Coffee is an awesome way to kick your sugar habit. It can boost your energy, lower your cravings, and lift up your mood. But for those of us who prefer our coffee sweet, our morning cup of java may derail our sugar detox plans.
Fortunately, there are plenty of yummy ways to add some sweetness to your coffee — the healthy way. Here are nine tips from Sweetkick on how to sweeten coffee without sugar.
1. Monk Fruit
This is our favorite alternative to sugar. Also known as lo han guo, this sweetener is sourced from a round fruit that’s native to China. Some say that Buddhist monks used this sugar alternative for its health-promoting benefits.
Monk fruit clocks in at zero calories and zero grams of sugar, which makes it totally ideal for detoxing from refined sugar. Plus, it contains many beneficial compounds that can promote wellness. For instance, it’s high in mogrosides, or antioxidants, which may support healthy blood sugar levels.
Monk fruit tastes pretty much just like white table sugar. So, you can use it in the same ratio as any regular sweetener.
This sweetener is made from the leaves of Stevia Rebaudiana, a plant native to South America. It’s often sold in supermarkets as a finely ground powder, which easily dissolves in hot liquids. But you can actually grow your own stevia — if you’re up for it — so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Stevia has zero calories and contains no sugar, making it an excellent way to stabilize blood sugar levels. But there’s a small dispute on how stevia affects the microbiome.
On the one hand, some say that it causes a growth in some types of bacteria, leading to cravings. Others say that stevia actually increases microbiome diversity, which may support healthier digestion. In sum, the verdict is still out.
In terms of taste, stevia is slightly bitter, so not everyone enjoys it. But a little goes a long way if you don’t mind the taste.
3. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is made by collecting sap from maple trees and boiling it down into a concentrate. Of course, the number #1 appeal of this sweetener is its taste, which is delicious. Plus, it has notes of caramel and vanilla, which will perfectly complement a cup of coffee.
Maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index than regular (although not by much). It also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, giving you extra nourishment while you sip your coffee. Last, maple syrup doesn’t contain any fructose, which is a type of sugar that some — especially those with GI conditions — may find hard to digest.
4. Raw Honey
Honey has been used for thousands of years, thanks to its therapeutic benefits. And let’s admit: It tastes pretty damn good, too — especially when you consider all the different honey varieties that are out there.
Raw honey contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, giving you a boost of nutrition in every spoon of the good stuff. It’s also been shown to have antimicrobial properties, making it a favorite cold remedy.
Just make sure that you’re getting raw honey. Unless it states so on the label, many grocery stores carry pasteurized honey, which can have its beneficial compounds killed off during processing.
Something else to remember is that some brands can dilute their honey with other liquid sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup. The best way to avoid this is to read that ingredient label(!) and stick to high-quality honey brands.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can add a mildly sweet flavor to your coffee with tons of decadent coconut flavor.
But the flavor isn’t the only reason to add coconut oil to your coffee. Getting some saturated fat with your cup of coffee can keep you fuller for longer, which is an excellent way to do a modified intermittent fast. Coffee with coconut oil may also replace your breakfast — or enhance it — if you’re trying a low-carb diet.
Coconut oil can also provide you with a quick boost of energy. The fatty acids found in coconut oil are broken down much faster than many other types of fat, giving you all the energy and none of the crash of sugar.
6. Grass-Fed Butter
If you’re not familiar with butter coffee, we promise it’s not as weird as it sounds! If you use high-quality grass-fed butter, the taste is similar to a creamy latte. All you have to do is blend a hot cup of coffee with one tablespoon of butter (preferably in a blender) for a frothy, creamy treat.
Another reason to love grass-fed butter is its impressive nutrient profile. Not only is it high in saturated fats, which will keep you full for longer, but it also contains vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin K2 — the perfect way to start your day off right.
7. Pure Vanilla Extract
If you enjoy putting vanilla syrup into your coffee, then switching to pure vanilla extract might feel a bit new. But we promise once you get used to the complex taste of vanilla extract in your coffee, you won’t go to the fake syrupy stuff.
Plus, pure vanilla extract may have a calming effect. If you get jitters from drinking coffee, balancing it out with a drop of pure vanilla extract may relax your mind and body.
Just make sure that you’re getting pure vanilla extract and not artificial vanilla flavor. Only pure vanilla bean that’s been extracted can provide you with awesome benefits. Plus, it tastes so much better than the fake stuff.
8. Warm Spices
Warm spices typically used for baking include favorites like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. These can add a touch of sweetness to your coffee while enhancing its flavor.
In addition, warm spices may come with a boost of benefits. For instance, cinnamon is known for its anti-inflammatory effect and ability to reduce blood sugar levels.
Just remember: A little goes a long way with warm spices. Just a couple of dashes should be enough to add sweetness to your coffee without overwhelming it.
9. Cacao Powder
You can add a tablespoon of cacao powder to your coffee for a grown-up version of hot cocoa.
Rich in antioxidants, cacao powder is one of the most popular health-boosting superfoods. Plus, it can promote a good mood, which is an excellent way to start your day.
Say Good-Bye to Sugar With Sweetkick
If your favorite morning drink was stopping you from quitting sugar, now you have nine reasons to say goodbye to this harmful substance. Whether it’s monk fruit, coconut oil, or cinnamon, there’s no shortage of healthy ways to sweeten your coffee.
Begin your health journey today.