Jazzing up (Morning) Joe…

Coffee. Ohhhhh…. how we all love a good cup of coffee to start our day. What’s not to like about having a morning Cup of Joe? There’s the wonderful aroma,the warmth of the cup as you hold it in your hands and the added bonus, if you’re feeling a little sluggish- the kick of caffeine (unless you go decaff) .

I’m a “basic black” cup of coffee kinda girl- but as of late I am absolutely amazed at the number of add ins used to jazz up your Joe!.

If you’re looking to shake your morning up a bit by adding in a little extra somethin-somethin…here are a few simple and easy suggestions…Enjoy!

  1. Cinnamon. Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice, and adds a warmth to your already brewed coffee. Cinnamon can reduce nausea, inflammation, and rev up your metabolism. Added bonus – its antibacterial benefits help to ward off colds year-round!
  2. Butter. You’ve heard of bulletproof coffee, so now you can put it to the test. Adding one tablespoon of butter to your hot coffee (don’t try this with your cold brew) allows for the coffee to be released more slowly into your bloodstream, for a longer stream of energy throughout the day.
  3. Coconut milk. Use some of your leftover coconut milk from last night’s curry recipe to thicken your morning coffee. This dairy-free alternative adds a subtle coconut flavor, and also makes for a rich cup without using artificial creamer.
  4. Ginger. Christmas in a glass! Adding a small scoop of this warming spice, or infusing a small hunk of raw ginger into your coffee mimics a gingerbread latte like no other! Ginger is a powerhouse in soothing inflammation, promotes healthy cholesterol, and protects your liver – maybe the best thing after a night out.  
  5. Vanilla Extract/Vanilla Bean. A quintessential addition to your cup – vanilla and coffee just go together. Rather than using processed vanilla simple syrup, add a few drops of vanilla extract (remember – it is typically alcohol-based, so a little goes a long way). Or, drop a split vanilla bean pod into your pot as you brew to infuse flavor into your entire kettle.
  6. Peppermint Oil. Just a dash will do – adding peppermint oil to your drink can sub for a healthier alternative to a winter peppermint latte. However, it can be easy to overdo this, so just start with one drop and go from there. Peppermint contains a host of vitamins and aids in digestion, which is a perfect pair for coffee (known as a diuretic).
  7. Dark Chocolate. If you love mochas, this add-in is for you. Drop a few shavings or a small square of dark chocolate into your hot coffee, and let it melt slowly into your drink. You’ll get all the known antioxidant benefits from dark chocolate first thing in the morning, and the sweetness will help curb cravings for the rest of the day.
  8. Honey or Agave. Another sweet option – rather than choosing your usual white or brown sugar to stir into your coffee, try honey or agave nectar. This more natural form of sugar contains less sucrose than regular white sugar, which means its tastes sweeter and you’ll need to use less to get the sweet boost.
  9. Kosher Sea Salt. A pinch of kosher sea salt (very different from your usual table salt) in your cup can help offset some of the bitterness. It is recommended to put a pinch in your grounds before brewing for a smoother taste.
  10. Ice Cream. If you want to go for it, go for it! Hey, there’s no shame in indulging once in a while with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream in your coffee, turning your usual morning drink into an affogato. While this may not be the healthiest alternative, restricting your cravings too tightly can turn into indulging a little too much later.

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