By Kiwani Lowansa Allen
If you haven’t tried coconut oil or butter in your coffee or tea you haven’t lived.
Almost everyone throughout the world consumes some sort of caffeinated beverage often several times a day. In India, they drink chai tea, in Europe coffee and in Tibet they drink yak butter tea. I’ve had it. It’s pretty good. However, it’s not just the caffeine that people are after these days in the U.S., it’s sugar. Blended, high calorie, high sugar drinks are heavily consumed, to the detriment of our overall health, contributing to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Don’t get me wrong, I myself am a big fan of coffee and tea, which have their own antioxidant and polyphenol properties but today I am going to talk about what to put in these drinks.
Most people I know who drink coffee or tea like to put something in it, such as sugar, cream, half and half, caramel flavor, honey, etc.. In my quest to become healthier I was introduced to the benefits of coconut oil and grass-fed butter. I started cooking all my food with them and then I heard of putting them in your coffee. I thought this was crazy talk. Butter coffee?! Not so. It’s so good! The good part of cream is the butter fat, so why not just use butter? Right? Cut out the middleman — sugar!
Why should you do this?
Coconut oil is purported to have a multitude of health benefits, not least of which include weight loss, thyroid health, improved brain function and body composition. In one study; “A coconut extra virgin oil rich diet increases HDL cholesterol and decreases waist circumference and body mass of coronary artery disease patients.” Another study done on mice showed a decrease in stress hormones, serum triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose. Mice aren’t people, but it’s still interesting to note. I found another study regarding grass fed butter and, “the linear relationship between the proportion of fresh grass in the cows’ diet, milk fatty acid composition and butter properties”. It showed that the high ratio of grass in the diet showed a decrease in saturated fat in the milk and butter and a “linear improvement in the nutritional value of the milk”. Milk and milk products from grass fed cows is a much higher quality food product. Grass fed butter is high in vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is a vital nutrient in maintaining arterial pliability and reducing calcification/hardening of the arteries. Vitamin K2 is most abundantly found in animal products fed on grass. One article read: “In the Rotterdam study, those who had the highest intake of Vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop calcification of the arteries, and had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease, over a 7-10 year period”.
To make tea or coffee with butter or coconut oil, here’s what you need:
Butter, coconut oil coffee
1 cup/8 oz of hot, freshly brewed coffee
1 Tablespoon grass fed butter
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
Optional: pinch of cinnamon, cardamom or pumpkin pie spice.
Coconut oil tea
1 Tablespoon of organic coconut oil
1 cup hot and freshly brewed black tea, Earl Gray or chai tea bags using 1-2 tea bags. I always use two.
When choosing coffee, I suggest shade grown and fair trade. It tastes better and it’s better for the environment and local workers. One of my favorite teas is a good Earl Grey. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30-60 seconds. You can also do what I do and put all your ingredients in a heat resistant jar and use a stick blender. Make sure before your start blending the jar is only half full.
I love this stuff. It’s delicious and holds me for hours. Sometimes, I don’t have time to eat breakfast and my butter coffee keeps me from getting hungry or more appropriately hangry. It’s frothy, fatty and creamy! What more could one ask of a morning beverage?
Kiwani Lowansa Allen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Bastyr University.
The health section on SpecialsNotOnTheMenu.com is sponsored by the Sky Island Organics family of businesses, including their natural food store and cafe at 54423 Village Center Drive, Idyllwild. http://skyislandorganics.com/