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Homemade Blended Coffee Smoothie

I don't drink coffee often because 1) it's expensive and I always want a latte and 2) I'm sensitive to caffeine. But I do get cravings for it sometime because, with sweetened milk, it can be pretty tasty and I love the comfort and yumminess that comes with it. I have a new coffee shop across from my apartment so now it's that much easier to want coffee and lately I've given into my cravings.

Coffee doesn't have to be a sugar-laden experience if you prefer a latte or cappuccino instead of black coffee; you can make an awesome coffee treat at home without going into a sugar laden coma. Adding fruit and unsweetened milk can take your coffee experience up a few notches and satisfy your craving. Here are a few ways you can order or make coffee while minimizing your sugar intake:

1. When you order coffee in a coffeeshop, ask them what kind of milk they use. Soy milk is best in coffee because it's creamier but make sure the soy milk is organic; coffee shops will show you the carton of milk if you ask.

2. If you absolutely need sweetness in your coffee, ask if the milk is already sweetened; that way you won't need to add more sugar. Sweetened soy or almond milk is pretty sweet for me so I never have to add more sugar.

3. If the milk is unsweetened, check out the sweeteners at the coffee shop. If they have agave or coconut sugar, use that. If it's raw sugar, limit your use as much as you can. Stevia is an option too (I personally don't like it) but try to stay away from other sugar substitutes.

4. If you are grabbing coffee to go or making it at home, here is a great blended coffee recipe that I love!

8 ounces of iced coffee
4-6 ounces of unsweetened organic soy milk
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp of cocoa powder

Blend until smooth and creamy. Add less milk if you want it to be thicker like a milkshake. The sweetness comes from the banana and the cocoa gives the coffee a mocha flavor. If your coffee size is decent, you can usually get two smoothies out of one latte. When I order an iced latte at the coffee shop near me, it's a pretty big cup so I pour 1/2 in the blender one day and I have the other half for the next day.

I see alot of articles written about coffee that talks about how good it is for us because of the antioxidants, how good it is for the liver and how it can, of course, keep you alert and productive. I read that coffee is best consumed not immediately after awakening but rather around mid morning. I'm sure coffee is wonderful in moderation and if you watch how much sweetness you add to it, it doesn't have to be a high calorie treat.

Coffee is a diuretic, so it make you pee alot and it's high in caffeine, which can be an issue for some people so consume just one or two cups a day if you need it, otherwise, drink it as a treat like I do.

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