Healthier (and cheaper) Iced Cappuccino

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know that I don’t necessarily support the amount of coffee our society drinks.

At over 400 billion cups consumed per year, coffee is the most popular drink in the world. Sadly, it shouldn’t be like this.

In large amounts, coffee…

  • reduces fertility. More than one cup a day makes women half as likely to conceive.
  • is linked to ovarian, bladder, and kidney cancer, doubling the risk of bladder cancer.
  • consumption can lead to an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, nervousness and irritability.

[with Raw Carrot Cake Cheesecake]

Having said that however, health is all about balance. If you like coffee, have a bit from time to time, enjoy it, and look forward to the next time you get to indulge. Same goes for dairy, soy, microwaving, take out, sugar, you name it.

As with anything, the healthier choices we make, the better off we’ll be. So, when we decide to have that tall mug of coffee, here are a couple of steps we can take to make it as healthful as possible:

  • Unbleached filters. White coffee filters are bleached using chlorine and some of this chlorine will be extracted from the filter during the brewing process.
  • Go for chemical free decaffeination. If you like your coffee decaffeinated, make sure you look for a non-chemical based method. The “Swiss Water Process” is the best choice. Most of the major brands are chemically decaffeinated, even if it says “naturally decaffeinated” right on the container. If you are unsure of the methods, contact the manufacturer.
  • Use organic coffee. Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop, so drinking organic coffee may reduce or eliminate your exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
  • Avoid sugar and milk. Instead try stevia, coconut milk, or go black!

Kevin loves his coffee and Tim Horton’s iced cappuccinos. I know he would never, ever give them up. So as a compromise I tried to come up with a way to:

  • reduce caffeine intake
  • decrease his sugar intake
  • increase protein + micronutrients
  • remove the dairy

And still keep him satisfied. That was 2 years ago and I’m happy to say that he still enjoys these at-home iced cappuccinos throughout the warm months.

Mission accomplished.

Healthier [and cheaper] Iced Cappuccino

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Corn free

Homemade iced cappuccino will save your health and your wallet.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic, fair trade coffee [brewed the way you like it]
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Toppings: piece of chocolate, agave nectar drizzle, cacao powder dusting

Directions

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 500mL drink [which works out to be just 1 cup coffee. It will satisfy your coffee urge but with less than you drink on an average day!]

A 500mL store-bought iced cappuccino has 470 calories, 20g fat, 63g carbohydrates, 62g sugar, and 4g protein.

Our 500mL at-home version has 210 calories, 5g fat, 20g carbohydrates, 17g sugar, and 10g protein.

I can’t believe how much sugar is in the store-bought version!

Are you a coffee drinker?

If not, did you remove coffee from your life, what steps did you take to do so?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. “Kevin loves his coffee and Tim Horton’s iced cappuccinos. I know he would never, ever give them up.”

    Our neighbor in aruba owns like 10 Tim H’s in Canada!

    and I am the same as kevin..i could never give up coffee but when I make my iced coffees, they are a huge glass of ice, milk and sweetener (stevia)…the amt of coffee isnt really even that much. But I do go back for more than 1. haha!

    love the recipe and your make at home version…if nothing else the sugar and the money savings are huge!

    • 10 Tim Horton’s? Wow. I worked at Tim’s for years as a teenager. That place is CRAZY busy all the time. Your neighbor is a smart one!

  2. I looove coffee – but now I drink it only about once every week as a treat. I just stopped cold turkey after figuring out it was the coffee that was giving me acidic stomachaches! I like not having to depend on the coffee for waking up!

  3. Yes, I love coffee! I drink way less now than I used to – but still 1-3 cups a day. If it’s 3, at least one is decaf. It’s a lot easier for me to accidentally drink too much in the summer time because iced is just so refreshing! Just like your iced cappuccino. But 62g of sugar in the store-made ones? Holy moley. I don’t think I’d even be able to drink that, it’d be so sweet!

    • I couldn’t believe the sugar either. Scary thing is, when I asked a couple of friends if they felt it was too sweet they ALL said that it wasn’t, that it could actually benefit from a bit MORE sugar! It’s amazing how our pallets change as we introduce more and more sugar to our diet. Eak!?

  4. I’m definitely a coffee drinker – have been since I was about 10 years old (GAH, I know!!!) I used to drink loads of super sugary drinks, but I once went cold turkey and started drinking it black. We just got a fancy new machine for work, so I’ll allow myself one half coffee/half hot chocolate each day and anything else is just plain black joe :)

    • 10 years old? Wow. Good for you for switching from the sugary drinks! Those things are killer!

  5. I drank coffee for a while before deciding to switch over to decaf. I slowly weaned myself off of caffeine, starting with a 1/2 decaf blend, then progressing on to 2/3 decaf and finally full decaf. I’ve been buying Trader Joe’s freshly ground organic fair-trade french roast coffee, brewed in a single-serving french press and am smitten ;). One question for ya: does decaf have the same effect on fertility??

    • Wow, that coffee sounds amazing. I’m not a coffee drinker myself, but your explanation had me swooning. As for the fertility and decaf, many studies have shown that it’s the chemicals + pesticides in regular coffee that affect your fertility the most, in addition to the caffeine, but that’s second to the chemicals. If you’re drinking decaf coffee that’s organic, and free of all of the harmful chemicals, you’ll be much better off! I hope that helps :)

  6. I don’t really like cappuccinos because they are so sugary! I avoid those types of drinks because the sugar just kills my insides. I love sugary treats, but that much at once is too much.

    I would much rather have this drink any day!

  7. I don’t drink coffee at all (never have, never will) but I’m all about saving money on things I would normally buy in-store or at a restaurant! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. YUM! I have been making my own iced coffee lately with almond milk, and it hits the spot!

  9. I never knew that coffee was linked to a reduction in fertillity and to cancer. Yikes! I gave up drinking coffee earlier this year – mostly because it irritated my stomach and whenever I’d go to Tim’s or Starbucks, I’d inevitably get a sugary treat. The iced coffee drinks are hard to resist – when I go to Starbuck for one of their iced drinks, I usually ask for it half sweet or to be made with a sugar free syrup (and I still ask for it half sweet). I’m definitely going to give your recipe a try on the weekend.

    ps – What are the cake slices in the background of the second picture?

    • I’m not sure about the locations where you live, but I know a couple of the starbucks in Calgary will make me a cold tea (green, chamomile, or whatever I’d like) and then I add my own stevia! I keep a couple of packets with me at all times, just in case.
      The cakes in the picture are raw carrot cake slices with cream cheese icing (100% vegan!!) http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/05/raw-carrot-cake-cheesecake/

  10. That looks delicious. I am a coffee drinker.. but not someone who depends on it… If i don’t have a cup.. I don’t get headaches or anything like that. I also don’t get a surge from caffeine. Moderation is the key!

  11. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love coffee flavored desserts! I don’t drink it because I feel it doesn’t have much benefits…and I know if I started drinking it, I would probably get addicted! hah
    But this looks so refreshing and delicious!

  12. WOAAAHHH I have never seen that tidbit about fertility before. That is shocking. Coffee bothers my stomach a lot so I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, but I LOVE coffee drinks like this. Thanks for sharing, I’m totally inspired to make my own!

  13. I have to admit I am a coffee lover, however I had no idea about that fertility stat! This iced capp is the perfect Sunday morning bevie on a warm, summer day!

  14. I was doing so well at avoiding my morning cup of coffee today even thought I’m SUPER tired…but this looks so delicious…I just have to keep telling myself that office coffee will not taste like that delicious drink!

    I love how you took one of the most unhealthy things and made it REASONABLY good for you, it’s awesome and I would like to try it…now to hunt down a blender, soy milk, cacao powder and agave in my office…guess I’ll have to wait til later…

    • haha your comment made me laugh. If I had access to a blender at work I think I’d be a happier person!

  15. I lovee coffee but save it for indulgences… I think this recipe is the perfect way to indulge!

  16. I’m a coffee drinker – one mug each morning. But I do notice that it makes my heartbeat faster, which can’t be a good thing! I just love the comfort of having one cup in the morning with breakfast. Maybe I should switch to decaf…?

    • Decaf is definitely a better choice, so long as it meets the requirements I listed! If you give it a shot, let me know. I’d love to know how you feel about it!

  17. Looks great! I drink coffee, but lately I’ve been really feeling tea instead – it’s tealicious (sorry, I couldn’t resisit). I prefer my homemade iced coffee drinks to those at cafes, so at least I’m able to keep it slim n’ simple.

  18. Yum! This iced cappuccino sounds delicious! I am not a coffee drinker & don’t have the need for caffeine in the morning, but I do love the taste of coffee and have some as a treat occasionally :).

  19. right now I am NOT a coffee drinker. I used to be, and it was a lot! At first I replaced coffee with things like emergen-c packets, and other (more natural..) energy drinks. I still like them, but am not dependent on them :)

    every now and then a coffee does sound good – usually just a black coffee or double shot! I love an iced coffee in the summer – and I like making them myself. yours looks great!

    • It was Thomas Hass 80% dark chocolate that we bought in British Columbia. Honestly, it wasn’t very good so I’ve been cooking and baking with it instead!

  20. I love coffee. I try not to drink it to often (But I have it at least once a week), but my school gives a lot of work and almost every night I’m up late working on homework, etc, and I’m just always tired. I only drink coffee when I’m feeling especially sleepy, because I don’t want to fall asleep in class! :P I also love the taste, but I can only drink cold coffee. Hot coffee just tastes so much more bitter for some reason!

  21. I love drinking coffee, and not just for the caffeine – I just really like the taste! I’ve been trying to cut down as much as i can (MAX 1 cup a day), but I find it even harder to cut than something like sugar.

    This recipe looks really good! going to try it later :D

  22. Thanks for this post! I only drink 1-2 cups a day but I’m a bit smaller of a person, so that’s too much for me (I drink it VERY strong)! I have to reduce my coffee consumption to almost zero for some time and the list of negative effects is very inspiring to me at this point in my life. This is just what I needed!! Thanks Leanne.

  23. I love this! I got around to making it yesterday and it was a hit. My boyfriend is sensitive to dairy and usually sticks with sweetening his coffee with Coffeemate liquid vanilla creamer (yuck!). About 3 months ago I finally kicked caffeine from my diet. It was very difficult – I had been trying for years, but always slipped back in to drinking 3-4 cups a day. The kicker was being told by my doctor that caffeine was a major contributor to the anxiety I was experiencing. I quit the caffeine and like a miracle I feel 100% better. Anyway – I started drinking decaf initially, and now I substitute your banana muffin smoothie for my morning cup of decaf :)

    • I’m glad you liked it, Kelly. And that you’ve made such great healthful changes in your life!

  24. Hey Leanne, wondering if you’ve tried Dandy Blend? It had an amazing coffee flavour but is made from beet root, chicory root, and dandelion.. No caffeine and no side effects like coffee but great flavour. Just wondering thought I would ask :) great recipe as usual!! Hope you are coming to TO again, would love to meet ya!

  25. This is perfection.I gave up the Tim Horton ones because of the sugar and fat content. I made this today and wow it blew my socks off! Thank you!

    • Hi Rita! I’m so happy you liked this drink, we were hooked on the Tim Horton ones awhile back, too. I remember days where I could have at least 2 a day. No good. Thrilled that your socks are blown!

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