Happy, Healthy Friday! I have shared this recipe previously but I wanted to share how much healthier it is compared to buying a Mocha Latte from Starbucks. I used to be a huge Starbucks lover, even worked there after high school, but then I started really looking into the ingredients that are in the foods I eat and drink and stopped going there. If I’m out of town and need a coffee I still will stop there but will just get a plain black coffee, and actually I have started preferring Dunkin’ Donuts black coffee over Starbucks (never thought I would say that! LOL)
The ingredients in my homemade mocha latte are:
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I love Califia Farms brand – it’s carrageenan free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, sugar free and lactose free)
- 4 oz unsweetened vanilla cold brew coffee (only 5 calories, no sugar and it is Fair Trade Organic Coffee)
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (I love Navita’s Naturals brand)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 Medjool Date (this is a healthy and natural sweetener that also provides fiber, iron, vitamin A, potassium and B vitamins just to name a few)
My homemade mocha latte has only 205 calories and only 4.5g of sugar, and is full of healthy fats, superfoods and natural sweetener! This is a great pre-workout drink or I like to make it as a mid-morning snack. It’s super simple to make too! Just put all the ingredients in a high powered blender (I use my Vitamix) and blend until steaming hot & enjoy! So yummy! If you don’t have a high powered blender you can put it all in a blender and blend until the date and coconut oil are all well mixed then heat in the microwave or you could melt the coconut oil and use date paste and heat on the stove top.
Now, let’s look at Starbuck’s Mocha Latte. First of all, Starbucks doesn’t have almond milk so I put in their calorie counter on their website to use coconut milk instead and I said no whipped cream. A 16oz is 250 calories with 30g of sugar! If you had the whipped cream, which I know most of you do, it ups the calorie count to 330 calories!
Let’s talk about the ingredients too, because that’s the most important here:
Coconut Milk [Water, Coconut Cream, Cane Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Coconut Water Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Gellan Gum, Corn Dextrin, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)], Brewed Espresso, Mocha Sauce [Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Vanillin].
Let’s look at a few of ingredients that are something to be concerned about:
Tricalcium Phosphate is calcium salt of citric acid and is used in a lot of processed foods. I haven’t really read anything bad on this and it’s mostly used to help people get more calcium in their diets.
Carrageenan is added to a lot of natural and organic foods because it helps make them thicker. It’s derived from red seaweed which sounds ok and it helps liquid ingredients from separating. BUT the problem with it is that it can cause digestion issues and gut irritations (and I’ve read cancer…but haven’t found any real studies on that one). It also has no nutritional value (like a lot of ingredients added to foods we buy in the grocery stores.
Corn Dextrin is a hydrolized starch made from corn (can also be made from wheat, tapioca, potato & rice) and is a dietary fiber that is processed with heat and acid. If you have a corn allergy, celiac disease or gluten intolerance you should avoid this ingredient.
Gellan Gum, Xanthan Gum & Guar Gum can all cause gastrointestinal issues, but aren’t a huge concern if not consumed in high amounts.
Vanillin is chemically produced to mimick the taste of vanilla.
If you decided to add whipped cream to your Starbucks Mocha Latte these ingredients would also be added:
Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)].
Don’t even get me started on the term “Natural Flavors”, which is the fourth most common ingredient in processed foods could contain anywhere from 50-100 ingredients!
I know we aren’t always going to be able to avoid all these mysterious ingredients, but if we can avoid them more often than not, it’s best for our health and for the planet. The less we buy products with weird ingredients, the less manufacturers will make them and hopefully they will start to get the hint that we want Real Whole Food ingredients in our foods.
So, the next time you want a Mocha Latte, just make your own healthy version which will save you calories, money (if you haven’t heard: read the Rossen Report about Starbucks lattes being undefilled by 25%) and help you stay as healthy as you can be!
Stay Healthy my Friends,
Carrie A Groff
– Healthy, Fit & Barefoot!
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