Bulletproof, or keto, coffee is a great way to boost ketones early in the day for sustained energy and razor sharp focus. Unfortunately, most bulletproof coffee recipes include butter or heavy cream which are not well tolerated by many people.
This recipe incorporates many of the flavors that make traditional bulletproof coffee delicious, but we have kicked it up a notch by adding healthy collagen and metabolism boosting cinnamon.
We have taken the time to explain the benefits of each ingredient in our dairy-free bulletproof coffee, but you can skip directly to the recipe, we don’t mind. Enjoy.
Table of Contents
Start with the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Adding oils, fats, and flavorings will obviously mask the flavor of the coffee somewhat, so you may not be as concerned about the taste of your coffee. High quality coffee, brewed properly, boosts the health benefits, and increasing the quality improves the taste, no matter what you plan to add to it.
3 Elements of a Great Cup of Coffee
1) Purified Water – The added chlorine and fluoride, as well as the various other chemicals permitted to persist in municipal tap water can significantly alter the taste of your coffee and contribute to digestive issues by interfering with your healthy gut flora.
You are doing yourself a considerable disservice if you are consuming water directly from your kitchen faucet, or using it to make your morning coffee.
A surprisingly affordable and convenient option for quality home and/or emergency water filtration and purification is a countertop Berky Water Filtration System. The Berky filtration system removes viruses, pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites, as well as undesirable chemicals and toxic heavy metals while leaving beneficial minerals intact.
The long-lasting ceramic filtration elements purify the water, not just filter it, and add a considerable amount of alkalinity, which may also have some potential detoxification benefits.
2) Quality Coffee Beans – When it comes to selecting the best coffee, we prefer fresh, organic, non-GMO, sustainably sourced Arabica coffee, in whole bean form. Some of our favorites include Subtle Earth™ Organic Gourmet Coffee from Burke Brands LLC and, Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee,
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, but these are eliminated if the coffee is pre-ground and exposed to oxygen. It is best to grind your coffee beans just prior to brewing in order to capitalize on all of the nutrition rich flavor coffee has to offer.
3) The Proper Coffee Making Process – Push button, timer operated, or pod type coffee makers may be convenient, but they can be extremely unhealthy, and even dangerous.
There are dozens of harmful chemicals in plastic that can leach into our foods and beverages, especially when heated, and moisture trapped inside these types of coffee makers are prone to growing harmful bacteria and mold.
A stainless steel, glass or ceramic French press or pour over coffee dripper is a much healthier option, and it is not as time-consuming as you may think. I personally enjoy the process and feel better about serving coffee brewed in this manner to family and guests.
Dairy-Free Bulletproof Coffee Ingredients
As mentioned earlier, butter is a staple in traditional bulletproof coffee and it adds nutrients and a distinctive caramel flavor. Three ways to emulate the butter flavor, and fat content, without the potential inflammatory or digestive issues, is with traditionally crafted cultured ghee, butter flavored coconut oil, or cultured vegan butter.
Traditional Cultured Ghee
When made properly, ghee contains high amounts of naturally occurring Vitamins A, D, & K, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an antioxidant and essential fatty acid. Traditional ghee is also extremely high in butyrate which helps fuel and protect the gut lining, reduce inflammation, combat obesity and diabetes, and protect against certain cancers.
While regular ghee (clarified butter) is made simply by heating butter and removing the milk solids (lactose, whey, and casein) which have risen to the top of the pot, traditional ghee includes a few more critical steps or processes.
First of all, traditional ghee is made from grass-fed butter exclusively. This is not always the case with regular ghee or clarified butter. Grass-fed ghee contains a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. This ratio is approximately 3:1 for grass-fed animals and 20:1 for grain-fed animals.
Second, in traditional ghee, cultures are added to grass-fed cream before it is made into butter. These cultures consume the lactose (sugar) in the cream converting it to lactic acid, and help breakdown proteins (casein/whey), making it much easier to digest.
Thirdly, instead of simply heating the butter and removing the milk solids by skimming them off the top, traditional ghee is made by slowing heating cultured butter over an extended period until all of the moisture is removed. Any remaining milk solids are then browned (caramelized) in the fat, and strained out.
The culmination of these additional processes results in much healthier ghee that contains almost undetectable amounts of inflammatory milk solids. In our research we have found two companies, Pure Indian Foods, and Tin Star Foods, that actually batch test their cultured ghee to ensure that it contains no more than 0.25% lactose, and 2.5ppm casein/whey.
At these levels ghee is deemed safe to consume even for those with dairy sensitivities, however, if you have severe or life-threatening allergies to dairy, it is recommended that you consult your physician before consuming any dairy foods.
Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the other staple ingredient in standard bulletproof coffee, and opting for butter flavored coconut oil is the simplest way to recreate this beverage without dairy. Coconut oil doesn’t offer the same nutrients as butter or ghee, but it does provide a slew of health benefits of its own.
The butter flavor in both the Nutiva and Thrive Market coconut oils are created from non-GMO, certified organic, fermented, gluten-free plants, and the color is made from annatto extract derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.
Vegan Cultured Butter (Mitoko's)
Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter spreads and tastes just like traditional butter, it contains a similar amount of fat per tablespoon, and it provides that distinct caramel flavor. Miyoko’s butter is made with organic coconut oil and cashews, and is available salted (sea salt) or unsalted.
It does contain a small amount of sunflower oil which I would normally suggest avoiding due to the manner in which it is usually sourced and processed. However, the sunflower oil in Miyoko’s butter is non-GMO, organic, and expeller-pressed, making it OK.
You can find Miyoko’s butter in a variety of grocery stores and health food markets, and a store finder tool is available on their website. It can also be purchased online at Farm Fresh to You, Instacart, Fresh Direct or Amazon.
As mentioned above, a tablespoon of coconut oil is a key ingredient in traditional bulletproof coffee, and a staple in most keto coffee recipes. Organic, virgin (unrefined), and cold-pressed coconut oil is the best option for this purpose.
Although there are considerable health benefits associated with consuming coconut oil in its whole form, it can have a laxative effect and may cause digestive upset in some people.
A major benefit of coconut oil is that it contains a considerable amount of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. MCTs are medium length fatty acids (6-12 carbon atoms), and due to their smaller size, they do not require the enzymes or bile that are necessary to digest longer-chain triglycerides (>12 carbon atoms).
This means they go directly to the liver where they are quickly digested and used as energy or transferred into ketones.
The 4 Types, or Lengths of MCTs
- Caproic acid – 6 carbon atoms
- Caprylic acid – 8 carbon atoms
- Capric acid – 10 carbon atoms
- Lauric acid – 12 carbon atoms
Caprylic (C8) and capric (C10) acids are the most ketogenic MCTs, while lauric acid is the least ketogenic. Lauric acid is also the primary culprit in the stomach upset that some people experience when consuming coconut oil.
For this reason, our go-to liquid MCT oil is Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil which contains exclusively caprylic acid (also available at Amazon). It is also important to work your way up to full servings slowly if you have not consumed MCT oil previously.
A powdered MCT oil is another great option if coconut oil or liquid MCT oil causes any amount of digestive upset. Many people find powdered MCT oil much easier to digest, it is more convenient and less messy to use and transport, it adds a creamier texture to bulletproof coffee, and it is also available in a variety of flavors.
The Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is a major component of connective tissue including tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and skin. It is also present in our arteries, bone marrow, respiratory tract, intestines, hair and nails.
We tend to lose collagen as we age and we must consume a wide variety of foods in order to attain all of the various types of collagen. When consumed in adequate amounts, collagen can have some tremendous health benefits including.
- Improves skin health, elasticity and hydration
- Boosts muscle mass
- Relieves joint pain
- Prevents bone loss
- Promotes heart, brain, and gut health
- Promotes weight loss
- Strengthens hair and nails
Adding a little collagen powder to your keto coffee makes it super creamy and boosts its health benefits. Our preferred collagen products are Ancient Nutrition and Revive Naturals Multi Collagen Hydrolyzed Protein Powders. These provide five different types of collagen including I, II, III, V & X, and they mix well in coffee or other liquids.
Many single source collagen powders, like the popular Vital Proteins brand, generally only contain types I & III, however, type II is the most beneficial for joints, and type V is the type most abundant in our hair and nails.
A Dash of Cinnamon or Other Flavors
Most people don’t realize how beneficial cinnamon can be for managing their weight and improving their health. Cinnamon is loaded with anti-oxidants, can improve sensitivity to insulin, has anti-inflammatory properties and it helps lower blood sugar. It also tastes amazing in bulletproof coffee.
If you don’t like cinnamon, or want more variety, try a little unsweetened organic cacao to create a mocha bulletproof coffee. Cacao is a powerhouse superfood. It contains 40 times the anti-oxidants of blueberries, it is the highest plant-based source of iron, it contains more calcium than milk, is chock-full of magnesium, and is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant.
Don’t stop there. Try a little vanilla extract, hazelnut powder, or some seasonal flavors like mint, peppermint, or pumpkin pie spice. Combine ingredients to make mint chocolate or chocolate hazelnut. The sky is the limit.
A Pinch of Sea Salt
Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol, and yacon syrup are the primary sweeteners we recommend here at dairyfreeketo.com. For coffee specifically, most people prefer to use either powdered stevia or monk fruit.
These dissolve well in hot liquids and a little goes a long way. If you are experiencing a bitter taste when using either of these sweeteners, you are likely using too much.
Add a Little Magic
Oil and water don’t mix very well and will need a little persuasion. I use a Magic Bullet Blender to whip up my bulletproof coffee but any blender or hand mixer will do. I also like to make my bulletproof coffee latte style by adding 2-4oz of almond or coconut milk.
Putting it All Together
Do you have a favorite dairy-free bulletproof coffee recipe? Have you tried ours? What are your thoughts? Please consider sharing your experience by commenting below to help support others navigating a healthy keto lifestyle.
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