Who’d guess that cold brew coffee could help me to lose over 30 pounds. You see, I love coffee. Ever since those late night study groups in college, I have been thoroughly committed to the coffee experience. But truth be told, over the years the ratio of cream and sugar to coffee had slowly increased until I realized that what I really like is coffee flavoring with my cream and sugar. One day I decided to actually measure exactly what I was putting into my extra large morning cup o’Joe. Denial aside, it came to 1/3 cup half and half and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Total calorie count: 200. Plus, an occasional squirt of chocolate syrup, caramel topping or whip cream!
The beginning of 2017 I decided to change my ways and begin a more healthy lifestyle that included exercise and a reduced calorie diet. The question remained; how do I reduce the caloric count in my coffee without compromising taste? This was a process of elimination that took time and a lot of thrown out samples. I tried fat free half and half and aspartame. Yech! I tried Walden Farms no calorie coffee flavoring. Even worse. I tried different low fat/no sugar creamers, a combination of non dairy milk products, no sugar syrups, and flavored coffee. The taste never satisfied me. I was left wondering if I should just give up my coffee addiction.
Give me sweets and no one gets hurt
The problem is that I wanted something sweet, with a fraction of the calories, and a more natural solution than the chemical alternatives. That’s when I discovered cold-brew. Unlike the hot version of coffee, cold brew is much more smooth and sweet. I played with natural flavorings such as extracts, cinnamon, chili powder, and cocoa that I added to the coffee and water before it went into the fridge at night. In the morning, I mixed ice cubes, 1 cup unsweetened coconut/almond milk to 1 cup filtered cold brew coffee. The result was a naturally sweetened, no chemical, satisfying cup of coffee, resulting in a reduction of 160 calories (80%) per large mug.
Begin with great fresh coffee beans, not purchased in a grocery store. I’m partial to Spokane Coffee Roaster Lake City Coffee. Why? Because the fresher the beans the better the coffee and Lake City Coffee boasts “From our roaster to your table in 24-48 hours”. So, the coffee is about as fresh as you’re going to find anywhere.
Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
Start with one part fresh ground coffee to two parts filtered cold water. Experiment using 1/2 tsp extract to an 10-cup pot. For example, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp vanilla or 1/8 tsp chocolate extract and 1/8 tsp orange extract. Or put 2 Tablespoons of Ghirardelli Sweetened Chocolate and Cocoa into the pot with 1/8 tsp chili powder for a Mexican chocolate coffee. This will only add an additional 25 calories. Put it in the fridge at night and wait for the magic to occur. It takes a minimum of 8 hours. You must plan ahead. Cold coffee is NOT the same as cold brew.
Now that I have found a low calorie satisfying coffee, I have been able to lose over 30 pounds. A healthy lifestyle included eliminating high fat/high sugar and processed chemical additives to my diet. Naturally flavoring cold brew coffee made a difference between success and yet another failed attempt at weight loss.