I love coffee.
The smell. The warmth. The roasty-toasty flavor. The more-substantial-than-tea feel as you sip it and the steam curls around your face….and did I mention the smell? 🙂
Mmm. Coffee. *satisfied smile*
BUT last year I had to stop drinking it almost entirely! So sad!
My adrenal glands had gotten too stressed out for a number of reasons (which I’m hoping to write a post about at some point), and in order to regain normal function I needed to avoid as many stressors as possible, and take steps to nourish my hormone-regulation systems. Drastic times called for drastic measures.
Fortunately, after months of working hard on restoring my adrenal glands, I feel much better, but I still have to go easy on the coffee.
I reeeeally want it, but when I let myself have a sip, I can feel my body saying “if you keep drinking this I will freak. out.” (note: if your body tells you something, listen to it!)
Enter: the herbal coffee!
Herbal coffee is the stimulant-free, health-promoting cousin of coffee-bean-coffee. (It is still a diuretic, though, so drink your water!)
It’s perfect for anyone who loves coffee but can’t drink it, or wants to cut back. Maybe you’re pregnant, or having blood-sugar handling issues, or maybe you have adrenal fatigue like me?
Herbal coffee is made of roasted roots and seeds that are full of nutrients which support the health of your liver, and has a robust toasty flavor reminiscent of real coffee. I wasn’t sure if it would be a close enough experience to drinking coffee, but for me it really does the trick!
Most herbal coffees are made from roasted Chicory Root, and often Dandelion Root; this one adds Burdock Root and Milk Thistle Seeds for an extra liver-supporting nutrient boost!
For an even more spectacular and nourishing drink, add coconut milk, coconut oil, and grass-fed collagen (more info here), then froth it all up with a milk frother (or you could use an immersion blender or a regular blender, but I like my cheap little Ikea frother).
The coconut oil provides nourishing and energizing fatty acids that support a steady level of energy, as opposed to the fight-or-flight response triggered by caffeine. Healthy fats are needed for healthy hormones, cellular communication, and the formation of all tissues from the cellular level on up! The protein-forming amino acids from the collagen support healthy hormone and neurotransmitter formation, as well as proper tissue and organ growth.
The recipe that I have been using is from Jessica at Delicious Obsessions, whose blog I just love. Check out her post for more detailed information about each of the ingredients! I get my ingredients at my local natural foods store (the Common Crow) in their bulk spice section, but you can also find them at Mountain Rose Herbs.
For 6-8 cups of herbal coffee, you will need:
2 tablespoons roasted chicory root
1 tablespoon roasted dandelion root
1 tablespoon burdock root
1 tablespoon milk thistle seeds
Grind all the herbs to a powder in a spice or coffee grinder. In a medium pot, bring 8 cups (or 6 if you want a stronger brew) of filtered water to a boil. Add the herbs and simmer for 25 minutes.
Let cool, then strain through a nut milk or jelly strainer bag into quart-sized mason jars. I use this bag (it’s cheap and works well – I also use it for making coconut milk) and my Pampered Chef funnel. You could probably use a coffee filter instead, but I haven’t tried it.
To make my cup of deliciousness in the morning (or anytime, since you don’t have to worry about the caffeine-related side-effects!), I pour a cup or so into a small pot on the stove and heat til hot and steaming. Then I add coconut milk, and a spoonful each of coconut oil and Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate, and stir to combine. Finally, I froth it all up with my frother and pour into my mug. Sometimes I add vanilla extract and cinnamon for extra special flavor!
It’s also good iced, but the coconut oil is harder to manage when it’s iced. You really need to use the blender in that case.
I would love to hear if you try this special concoction! Let me know if you do!