Why would anyone want to replace coffee with cocoa or cacao when drinking coffee is so wide-spread and for some of us integral part of our lives?
There are many reasons why. I used to be a regular drinker of it until recently when I found out it has horrible effects on my skin. It might be not your case but I know there are more people than just me who have allergy to coffee or just don’t feel well after having it. In my case, I experienced pimples and comedones having two cups of coffee a day.
Replacing Coffee With Cocoa
It is not that easy to change our routines as we do enjoy our meals and drinks even though we are concerned about the effects of them. If you are used to have two cups of coffee every day, you won’t just stop drinking it without replacing coffee with something else.
Cocoa powder is made by grinding cocoa beans and contains no fat or sugar. The amount of cocoa in chocolate determines how healthy or unhealthy the product is. This is why dark chocolate is considered one of the healthiest snacks out there. This is because it has the highest percentage of cocoa in it.
Cocoa Powder is rich in flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-diarrheal properties. Flavonoids are polyphenols that improve blood flow to the brain.
According to USDA, it contains a high amount of iron and fibre.
Cocoa or Cacao is one of the healthiest things you can put into your body. It has more antioxidants than blueberries! Scientists have found that cocoa consumption can also increase cognitive function and even play a positive role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Enhances Your Mood
You have probably heard that chocolate can make you happy. You might have thought there is a relation to sugar as well but there’s not! It is the cocoa powder that has positive effect on your brain.
Positively Affects Your Skin
Rich in antioxidants, cocoa can help you to improve you skin. The flavonoids boost skin elasticity and help reduce redness and blemishes. It makes your skin look brighter and younger!
There are many other benefits of cocoa powder: It may reduce high blood pressure due to its nitric oxide levels, improve symptoms of type 2 diabetes and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Improves Quality of Sleep
Cacao is one of the richest dietary sources of magnesium, a natural sedative that can greatly improve the quality of sleep. Unlike coffee, it gives you energy throughout the day, but when the night time comes, it doesn’t keep you awake.
Preparing a healthy and tasty Cocoa Drink:
Replacing your cup of coffee with a cocoa drink, you just mix pure unsweetened cocoa powder with hot milk. If you don’t drink milk or are allergic to it, use almond milk, coconut milk or any other plant-based milk. You can sweeten your cocoa drink with one of the natural sweeteners.
If you have come across the word cacao, you might be wondering what’s the difference.
Cocoa is a chocolate powder made from ground and roasted cacao seeds.
Cacao refers to the plant itself and to the products made from non-roasted seeds.s
SECOND BEST OPTION: MESQUITE POWDER
Mesquite powder is a delicious powder made from dried pods of mesquite tree. I discovered it only recently by chance when I was ordering a protein powder and looking at plant-based dried milk substitutes. I tried it and it has instantly become my favourite drink. I just love the smell and taste.
This is another good alternative you can replace coffee with, although it tastes completely different. It is hard to describe the taste, something between nutty and caramely. Mesquite contains polyphenols, powerful micronutrients that our body needs.
Polyphenols with antioxidants are believed to have anti-aging effects.
Same as cocoa, mesquite powder is also rich in iron. In fact, the properties of cocoa and mesquite are very similar. How does this work? Antioxidants are able to eliminate free radicals created by air pollution, smoking and pesticides so it is necessary to consume enough of them to stay fit, have a healthy skin and prevent or minimise wrinkles.
Polyphenols are also believed to prevent such diseases as diabetes type II, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis.
Does mesquite powder contain caffeine?
No, it is naturally caffeine free. However, be careful not to confuse it with mesquite coffee that is made of regular coffee with added mesquite powder. Then, of course, it does contain caffeine and it is even supposed to be stronger than a regular coffee.
ANOTHER POPULAR ALTERNATIVE: ROASTED GRAIN DRINK
Another drink people often replace coffee with is roasted grain drink. It is also called grain coffee and there are many types, made of barley, rye, molasses or chicory. You can find many roasted grain drinks with various product names. My favourite one is Caro by Nestlé. I make a drink with coconut milk or add it to my cocoa drink.
There are not so many nutritional benefits in grain coffee compared to cocoa or mesquite. However, the taste is most coffee-like out of all these coffee substitutes so if you are trying to replace your coffee with something that will remind you of coffee at least, roasted grain drink will probably be you winner.
ALMOST LIKE COCOA: CAROB POWDER
Carob is very similar to cocoa both in taste and in the texture. It is a dark brown powder made from dried, roasted carob tree pods and looks a lot like cocoa powder. Carob powder is often used as a natural sweetener in baked goods.
Carob doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate, but it has a nutty flavor. So while carob powder and carob chips can be substituted one-for-one for cocoa powder and chocolate chips in recipes, try swapping in half first to get a sense of its unique taste.
Carob (unsweetened) is a low-calorie, naturally sweet alternative to chocolate. It is rich in filling fibre and low in fat. Fibre, the indigestible part of carbohydrate, has been linked to a healthier weight, improved blood sugar control, and reduced cholesterol.
How to prepare a carob drink:
Mix carob powder with hot almond milk or coconut milk and add just a few grains of Himalayan salt. Stir quickly to remove lumps. You can also add a bit of cinnamon of vanilla.
DIFFERENT BUT TASTY: MATCHA TEA
I found this drink about one year ago and fell in love with it. Same as green tea, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, the taste as well as the content of nutrients is different.
Matcha contains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf, which results in a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants than typically found in green tea.
Matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body. Studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and increasing metabolism.
As to the content of caffeine, matcha contains a more concentrated amount of caffeine than green tea: 35 mg of caffeine per half teaspoon (about 1 gram) of matcha powder.
How to prepare a delicious matcha drink:
Mix matcha powder with 60 degrees hot water into a cup and add milk or plant-based milk alternative. I personally love matcha tea with full-fat milk. No sweeteners, just matcha and milk. Very tasty!
You can, of course, replace coffee with any tea but coffee and tea have a different taste and if you are a coffee lover used to have you cup with milk and enjoy this kind of treat, sheer tea probably won’t satisfy you.
In my opinion, replacing coffee with cocoa is a great step. Having a hot chocolate made of pure cocoa powder with milk or almond milk is delicious and provides your body with many nutrients to keep you healthy and also keep your young look with its anti-aging properties.
It will also satisfy you due to its content of caffeine and theobromine.
Is replacing coffee easy for you or do you find it impossible?