Trouble waking up? Your latte might not be weird enough. Enter: superfood lattes made from algae, medicinal mushrooms and collagen — each promising a nontraditional boost of, well, whatever you want.
Don’t get us wrong, we love coffee as much as the next person (it’s a superfood in its own right, after all!). But sometimes caffeine isn’t all that you need. Maybe it’s a hot cup of antioxidant-rich goji berry cocoa, or a tummy-taming turmeric brew. Here, we rounded up seven super-powered latte recipes from some of our favorite bloggers (including five vegan lattes!).
One word of caution: Many of these drinks get their froth from whipping together in a blender. Be sure to only use a blender with an open top (unlike a Nutribullet or Magic Bullet) so that heat can escape and your blender doesn’t crack from the high temperature.
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7 Superfood Lattes You’ll Want Every Morning
1. Raw Cacao and Goji Berry Superfood Latte
The plain ol’ cup of hot cocoa gets a serious nutrition upgrade with this recipe from The First Mess. For one, it’s sweetened with a date opposed to processed sugar. It is also made with cacao, which is made from raw pressed beans (cocoa powder is roasted). Similar compounds tested by researchers have been shown to potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease and stroke, and may prove to be a good energy source for pregnant women, who need to watch their caffeine intake. Using almond or coconut milk in this recipe also makes it vegan-friendly. Photo and recipe: Laura Wright / The First Mess
2. Bulletproof Gingerbread Latte
If you’re a fan of holiday flavors, this heartwarming latte is the perfect treat. This recipe uses dandelion tea, which has a very similar roasted taste to coffee. It gets a boost with collagen for healthy skin, hair and nails. Then, give it the bulletproof treatment: a tablespoon of grass-fed, unsalted butter for a dose of healthy fats. And for sweetness: raw honey and blackstrap molasses. According to Wellness Mama, molasses is, “One of the healthiest sweeteners available that is relatively low in sugar and high in B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, copper and one of the few non-animal sources of iron.” Sign us up! Photo and recipe: Katie Wells / Wellness Mama
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3. Golden Milk: Creamy Turmeric and Ginger Tea With Coconut Milk
Turmeric lattes take home the gold when it comes to their superfood nutrition factor. Its leading spice, turmeric, lends this drink its notable color, and has been found to help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and combat viral and bacterial infections. Then there’s the ginger, which can help relieve an upset tummy along with a variety of other benefits. This recipe also incorporates satisfying ghee for creaminess and manuka honey for sweetness. Photo and recipe: Jennifer McGruther / Nourished Kitchen
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4. Lucuma Cacao Latte
If avocado had a sister, it would be the exotic, yellow-orange Peruvian fruit, lucuma. Lucuma has a mild, sweet flavor with hints of maple and sweet potato. Lucuma is newer to the superfood scene, but it is rich in beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. This recipe also uses hemp seed powder and cacao powder, which imparts a rich, velvety flavor. Animal studies have found hemp seeds may contribute to heart health and reduce blood pressure. Photo: @lucumamagazine
5. Vanilla Coconut Matcha Tea Latte
Green tea lattes are no newbie to coffee shop menus, but this vegan alternative from Peaceful Dumpling features unsweetened coconut and soy milk. Matcha is much more potent than green tea because the entire leaf is consumed in powder form instead of steeped and removed before consuming, like the traditional tea. The upside: a whole lot of antioxidants. Matcha is an excellent source of catechins, particularly EGCg, which provides cancer-fighting properties. Catechins are also shown to help fight free radicals from pollution, UV rays and chemicals. Photo and recipe: Mary Hood Luttrell / Peaceful Dumpling
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6. Cinnamon Rooibos Red Latte
Rooibos tea is a great option for those trying to cut out caffeine completely. The red tea is rich in antioxidants and may help prevent DNA damage and reduce inflammation. It’s even been found to counteract the health effects of stress. This simple rooibos latte recipe adds in non-dairy milk, natural sweetener, cinnamon and your choice of ginger, cayenne and vanilla bean. Photo and recipe: Kathy Patalsky / Healthy Happy Life
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7. Medicinal Mushroom Latte
Mushrooms might sound more at-home in your dinner than your drink, but hear us out on this one. Medicinal mushrooms, which are adaptogens, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and are celebrated for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Don’t worry, you won’t be chopping or sautéing any mushrooms, though. You can get a wide variety of mushrooms in powder form, which you simply stir into milk along with ingredients like sweetener and coconut oil. Photo and recipe: Jessica Kelley / Nourished by Nutrition
So tell us: Are you sold on the health benefits of superfood lattes, or will you be sticking with plain old coffee?
Originally published August 2016. Updated December 2016.