway, the special, pricey beans are part of the deal…another ingredient you “need” is a special MCT oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides…just scientific jargon for healthy fats) that is supposedly 6x stronger than coconut oil.  Well, at $30 for a 32 oz bottle, it’s also about 6 times more expensive than the organic, deliciously flavorful coconut oil I get at old reliable Trader Joe’s. Coconut oil is loaded with health benefits all on its own, …so I personally don’t think it’s worth the upgrade.

And lastly, the original recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee. I’ve tried my Liquid Armor using both options (unsalted butter & ghee) and I didn’t care for it. I prefer mine with straight up coconut oil, but you’re welcome to experiment and find what you like.

Now for the big reveal…my Liquid Armor Coffee Recipe!

What you’ll need:

1-2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil (can use 1 Tbsp coconut oil & 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, but I prefer just coconut oil)
8 oz freshly brewed coffee (use filtered water and, ideally a French Press, but I usually just use a regular drip coffee pot and mine tastes delicious)
Blender (I use NutriBullet)

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I always use this coconut oil, and this is one of my favorites of Trader Joe’s coffee.

The instructions are very simple:

1. Brew coffee and add to blender (yes, while hot)
2. Plop in coconut oil (and, if you would like to try it, unsalted butter or ghee)*

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Steps 1 + 2…. I know what you’re thinking…Oil? In my coffee??? But what about my milk? creamer? How will I get it the right caramel-y color??

3. Blend 20-30 seconds until frothy.
Just a tip that with the NutriBullet, sometimes the cap feels stuck after you turn it over. I think it’s a combo of heat and pressure buildup while blending. I find that turning the blender over (lid facing up) and letting it set for 30    seconds or so before opening usually does the trick!

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It will turn a lovely, creamy caramel color…and check out that foam!! 🙂 ❤

4. Pour into your favorite mug/to-go cup and enjoy an awesome tasting cup of coffee with latte-like foam that will make you feel satisfied, focused, and energized 🙂

And there you have it!

Trust me, I was skeptical myself…but now that I’ve made it, I’m hooked. It’s so delicious, natural, and satisfying, but you’ll never know unless you try it. Don’t worry, you can always go back to using the Almond Milk Creamer you just made from my recipe, but this offers a decadent and healthy variation 😉  *You can also add in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or sugar (I like brown or coconut sugar), but try it first as is because it’s so yummy, you probably won’t even want to mess with it.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your blender, give it a whirl, and let me know what you think!

Ciao for now,

-E

Homemade, Raw Almond Milk Creamer

Time for another recipe! I know I promised I’d let you in on my Liquid Armor coffee concoction…and I will…but first, I wanted to share with you my latest discovery/creation: Almond Milk Coffee Creamer.  It’s so easy to make, and it’s 100% natural…no added chemicals, preservatives, or processed sweeteners. Plus, I find that the store-bought almond milk in my coffee never turns it the right color. I like mine to be a deliciously smooth caramel color. So after stumbling on a few recipes online for homemade almond milk, I decided to tweak it a bit to make a more concentrated, creamier…um…creamer!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup raw almonds (preferably organic), soaked in water 6-10 hours and rinsed well

  • 1-2 cups filtered water (for blending)*

  • High-powered blender (I used a NutriBullet)

  • Nut milk bag (<- click to go to eBay link where I ordered mine. You could also use a fine strainer or cheese cloth, but I highly recommend getting a nut milk bag…They’re inexpensive and work great!)

*As an aside, you could use this same recipe and make regular almond milk (rather than creamer)…just increase the water to 3-4 cups.

Instructions

  • Measure almonds into a bowl and add enough water so that the almonds are completely submerged. Let soak 6-10 hours.

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These just finished soaking…left them on the counter for 8 hours with the bowl covered in plastic wrap.

  • After the almonds have soaked, drain the water, rinse with purified water, and drain again.

  • Combine soaked, rinsed almonds & 1-2 cups filtered water (less water = more concentrated, creamier almond milk) into a high-powered blender. Again, I used a NutriBullet and, to clarify, I used the “extractor blade” (pictured below …because you are essentially “extracting” the milk from the almonds…as opposed to the other “milling” blade typically used for milling grains, grinding fresh herbs and chopping nuts. (again, I used NutriBullet)

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    NutriBullet “Extractor” Blade

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  • Blend until very smooth and creamy.
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Isn’t this awesome!?! It’s like magic 🙂

  • Position the nut milk bag over a large bowl or container (I like using a square one so I can easily pour from that to another container to keep in the fridge as my creamer), then pour the blender contents into the bag to strain.

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    This is the gloriously creamy Almond Milk that will come out of the bag 🙂

  • Squeeze the bag well, until only dry/damp almond pulp remains in the bag. (You can keep the the leftover almond pulp in a container for another recipe…like Paleo Banana Fritter Bites!!)

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Leftover almond meal from the nut milk bag! I use it as is to make my Banana Fritter Bites…one batch makes me about 3 servings of the fritters!

Transfer the almond milk to a sealed container (I used a rinsed out Coffeemate container that my roommate had, but anything you can pour from will work), and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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And there you have it! The stuff is delicious and nutritious 🙂  I haven’t tried adding anything to the creamer yet, but I’d imagine you could play around with adding things like cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. If any of you make it and try some variations, please feel free to share!

Ciao for now!

-E

Paleo Banana Fritter Bites

Good morning! So I’ve had a few inquiries and requests about recipes, and I’m excited to post my very first one today!

Being that I’m on a coconut oil, gluten-free experiment/diet, I’ve been getting creative with options that are on-plan but still delicious. I made my signature Paleo Banana Fritter Bites this morning and remembered to take a photo for the blog post 🙂  Now, being that I made up the recipe myself and don’t really measure anything (I really just eyeball it), I’m going to do my best to give approximate measurements so you can duplicate my creation.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 egg (I use large, cage-free organic, but any will do)
1/3 cup almond flour/meal (approximate measurement…I’ve also used cashew flour, which is yummy. Use whatever you like best, or go crazy and mix them :-P)
1 -2 (heaping) Tbsp psyllium husk (optional, but great added fiber…sometimes I use chia seeds instead (a sprinkle) and it’s great that way, too)
water (to consistency)
1 medium banana (ripened to preference)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional, but highly recommended for added yumminess)
healthy dash of cinnamon powder (again, optional, but recommended)
1 Tbsp organic coconut oil

Okay, so now that we have the ingredients list, this is how you mix them together to make the magic happen.

1. In a cereal-size or small mixing bowl, combine egg, almond flour, psyllium husk/chia seeds and enough water to achieve a thick pancake batter consistency.

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2. Peel and cut banana into 1/2- 3/4 inch pieces and add to above mixture. Add vanilla & cinnamon powder (optional, but definitely recommended; I’ve made it with and without, and it’s MUCH more delicious with it). Stir to coat banana pieces with batter.

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3. In large skillet, add coconut oil (enough to fully coat the bottom of the pan…approximately 1 heaping Tbsp does it for me) and get the oil nice and hot.
4. With oil pre-heated and heat turned to medium/medium-high, use a spoon to place banana pieces (make sure you’re grabbing 1 batter-coated slice at a time…they cook best this way) into the oil leaving a little space between each “bite” so they can cook individually.

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5. When each bite is browned on the bottom, use a spoon to flip each bite over to brown/cook the other side.

Emily's Paleo Banana Fritter Bites

The finished product….YUMMMM!

I actually had eaten a few before I took the picture…thankfully I stopped myself and snapped this photo ^^ haha. But seriously, these are so delicious and satisfying that you will hardly believe they are Paleo, gluten-free, and grain-free with no added sugars! Wheeeeee!!! Enjoy for breakfast, as a snack, for dessert…or any time!

If you make them (which I hope you do!), please let me know how you like them and/or if you have any questions about the recipe.

Enjoy!

Ciao for now,

-E