Saying I love coffee is an understatement. The first words out of my mouth upon waking was always, “I need coffee.” I am sure that you all can relate. However, coffee, for me, especially espresso, did not love me back, especially on an empty stomach. I used to be able to function with a regular iced coffee with a splash of homemade almond milk, however this quickly escalated into iced coffee with two shots of espresso. Even then I was tempted to increase the amount of espresso in my daily coffee routine. Yikes! I started to feel worse after consumption, migraines, bloating and severe intestinal cramping. Unfortunately, I had to take a step back from my coffee addiction and realized that it was more of a social thing than actually NEEDED caffeine. After all, I am a morning person and usually ready to go by 7 AM.
Coffee is a well-known irritant for those suffering from IBS, gastritis, Cohn’s, colitis etc., and for the most part should be avoided! After giving up all forms of caffeine, I noticed a huge difference and improvement in my digestive health & migraines. I felt amazing!! I turned to green juices or smoothies in the morning and relied on vegetables and super-foods to power me through the day.
Since I am all about balance and do not believe in depriving yourself, I started to SLOWLY re-introduce coffee back into my system, 1 shot of espresso once or twice a week. I feel that I can manage that amount weekly without having any digestive health issues. Honestly, after giving it up for almost year, I’ve realized it wasn’t necessary. First part of addiction, is admitting right? So today, I introduce to you my Mocha Espresso Re-Fuel Smoothie- my once and a while morning or afternoon 3 PM slump treat.
Mocha Espresso Re-Fuel
1 cup homemade cashew milk (or any type of nut milk)*
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tbsp. cacao powder
2 T mixture of raw cacao nibs + raw espresso beans (see below)
1 ½ frozen banana
1 medjool date*
Sea salt to taste
Extra shot of espresso (optional)
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
*I find that cashew milk tends to be creamier in texture, smoother, and sweeter compared to other nut milks. I personally find that cashew, due to its richness is the better option with coffee! Here is a great recipe.
*Add more dates or maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter tasting smoothie (The recipe above has more of that strong espresso flavor.)
Note: if you end up making your own cashew milk, you can control the consistency (thick or thin). If you make your own cashew milk on the thicker side you might not need to add a frozen banana to thicken up the smoothie. I tend to omit the banana when I have made a thicker cashew milk. You can also find my own recipe for chocolate cashew milk here, that would be great to use. The recipe is in the comments. All you would need to do is add in the extra ingredients (minus the banana!)
What you need to do:
In a food processor blend together 1 cup of espresso beans (I tend to use beans that have flavors of chocolate, caramel & toffee) with 2 T of raw cacao sweet nibs. (Navitas Naturals is a good brand). Pulse until just combined, you want the mixture to be slightly grain-like. You can store the left over mixture in a container.
Next, in a blender add the cashew milk, cinnamon, sea salt, cacao/espresso mixture, ground flaxseed, cacao powder & date(s)/maple syrup. Blend together on high speed for about 2 minutes - I prefer the cacao/espresso mixture to still be present in the smoothie, added a little crunch. Add the frozen banana and more cashew milk (if needed) blend on high for another few minutes. Last, Add 2-3 ice cubes for an extra cold frothy drink.
Finally, poor, sip, love, & conquer the day!
Why you need this:
Cacao nibs are even better for you than dark chocolate! They are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks, and broken into smaller pieces. They aren’t quite as sweet as chocolate but delicious in smoothies and all baking recipes.
Cacao may also help to keep your bowel movements regular! Who doesn’t love that just by eating this cacao bean can help your digestive health! Chocolate = good digestive health = sign me up! They are also one of the best dietary sources of magnesium which can help in the prevention of migraines! Another reason why I use cacao nibs or cacao powder in my recipes!