Drinking coffee in the morning is a routine that, for many of us, will never change. I know that personally, I take my coffee the same way every day, with the exact same amount of raw sugar and 1% milk, but in the spirit of the new year, I am trying to branch out and try new things, and the first step is my morning coffee. Besides cream and sugar, there are plenty of other tasty treats that can be added to coffee, and some are even health-conscious. I’ve spent the last few weeks delving into the world of unknown coffee condiments and listed a few of my favorites for you brave coffee lovers out there to try!
Cinnamon: I have often seen cinnamon jars placed near the cream and sugar in coffee shops, so it seemed like a natural place to start. You can use ground cinnamon, or cinnamon sticks crushed into a fine powder. In my first attempt, I poured a cup of coffee and added the cinnamon on top, which created a clumpy, grainy texture. Then I discovered this pro tip: mix your crushed cinnamon in with the coffee beans in your filter, that way you get the same spicy flavor, without the texture issues!
Maple Syrup: This viscous liquid is best associated with pancakes, but can also make a delicious addition to your cup of joe. As the dangers of sugar become more and more apparent, many of us are looking for alternative ways to sweeten our food. Instead of turning to a chemical concoction that is walking around, pretending to be sugar, I tried maple syrup that was harvested locally. The thickness of the syrup proved to be a little challenging, but after a few vigorous stirs, I had created a fairly homogenous solution that was sweet enough to deter me from adding milk.
Cocoa/Chocolate: Coffee and chocolate, my two great loves, finally together at last. Some mornings, I mix a small amount of cocoa powder in with my coffee beans so that the flavors are brewed together flawlessly. More often than not, however, I simply drop a piece of dark chocolate into my mug when it is still very hot and watch it dissolve, after all, dark chocolate in moderation can even be good for you!
Almond Milk: As much as I do enjoy the occasional black coffee, and can appreciate it for its robust flavor, I greatly prefer coffee that has been lightened with some sort of creamer. In an effort to cut down on my daily dose of saturated fat, I have switched from cow’s milk to almond milk. If you haven’t tried almond milk, I highly recommend it. Though the nutty flavor might deter you from drinking an entire glass, many people find that it is delicious when combined with cereal or coffee. There are even vanilla and chocolate flavored almond milk options. Here are a few nutritional facts I learned from comparing the nutritional labels on almond milk to regular 2% cow’s milk. Almond milk contains 30-40 calories per serving, while cow’s milk contains around 150 calories per serving. Almond milk contains no saturated fat, which means it will not raise your cholesterol, while one serving of cow’s milk contains 5 grams of saturated fat. Because it is made from nuts, almond milk still contains helpful protein, as well as magnesium and vitamin E, making it an excellent substitute for milk, even if its only at breakfast time.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a leap and try one of our condiment suggestions, or create your own and let us know how it tastes!