I love my iced coffee. And I’m not the only one– last summer, I posted this recipe for Caramel Mocha Iced Coffee Concentrate, and it’s still one of the most popular recipes on my site. In fact, seeing it pop up in my analytics again this summer has me making it again. In that recipe post, I focused on the money you’ll save making your own specialty coffee drinks at home— it adds up to quite a big savings if you do it regularly!
But saving money isn’t really my main motivator when it comes to cooking at home. The number one reason I choose to make so many meals, drinks, smoothies and snacks at home is that it’s just healthier.
I like knowing what I’m putting in to my body (especially those things I am putting into my body regularly, like coffee).
I like being able to choose what sweetener works best for my body, and having the option of using non-dairy milk and unsweetened flavorings. (BTW, I love that Starbucks in America is now carrying coconut milk as an option. I haven’t been home to try it since they started, but I wish they had it internationally as well!).
Here are some other recipes from last summer that are now trending in social media:
A super delicious way to get your greens in in the morning. No sugar (other than dark chocolate chips), and full of energy boosting ingredients. Your kids will think you’ve gone nuts when you serve them a “milkshake” for breakfast!
I love this recipe (and still make it often), but it was one of the first recipes I posted, and as my photography evolved, I was so embarrassed about these photos I reshot them and reposted the recipe. I thought the photos were much better- but I also can see now how the new photos lack the emotion of the original ones. Something I am still learning to work into my shots. It’s the original photo (shown above) that keeps trending on Pinterest and Facebook.
I still am in shock at how well this recipe turns out every time I make it. Made with our favorite vegetable, this “rice” has all the great flavors of the restaurant version, without the heavy carbs or grease. Light, flavorful, and perfect for summer meals.
It doesn’t surprise me one bit that this salad continues to be popular! It’s beautiful, and a great addition to any BBQ or picnic table. It’s also a salad you’ll never have leftovers of. The sweet, tangy, spicy dressing is so addictive, and a perfect match for the crunchy almonds, sweet orange, and crisp vegetables.
Now back to this tasty coffee beverage. It’s sweetened with DATES! Another one of the healthy substitutions I like to make. I saw a while back how popular it was becoming to sweeten nut milk with dates, and thought it would be a great way to add healthy sugars to drinks like this coffee and my Hazelnut Chai Latte.
I prefer to drink most things unsweetened. I am pretty boring when I go out! I order Americanos, and at restaurants, it’s usually soda water or plain water with a lemon or lime wedge. It’s actually mostly because I don’t like the way sugar makes me feel, so I’ve learned to like drinks unsweetened.
This coffee is a whole other ballgame. Dates are an energizing source of natural sugars. If you’re a fan of an afternoon coffee pick me up, this one won’t let you down– in the way sugar lets you down 30 minutes after you finish your mocha frap.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, or need a bit of indulgence, you can top it with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream.
- 2 cups water (if using brewed coffee, omit water)
- 1 tablespoon organic instant coffee (substitute 4 Starbucks Via packs, or 2 cups triple strength brewed coffee)
- 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
- 2-4 medjool dates (2 for less sweet, 4 for really sweet)*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ½ cup coffee concentrate
- ¼ cup water (sub almond milk, or coconut-almond beverage)
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (canned- I use light, but full fat is good too!)
- Add water, coffee, cocoa powder, and dates to a blender. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain coffee concentrate through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.
- Squeeze the date and cocoa powder pulp to drain as much liquid as possible.
- Add vanilla and peppermint extract to the concentrate.
- When ready to serve, pour concentrate over ice and add water, coconut milk, or other milk of choice.
*Nutrition Facts are for 1 16-ounce beverage (2 servings of coffee concentrate (made with 3 dates) & 1/4 cup coconut milk):
Other (Healthy!) Cooling Summer Beverages:
- The Best 3-Ingredient Avocado Smoothie, by Omnivore’s Cookbook
- Clean Eating Mocha Coconut Frappuccino, by Gracious Pantry
- Iced Coconut Matcha Latte, by Teffy’s Perks
- Dairy Free Thai Iced Tea, by Against All Grain
- Ginger Mint Fizz, by Vitamin Sunshine