The ketogenic diet has become a popular way to lose weight, increase energy, and manage certain health conditions. But it's also incredibly restrictive. Ketosis requires you to limit your carb intake to around 10% of your daily diet, after all -- which means sacrificing many of the staple items in your pantry. Fortunately for caffeine junkies, coffee itself is keto-friendly. However, the milk, sugar, syrups, and creamers so many of us use to jazz up our morning brew are chock-full of carbohydrates that can ruin your diet.
Thankfully, if black coffee isn't your thing, you've got options. While keto-friendly creamers, artificial sweeteners, and heavy whipping creams allow you to enjoy coffee guilt-free, one keto-friendly coffee addition rules them all: butter. Butter coffee, also known as "bulletproof coffee," was first introduced by entrepreneur Dave Asprey in 2009. There are many modified versions of butter coffee -- the original recipe calls for a little grass-fed butter or ghee and MCT oil -- though the idea remains the same. The added boost of fat supports ketosis while satiating hunger (potentially improving mental focus and increasing energy).
Making the best keto-friendly coffee involves more than just tossing ingredients in a blender and going about your day, though. There are plenty of techniques and additions you can use to take your butter coffee to the next level and ensure a perfect cup every time. Here are some tips you need to make an outstanding keto-friendly cup of coffee.
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Choose A High-Quality Coffee Or Espresso
Since coffee is the foundation of this drink, it goes without saying you'll want to start with a quality brew. If you already have a favorite bean, great! If not, there are some things you'll want to consider when choosing your coffee.
As a general rule, whole-bean coffee is always a better option than ground as it retains more flavor and tends to last longer. Make sure the beans you choose are blemish-free and not cracked, and watch out for coffee that's too oily (a sign the beans have been over-roasted). The best coffees are typically found at local coffee shops and roasters, but you can find a variety of coffee brands at your local grocer, as well.
The traditional recipe for butter coffee calls for a plain, 8-ounce cup of joe -- but exactly how you prepare it doesn't really matter. Whether you prefer a traditional coffee maker, a Keurig, a pour-over, or French press, just make sure you prepare the coffee according to the directions with the correct water-to-coffee ratio. Plus, if you love a good shot of espresso (who doesn't?), you're in luck: butter coffee also tastes fantastic when made with espresso. You can either keep the same ratio of ingredients for an extra creamy beverage or cut down on the butter and oil to taste.
Try Coconut Oil Instead Of MCT Oil
MCT oil is a popular supplement that contains a concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). According to Healthline, MCTs are healthy fats that may provide several health benefits when incorporated into your diet, such as appetite suppression and increased energy. But there's one thing MCT oil can't add to your keto coffee: flavor. Fortunately, coconut oil is a common substitution for MCT oil in bulletproof coffee since it contains a naturally high level of MCTs.
More than that, though, coconut oil tastes great with coffee, adding a smooth, nutty flavor. When combined with the richness of butter, this results in a silky, creamy, delightful cup of coffee -- one you'll be looking forward to every morning.
If you're going to use coconut oil in your butter coffee, we suggest opting for a high-quality, unrefined variety. Even though the refining process is pretty minimal, unrefined coconut oil is the better option for adding the fruit's slightly sweet flavor to your beverage.
Use Grass-Fed Butter Or Ghee
Whether you choose to use butter or ghee in your bulletproof coffee ultimately comes down to personal preference. No matter which one you choose, though, it should be grass-fed. As you may have gleaned from the name, grass-fed butter is made using milk from cows that grazed on grass, as opposed to regular butter, which comes from grain-fed cows.
Believe it or not, you can actually taste the difference between regular and grass-fed butter. Grass-fed varieties have a creamier, richer flavor and consistency than traditional, and is often described as having fresh, herbal notes that elevate any dish you cook with it. Grass-fed butter also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats like Omega-3 fatty acids -- all of which are crucial in a keto diet (or any diet for that matter).
You can usually find grass-fed butter at pretty much any supermarket. Of course, if you're looking for the highest quality butter available, you may want to try finding it at a local farmer's market or natural food store.
Utilize An Immersion Blender
Unless you want chunks of butter in your coffee, you'll need to blend the ingredients to emulsify them and achieve the signature foam on top. This can be done in a number of ways, including a traditional or bullet-style blender, as well as using a coffee frother (as long as your butter is soft enough). That being said, we think an immersion blender is by far the easiest and most efficient tool to get this job done.
Now, you can substitute a regular blender for an immersion blender when making large batches of food or drink, or if you need a lot of power. But an immersion blender is the better choice when whipping up a small portion of something or when you aren't concerned about breaking up large pieces of food or ice (as is the case with butter coffee).
All of the ingredients are soft in bulletproof coffee and just need a quick blending, after all. Since you can use an immersion blender to make your coffee right in your tumbler or mug, as well -- minimizing the number of dishes you have to wash first thing in the morning -- we think it just makes sense.
Add A Splash Of Cream For A Smoother Finish
Let's be honest: Some of us just like our coffee to be nice and creamy. The good news for anyone on a ketogenic diet is there's no reason to sacrifice your beloved rich cup of coffee. In fact, adding a splash of cream to your butter coffee isn't just a great way to add a smooth finish -- it also increases the fat in your drink for an extra boost of energy and appetite suppression throughout the morning.
Heavy whipping cream is the best way to add a little more dairy to your coffee as it's high in fat and low in carbs. Plus, it's unbeatable if you're looking for that signature creamy texture. If dairy isn't your thing, there are plenty of keto-friendly milk alternatives on the market that can create a similar effect. Macadamia, almond, flaxseed, pea, soy, cashew, and coconut milks are all great substitutes that both fit the keto diet and taste great in coffee, too.
Incorporate Spices Or Extracts
One of the best parts about making coffee is playing around with different flavors. Whether you're a pumpkin spice fanatic, a peppermint lover, or enjoy a classic vanilla latte, adding spices or extracts to butter coffee is a great way to customize your morning brew to your liking without adding any carbs. You can add any spice or extract you want, but keep in mind: If you're using coconut oil in your bulletproof coffee, you'll want to pick something that pairs well with the nutty flavor. If you're using flavorless MCT oil, on the other hand, go wild!
Vanilla, almond, coconut, banana, maple, rum, and even orange extracts all taste great in butter coffee. Plus, adding them to your java is pretty simple. For instance, simply add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to flavor an entire pot of coffee, or pour ½ teaspoon of extract into your bulletproof coffee before blending for a single cup.
Spices are another fantastic way to flavor keto coffee. There are so many spices that can elevate coffee like cinnamon, nutmeg, lavender, turmeric, or even cayenne for an extra kick. The best method to infuse these flavors into your coffee is to add ground spices directly into your coffee grounds before brewing. Like extracts, a little bit of spice goes a long way in a cup of coffee, and a good rule of thumb is to add ½ teaspoon of ground spices per 6 cups of coffee.
Substitute Tea For Coffee
While it may sound a bit strange, you can easily substitute tea for coffee in a bulletproof drink. Whether you want to mix things up or are simply not a fan of coffee, making butter tea is a great way to invigorate yourself while meeting your keto diet's daily quota of fats. It's easy to do, too.
To make butter tea, you simply substitute the same amount of tea for coffee in the classic bulletproof recipe. You can use whatever tea you want, of course, though robust black and green teas tend to be the best substitute. Chai is an especially good choice, as it's often used in lattes, along with a London Fog Earl Grey. Matcha is another great option if you're looking for an extra boost of antioxidants. Since matcha is also such a potent tea, it pairs especially well with a splash of coconut milk.
Try A Vegan Butter Replacement
Butter coffee, by nature, is far from vegan-friendly. Fortunately, if you're following a vegan diet, you can still enjoy a bulletproof coffee by substituting a vegan alternative for real butter -- and you won't have to sacrifice the flavor of the drink when doing so.
The simplest way to make bulletproof coffee vegan-friendly is to simply swap traditional butter for a plant-based version. There are numerous worthwhile vegan butter options on the market to choose from, including the ever-popular Miyoko's Creamery European-style plant milk butter, Good & Gather plant-based buttery sticks, and Country Crock Plant Butter (which is made with olive oil).
Other vegan recipes call for eliminating the butter altogether and blending full-fat coconut milk in its place. This achieves a similar texture to traditional butter coffee, plus you have the added flavor of coconut to complement any coconut oil (or MCT oil) in the recipe.
Prep Ahead Of Time For Easier Mornings
Mornings can be hectic. So if you find yourself running low on time to whip up bulletproof coffee every day, you may want to do some work beforehand to make things easier on yourself. One way to do this is by preparing a pot of bulletproof coffee ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. You can then reheat it on the stove to reincorporate the butter and oil.
That being said, butter coffee tastes best when it's fresh, and it's easier to control the ratio of butter and oil to coffee if you make a single cup at a time. Fortunately, you can still do some prep work to make the single-cup process faster and easier by making bulletproof coffee "blocks". To do this, blend 8 ounces of softened butter with 1 cup of MCT or coconut oil in a food processor. Once blended, transfer the mixture into a mold or ice cube tray, freeze until firm, and store in an airtight container in the freezer until you're ready to blend one or two into your morning cup of coffee.
Use Sugar-Free Syrups And Sweeteners
If you're the type of person who prefers your coffee to taste more like ice cream than actual coffee, the idea of drinking unsweetened butter coffee probably sounds pretty offputting. But adding a keto-friendly sugar alternative or a sugar-free coffee syrup is a great way to add some sweetness without the carbs.
There are tons of keto-friendly sweeteners for your coffee, such as stevia, erythritol, and the ever-popular monk fruit sweetener. If you're looking for a way to impart some additional flavor to your butter coffee beyond sweetness, a sugar-free coffee syrup is one of the best ways to do so. There are a lot of excellent coffee syrup brands on the market, many of which offer sugar-free options.
Torani is one of our favorite makers of coffee syrup. The brand has an impressively large selection of sugar-free syrups in a variety of unique flavors like peanut butter, s'mores, Irish cream, and chocolate macadamia nut (in addition to the usual options). Just add a pump of syrup to your butter coffee before blending and you've got a great, flavored drink.
Make It An Iced Butter Coffee
Sometimes? You're just in the mood for iced coffee. Thankfully, making keto-friendly iced butter coffee is pretty easy to do with a little bit of prep ahead of time. To make iced bulletproof coffee, prepare a cup of coffee and place it in the refrigerator until it cools completely. Once chilled, blend your ingredients as usual, and either pour into a glass over a few ice cubes and serve, or add some ice to your blender to make a frappé-style coffee beverage.
Since coffee can take a while to cool, you may want to make a pot at least several hours beforehand and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. You can also make butter coffee in advance and pre-portion it out. This makes it easy to shake up or blend in the morning with some ice -- so you'll have a great cup of iced coffee ready to go. You can even add a swirl of keto-friendly whipped cream on top for an indulgent touch.
Add Eggs For A Vietnamese Twist
Egg coffee has been a Vietnamese staple since the 1940s. Although it's typically made with sweetened condensed milk, it's possible to make an outstanding keto-friendly cup of coffee that's similar to egg coffee. Not only can eggs bring additional texture to your coffee, but they add extra protein, as well -- making it an especially great addition for those using butter coffee as a meal replacement.
The traditional recipe for cà phê trứng -- or Vietnamese egg coffee -- calls for making an egg cream with a couple of egg yolks, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk (not exactly a keto-friendly combo). When it comes to incorporating eggs into bulletproof coffee, then, most people take a bit of a different approach.
To add eggs to your butter coffee, simply drop two egg yolks into the drink before blending, add a bit of sugar-free sweetener, and enjoy as usual. The result is an extra creamy, foamy drink packed full of protein that tastes surprisingly like a dessert -- and who doesn't love that?
Make It A Mocha With Cacao Butter Or Chocolate Powder
Mochas are among the most popular coffee drinks for a reason. They're rich and delicious, after all, and if you've been following a keto diet, you may be missing them -- a lot. Lucky for you, butter coffee can be made mocha-style by adding a keto-friendly ingredient such as cacao butter or cocoa powder.
Perhaps the simplest way to turn your butter coffee into a mocha is to add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder and a little bit of sweetener to the drink before blending. Using a pump or two of sugar-free chocolate coffee syrup in this recipe is a great way to add sweetness for a double chocolate mocha.
Cacao butter is another option for adding chocolate flavor to your bulletproof coffee. Simply toss a few chunks into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Not only does cacao butter add some extra silkiness to your butter coffee, but since it's 100% fat, it also goes a long way toward helping you reach your daily macro goals.
Add Collagen For A Boost Of Protein
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about collagen. Of course, there's a lot of misinformation out there about this supposed miracle supplement. But there's a reason people add it to various foods, drinks, and beauty products -- and why it's worth adding to bulletproof coffee. Hydrolyzed collagen supplements are an excellent source of protein, after all, and may even help promote weight loss.
When adding a powdered collagen supplement to your butter coffee, simply pour a scoop or two into your blender and mix it in with the rest of the ingredients. There are plenty of collagen powders on the market to choose from, including flavored varieties (like chocolate and vanilla) that add a little something extra to your drink. If you're following a vegetarian or vegan diet, look for plant-based collagen powders that provide similar benefits without being derived from animals.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.