Coffee: Drink up!

December 10, 2012

Studies show that moderate consumption of coffee helps reduce some disease risk. Other studies show people who drink coffee live longer than those who don't.
So that's good news for coffee lovers! Green tea and other organic teas also have health benefits.
But keep in mind, health benefits go out the window if you're adding heaping tablespoons of sugar, creamer and other ingredients. And you know those oh-so-delicious coffee-house drinks pack the calories, fat and sugar into those Christmas-themed drinks this time of year.
So, skip the added junk, and enjoy your drinks for the simple flavor and health benefits. Try adding a little stevia or natural sugar substitute. Or heat up some nonfat milk, soy milk, almond milk or chocolate soy milk, and add it to your coffee.
For a REAL treat, try this. I promise, it tastes amazing and only takes a few seconds to make. Oh, and it's full of natural flavor without those extras that are going to make your pants – or that great New Year's Eve dress - fit too tight.

Homemade pumpkin-spice latte Directions: Brew your favorite coffee. Whatever your preference, a full pot or one-cup, it will work just fine.
*Note: The following are directions for a quick one-cup latte. Adjust ingredients for making more for company!
Other ingredients:
5-6 tablespoons milk or milk substitute. I like unsweetened organic soy milk.
1 tablespoon canned pumpkin (or the real, cooked, pureed pumpkin if you have it)
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (a little shake of each of these)
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon stevia or sugar substitute
Mix ingredients together in a mug, heat in microwave for about 45 seconds. Pour fresh coffee over it and you've got yourself a yummy drink for a fraction of the cost – and a fraction of the calories – of swinging by the drive-thru coffee shop.
Or, to make for a crowd, adjust ingredients, heat milk and other ingredients in sauce pan and then add to coffee. Throw some cinnamon sticks into the pan for extra flavor, and pumpkin pie spice if you have it.
You really can't mess this up, I promise. Pour in some milk, shake in some flavoring, and your friends will be impressed. Enjoy!