6 ways of boosting your morning beverage to make the ultimate delicious bulletproof coffee. Everything you need to know about fats, adaptogens, and flavors for your coffee or matcha right here!
This post is sponsored by VitaCup.
Boosted coffee (and matcha) is all the rage, and for a good reason: adding a boost of nutrition to your morning joe to jump start your metabolism, boost your immune system, calm your nerves (and more!) adds even more validity to your daily habit. I mean, why not? You’re already committed to a beautiful addiction, so how about we get a little something extra out of the deal to pump up our fuel cells?
I’ve been drinking bulletproof coffee every day for almost three years, and I must say, after all this time, I have it down to an art. I’ve tried everything from coconut oil to grass-fed butter, ghee, MCT oil, I’ve gone sweetened and unsweetened, made a mocha out of it, boosted it with collagen, flavored it with vanilla bean and cinnamon…you name it!
So I’m going to tell you about the myriad of ways you can boost your morning coffee (or matcha!). I’ll give you my go-to recipe for bulletproof coffee along with several other recipe ideas, but first, I want to tell you about this new coffee I’ve been drinking!
VitaCup sent me their French Roast and French Vanilla single-serve coffee pods, which are boosted with Vitamins B1, B5, B6, B9, B12, D3, and antioxidants. These Vitamins help boost your metabolism, immune system, and energy level, help process carbohydrates, and even promote healthy hair and cell growth. You can learn so much more about the health benefits of these Vitamins right on VitaCup’s homepage.
The pods are eco-friendly, BPA-free, and recyclable. Plus, the flavor of the coffee is fabulous! While I’m typically not super into flavored coffees, I found the smell and taste of the French Vanilla to be irresistible, and the French Roast is definitely an all-around staple for my daily coffee needs.
I used to drink 3 cups of coffee per day, but after I began drinking bulletproof coffee, I no longer saw the purpose – one large cup of bulletproof wakes me up and keeps me energized, and for me, the flavor is so satisfying that I don’t crave the additional cups. So what I do, is brew one large cup of coffee (I typically do pour-over, but with VitaCup, it’s easy to just pop the pods in your single-brew coffee maker), pour it in my blender with coconut oil and collagen powder, and blend for a good long while until it’s nice and frothy.
When it comes to boosting your coffee, you have so many options for the fat you use, any additional supplements, as well as flavor add ins. Lettuce discuss! Starting with one of my favorite topics: Fat.
Saturated Fat. Do you hate it? Do you love it? I happen to consume a great deal of fat because it’s where a lot of my calories come from since I have so many food intolerances. It fuels me, gives me energy, makes me feel good, and dadgummit, I feel great eating a high-fat, low-carb diet! That’s not to say a high-fat diet is for everyone – in fact, it only works well if you also don’t eat many carbohydrates – and you certainly shouldn’t drop everything right now and mow through a jar of coconut oil, it’s just to say I happen to enjoy a dollop of saturated fat in my morning joe.
Blending coffee with high-quality fat gives you that creamy richness you would normally get from half & half, while keeping it dairy-free and also healthful. Using fats like coconut oil, cacao butter, coconut butter, ghee, or brain octane oil trains your body to begin burning fat as fuel first thing in the morning and throughout the day. It also slows the rate at which your body processes the caffeine, so you don’t get a quick jittery jolt of energy, but rather a slow release of energy over a few-hour period. Blending the coffee with one (or more) of these ingredients also results in a frothy latte-like consistency, and it tastes marvelous (in my humble opinion).
If you want to dig deeper into a high-fat diet, you can look into ketosis, wherein your body trains itself to burn fat in lieu of carbohydrates for fuel. This process requires some time, a lot of research, and only works if you eat a diet that’s very, very low in carbs. Combining a high-fat diet with a high-carbohydrate diet is a recipe for disaster. Bare this in mind when choosing your coffee fat – if you eat a great deal of carbs throughout the day, going wild with bulletproof coffee is probably not the best idea.
In addition to promoting fat burn, consuming a saturated fat like this in your coffee helps tremendously with satiety, in the sense that you won’t feel hungry for breakfast for another 2 hours or so. It can be nice to sip on your coffee and enjoy the birds chirping before rushing to the kitchen to feed your hangry monster.
How much fat should you use in your coffee? That kind of depends upon personal preference. Most recipes I’ve seen on the internet call for 8 ounces of coffee to 1 tablespoon of fat (coconut oil, ghee, etc), but I find I like a higher coffee-to-oil ratio. I do about 1 tablespoon of fat per 16 ounces of coffee and am super psyched with the result. You can play around with this for your optimal concoction!
Let’s talk about the various fats you can add to your coffee or matcha:
Coconut Oil: The fat in coconut oil is mostly comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which don’t require bile secretion to break down since they are shorter than other fats. It goes to your bloodstream and is immediately available for fuel rather than being stored as fat on your person. You probably already have coconut oil in your pantry! I recommend using a high quality organic coconut oil, especially if you’re planning on drinking bulletproof coffee every day. I find the flavor of coconut oil to be very appealing, but it did take a little bit of time for me to get used to it after I had been drinking coffee with half & half for so long.
Cacao Butter: Similar to coconut oil, cacao butter is full of saturated fat. It’s great for your skin and is full of antioxidants. When cacao beans are processed for cacao butter or cacao powder, they are fermented, then roasted. This process separates the cacao butter from the cacao solids, which are then turned into cacao powder. From a quality fat standpoint, I wouldn’t say cacao butter is at the top of my list, but flavor-wise? Holy mackerel! Cacao butter generates a super creamy and rich flavor and makes for an incredible coffee treat. One upside to buying cacao butter is it’s shelf-stable and lasts for a very long time, so you don’t necessarily need to be concerned with getting through it quickly.
Coconut Butter: Coconut butter is a good source of lauric acid, helping destroy harmful bacteria and boosting your immune system. Similar to the two fats above, coconut butter is helpful in boosting your metabolism all while making you feel full. It also contains amino acids, calcium, and magnesium.
Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter, which is a process wherein the milk solids and water are removed from butter (thereby removing the lactose) so that you’re left with – you guessed it- pure fat. Ghee contains Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D and E. Like the other fats we’ve discussed so far, ghee is helpful to those who have digestive issues or gluten sensitivity, as it helps repair damage. It’s also handy because it’s an efficient source of Vitamin A, which is a difficult nutrient to absorb when you have digestive ailments. What does it taste like? Butter! But even butterier. Learn more about Ghee here.
Brain Octane Oil (a.k.a. C8 MCT Oil) Okay, here’s where stuff gets real interesting and somewhat complicated, but I’ll try to be concise. There are several types of medium-chain triglycerides (a.k.a. MCTs or fats) in coconuts – C6, C8, C10, and C12. C6 can be very irritating on the gut, so if you purchase MCT oil, just be sure it has a very low (or no) amount of C6 (it will say on the back of the container near the nutrition label). C8 is the best out of all of the MCTs because it converts to ketones (usable energy) almost immediately, and suppresses your hunger hormone, ghrelin, thereby providing enormous satiety. Brain Octane Oil is C8 and has been touted as a very efficient fuel source, helping achieve ketosis, and boosts your energy level like a champion.
If you’re brand new to Brain Octane Oil, I strongly suggest you start small – only add 1 teaspoon to your coffee to start out (you can add more regular coconut oil or other fat of choice) and go from there. I read this prior to trying it, and I still added 2 teaspoons on my first go. It didn’t make my belly happy, but I have a sensitive digestive system. Just food for thought. MCT oil is flavorless, and doesn’t have as rich or creamy of a flavor as the other options, but from a ketosis standpoint, MCT oil is king.
As a side note, I’ve also seen recipes where people have added egg yolks to their coffee for texture, richness, protein, and fat. I’ve never tried this method myself, so I can’t speak to it, but just know it’s an option.
Here’s where things can get really interesting. You can add all sorts of adaptogens, herbs, and/or natural supplements to your coffee (or matcha) to increase your overall well-being. Adaptogens are natural substances (such as herbs or ground up plants and potions) that help you adapt to stressful situations, lower anxiety, and help create a normalizing effect in your body. They can help with digestive issues and autoimmune disease. Many adaptogens help lower cortisol levels (that pesky stress hormone that causes you to retain excess belly fat) and heal you from adrenal fatigue. Note that with adaptogens, you’ll need to consume them in small amounts regularly before you see any effects – they don’t necessarily work overnight.
Do you need to add a adaptogens to still see benefits from a supercharged cup of joe? Absolutely not. But if you read through some of these magical descriptions, you may land on something that can cure, treat, or alleviate something you’re currently going through physically or mentally.
How much you should add to your coffee depends on the product – I have noted my recommendation for amount to each item. If you’re new to adding adaptogens or herbs to your coffee, I’d start off simple by only adding 1, rather than a whole slew of them to slowly observe the effects (if any) it has on your body. When all’s said and done, you shouldn’t be adding more than say 2 or 3 to your morning beverage.
Collagen – Our body’s most prominent protein that through processing has virtually been eliminated from our food. Many of us need to supplement our collagen intake to ensure we have the building blocks we need for strong bones and joints and healthy tendons and connective tissue. Improves the youth and elasticity of your skin, strength and shine of your hair, and strength of your nails. Collagen is very helpful for those who have digestive issues such as IBS or leaky gut, as its amino acids help repair the damaged cell wall of your intestines and help break down proteins. Collagen dissolves in hot liquid, flavorless, helps make the coffee frothy! I use a scant tablespoon in my coffee, but most recipes I’ve seen on the internet call for 1 teaspoon.
Ashwaganda – An adaptogenic herb that can help regulate cortisol (your stress hormone responsible for retaining fat and messing with your metabolism), normalize blood pressure, heart rate and increase metabolic rate by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes for protein and fat. Add 1 teaspoon to your coffee or matcha.
Astralagus Root – An adaptogen that is helpful in reducing stress and lowering cortisol.
Rhodiola – Reduces stress related fatigue, relieves anxiety, and slows down aging. Helps improve memory and may help with weight loss.
Turmeric – high in antioxidants Note that turmeric will change the flavor of your coffee to be even more bitter, so use sparingly, or use only in matcha. I’d use less than ¼ teaspoon to start and go from there.
Maca Powder – Comes from maca root as a finely ground powder that can be added to coffee, matcha, smoothies, protein bars and balls, etc. Includes 20 essential amino acids and small amounts of vitamins and fiber. May help regulate hormones, boosts libido, strength, stamina, and promotes hair growth. Proven to help with PCOS, PMS, and menopause. Add 1 teaspoon to your coffee or matcha.
Bee pollen – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system, relieves stress. Add 1 teaspoon to your coffee or matcha. May help with seasonal allergies.
Ginger – Packed with medicinal properties, ginger has been used to treat nausea and a slew of digestive ailments for thousands of years. Ginger helps ensure food properly moves throughout your digestive system and is thereby absorbed rather than getting stuck and fermenting into something gnarly. Packed with antioxidants and a natural antibiotic, ginger promotes an overall healthy immune system. Add less than a ¼ teaspoon of fresh or ground ginger to your coffee or matcha, and adjust for flavor accordingly.
Chaga Mushroom Powder – Chaga mushrooms help boost your immune system, helps heal an angry gut, particularly ulcers and gastrointestinal inflammation. It’s packed with antioxidants, is a natural antimicrobial, and antiviral. You can make an actual tea out of chaga, but you can also blend it up with your coffee – it has a slightly nutty almost woodsy flavor. Add 1 teaspoon to your coffee or matcha.
Flavors & Sweeteners:
Raw cacao powder: Fancy a mocha? Adding raw cacao powder boosts your coffee’s antioxidants and provides that silky rich chocolatey taste. Combining coffee, cacao butter, raw cacao powder, pure maple syrup, and a pinch of ground cinnamon makes for an excellent healthier mocha option.
Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon is a pretty powerful natural tool for increasing your circulation. If you have Raynaud’s or circulation issues like me, a pinch of cinnamon is super tasty and helpful!
Chai Spice: During the fall and winter months, I love adding a little shake of Chai spice to my coffee for that ultimate warm cozy drink. You can buy store-bought Chai spice, or make your own blend!
Vanilla Bean or extract: I’m not a ginormous fan of using extracts in my coffee, but I do love the scrapings of a vanilla bean here or there! Only thing is vanilla beans are pretty pricy, so bear that in mind before you go making them a habit. You can also add peppermint extract to your bulletproof mocha for a little holiday inspiration.
Pure Maple Syrup: My favorite liquid sweetener! I usually drink my coffee without any sweeteners, but in the event I’m making a homemade Irish Coffee or Mocha, I go for the pure maple syrup. If your body tolerates sugars well, you can always use raw organic cane sugar. Start with 1 teaspoon and go from there (most folks would find 2 to 3 teaspoons the most palatable).
Raw Honey: Not gonna lie, I have never been able to love honey in my coffee, but some folks swear by it! If honey is your favorite natural sweetener, go for it! Start with 1 teaspoon and go from there.
And that should at least get you started! Note, if you’re more into matcha than coffee, all the above still applies!
The recipe for my personal go-to for boosted coffee is below, but here are also lots of ideas for ingredient combinations (note: you can try this with matcha as well):
Standard Bulletproof Coffee 3 ways:
- Method 1: 2 tsp Brain Octane Oil (or MCT oil of choice), 1 tsp coconut oil, 12 to 16 ounces strong brewed coffee
- Method 2: 1 tbl ghee, 12 to 16 ounces strong brewed coffee
- Method 3: 1 tbl coconut oil or coconut butter, 12 to 16 ounces strong brewed coffee.
- Note: Add in 1 tsp of your favorite adaptogen such as Ashwaganda, bee pollen, or maca powder
Naturally Sweetened Mocha: 1 tbl cacao butter, 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1 tsp collagen powder, 1 tbl pure maple syrup, 12 to 16 ounces strong brewed coffee
Vanilla Chai Latte: 1 tbl coconut butter, ¼ tsp chai spice, 1 tbl pure maple syrup, 1 vanilla bean, scraped, 12 to 16 ounces strong brewed coffee
And now, here’s my go-to bulletproof coffee recipe, which I drink every day!
Julia's Go-To Bulletproof Coffee
Add everything to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until very creamy and frothy. Pour into a fancy mug, and enjoy!
*Adjust the amount of coconut oil you use up or down according to personal preference.