For the love of coffee
If you’re anything like me, you probably have trouble getting started in the morning without a cup of coffee. Which makes sense given that 10 minutes later, the caffeine would have started to take effect. Thankfully!
There’s a lot of love out there for coffee, and with many people on western diets getting more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables, it’s no surprise. In addition to containing a high amount of antioxidants which protect our cells from free radicals, it’s also a source of many vitamins and minerals including riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid (B5), manganese, potassium, niacin and magnesium.
So it’s all good, right?! Not really. For many people, having caffeine late in the evening can have a bad effect on sleep, and for some the caffeine in coffee can be a little too much even during the day. So what can you have that’s kind of like coffee but isn’t? Here are three herbal substitutes we recommend you try.
A centuries old Italian tradition, Caffe d’Orzo is what you drink in Italy if you’re not drinking caffeine. Made from roasted barley and traditionally prepared in espresso machines or coffee makers, Orzo can definitely go a long way to making you feel (and look) like you’re having a coffee when you’re not. Keep in mind, however, that this is not suitable for people on a Gluten Free diet, but luckily the two below are!
Dandelion coffee is one of the most popular herbal alternatives to a traditional cuppa joe. Anyone who’s ever tried pulling them out of a lawn will know that dandelions have quite large tap roots, and it’s these that are dried and ground to make ‘coffee’. It’s health benefits are reported to include aiding digestion through the promotion of healthy gastrointestinal bacteria which makes it a great after dinner beverage. However, before you go harvesting any old dandelions popping up in your lawn, there are many different types of dandelion, so make sure it’s actually Taraxacum officinale you’ve got growing.
This lovely flower is Chicory, and what makes it especially appealing is that underneath it is the source of a lovely herbal coffee substitute – the Chicory root. Drinking Chicory root has been fairly consistent pastime throughout the ages, and dates back at least as far as the Ancient Romans and Egyptians who believed it helped cleanse the blood and detoxify the liver. Like Dandelion, it’s good for digestion and has a host of other health benefits, so it’s definitely worth drinking!
If you have any other coffee substitute suggestions, we’d love to hear from you! Please add your tips and tales to the comments section below.