Awesome Coffee Substitute

Awesome Coffee Substitute | people-drinking-coffee | General Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests

If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, consider trading it for tea instead. Tea can provide a huge array of health benefits and, if it’s the caffeine you must have, may be a more “mild” substitute. Here’s a recipe for a favorite of mine, a vegan friendly, iced chai latte I enjoy having instead of coffee. It’s delicious, try it!

Ingredient 1: Pu-Erh Tea

Pu-Erh tea is a Chinese tea and its use dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE). Pu-Erh tea production is highly regulated to ensure quality and authenticity, only tea from Yunnan province may be called Pu-Erh tea. There are a number of estates that produce Pu-Erh and each has its own types of leaves from plants and trees that grow wild, some of which may be over 1,000 years old. After harvesting, each manufacturer blends the leaves to their own specifications. Producing black Pu-Erh tea involves a fermentation process where the natural enzymatic breakdown creates heat and “cooks” the leaves. This adds complexity, depth, and smoothness to the tea. [1]

Pu-Erh Tea is thought to support healthy blood sugar levels and have an anti obesity effect, and, like other teas, Pu-Erh is high in antioxidants. [2] [3] [4] When evaluated for antioxidant potential, Pu-Erh tea was found to have higher antioxidant activity than green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. [5] In traditional Chinese medicine, Pu-Erh tea is believed to:

  • Support digestion
  • Support the immune system and heart health
  • Provide high levels of absorbable vitamin C

Ingredient 2: Chai Spice Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a South American tea and one of the world’s most popular beverages. Yerba mate is believed to provide a number of health benefits because of its vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, polyphenol, and amino acid content. What are the health benefits of yerba mate?

1. Supports Weight Loss

Research shows that yerba mate keeps your appetite feeling satisifed and can help overweight persons achieve weight loss. [6]

2. Supports Heart Health

Some studies suggest that yerba mate tea may help prevent hardening of the arteries and reduce artery blockage, which may help reduce incidence of heart attack and stroke. [7]

3. Boosts Energy

Yerba mate contains theobromine, theophylline and caffeine which help to stimulate your nervous system and sharpen your focus. Although caffeine should be enjoyed in moderation, most yerba mate drinkers report fewer negative side effects from yerba mate than coffee.

4. Enhances Digestive Function

Yerba mate tea helps your intestines absorb nutrients and digest food more efficiently. [8]

5. Contains Antioxidants

Yerba mate is a rich source of antioxidants, even more than green tea. [9] [10]

Ingredient 3: Raw Almond Milk

Raw almond milk is a fantastic substitute for dairy milk. In addition to coconut and hemp milk, raw almond milk is the only vegetable based milk product I personally use or recommend; soy milk is best avoided. Here’s an easy recipe to make your own:

  • 1 cup raw organic almonds
  • 3 cups purified water
  • 2 organic dates (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla (optional)

Soak the almonds in water overnight. Drain and discard the water. Blend the almonds and optional dates and vanilla with three cups of water until well blended and almost smooth. Strain using a cheesecloth or strainer. Store in the refrigerator where it will last 3-4 days. [11]

Iced Chai Latte Directions

  1. Steep 1 bag of Pu-erh tea and 1 bag of Chai Spice Mate in a cup of hot water for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour over ice (optional).
  3. Add raw almond milk to taste!
  4. Enjoy!
References (11)
    1. Hou CW, Jeng KC, Chen YS. Enhancement of fermentation process in Pu-erh tea by tea-leaf extract. J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):H44-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01441.x.
    2. Zhang HM, Wang CF, Shen SM, Wang GL, Liu P, Liu ZM, Wang YY, Du SS, Liu ZL, Deng ZW. Antioxidant phenolic compounds from Pu-erh tea. Molecules. 2012 Nov 27;17(12):14037-45. doi: 10.3390/molecules171214037.
    3. Du WH, Peng SM, Liu ZH, Shi L, Tan LF, Zou XQ. Hypoglycemic Effect of the Water Extract of Pu-erh Tea. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Oct 1.
    4. Oi Y, Hou IC, Fujita H, Yazawa K. Antiobesity effects of Chinese black tea (Pu-erh tea) extract and gallic acid. Phytother Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):475-81. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3602.
    5. Duh PD, Yen GC, Yen WJ, Wang BS, Chang LW. Effects of pu-erh tea on oxidative damage and nitric oxide scavenging. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 29;52(26):8169-76.
    6. Hussein GM, Matsuda H, Nakamura S, Hamao M, Akiyama T, Tamura K, Yoshikawa M. Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) promotes satiety and body weight lowering in mice: involvement of glucagon-like peptide-1. Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(12):1849-55.
    7. Gao H, Liu Z, Wan W, Qu X, Chen M. Aqueous Extract of Yerba Mate Tea Lowers Atherosclerotic Risk Factors in a Rat Hyperlipidemia Model. Phytother Res. 2012 Oct 10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4856.
    8. Gorzalczany S, Filip R, Alonso MR, Miño J, Ferraro GE, Acevedo C. Choleretic effect and intestinal propulsion of ‘mate’ (Ilex paraguariensis) and its substitutes or adulterants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 May;75(2-3):291-4.
    9. Heck CI, de Mejia EG. Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations. J Food Sci. 2007 Nov;72(9):R138-51. Review.
    10. Lunceford N, Gugliucci A. Ilex paraguariensis extracts inhibit AGE formation more efficiently than green tea. Fitoterapia. 2005 Jul;76(5):419-27.
    11. Jolinda Hackett. Raw Almond Milk Recipe. About.com Guide.

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About The Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

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