Bulletproof coffee, which is the invention of Dave Asprey, has been all over the news recently. No longer embraced solely by the Paleo and Keto crowds, it is now being regularly quaffed by people from across the dietary spectrum, all eager to gain the benefits of starting out the day with some healthy fats in their morning caffeine. The benefits and controversies surrounding this drink are well documented elsewhere, so I will just reflect on my own reasons for adapting this idea to my tea-loving ways. First, did I mention that I don’t like coffee? It’s true. I have never been a fan. Tea, on the other hand, is my idea of the perfect beverage. Since chai is typically made with whole milk or cream it seemed like an easy switch to add in the “bulletproof” elements of grass-fed butter and coconut oil in their place. You get the same creamy froth with all of the benefits of the butter and the coconut oil.
Bulletproof coffee is typically made with MCT oil, which is an oil blend made from coconut and palm oils. MCT stands for Medium-chain triglycerides, or medium-chain fatty acids, which are prevalent in coconut oil, palm oil, and to varying degrees in certain animal milks, such as goat’s milk. I use pure coconut oil instead of MCT oil for a couple of reasons: one, coconut oil is just that–straight-up fat from coconuts, so you know exactly what you are consuming. MCT oil, in contrast, is processed from palm and coconut (and potentially other) fats. Two, palm oil is a highly unsustainable oil from an environmental standpoint, so I avoid it completely. A small percentage of palm oil is sustainably produced, but the MCT oils that I looked at gave no indication as to how or where it was sourced. Thus, I stick with pure coconut oil.
So why put a bunch of fat in your coffee or tea? The point of the grassfed butter is the benefits derived from the Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as some medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and the coconut oil provides even more of those MCFAs. MCFAs are absorbed by the body differently than the long-chain fatty acids that are dominant in vegetable oils and there is research suggesting a range of health benefits. While many of those health benefits have been reported in sensationalized and potentially inaccurate ways, my own research on Science Direct has convinced me that MCFAs are well worth seeking out. As someone who has struggled with my weight my entire life, I also benefit from a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet, so this is a great way for me to start off my day with the high level of satiety provided by a fat-infused cup of spicy tea.
I hope you are still with me…here’s a photo of the tea to pull us back around!
Adding cinnamon and/or ginger to the mix just adds to the health properties of this beverage. Cinnamon can help stabilize blood sugar and ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. They also elevate this into the perfect warm, spicy beverage to start off your day. Since I start my day with two cups of tea this recipe only serves one for me, but if you want to share you certainly can. Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups of hot, strong-brewed, organic black tea
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or to taste)
- a few drops of stevia, or a teaspoon of honey
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until the mixture is frothy and emulsified. Pour into two cups and serve hot–or drink it all by yourself.
My recent birthday has inspired me to get back on track with my diet after a few months of eating way, way off track, so please wish me luck as I reconfigure. Look for fewer “treat” recipes in the near future–please hold me to that promise!