I’ve been intrigued by the Bulletproof Coffee craze, which has many devout followers who swear by the nearly super-human powers they get by consuming this latte. The Bulletproof recipe has been developed and made popular by Dave Asprey, of Bulletproofexec.com, a charismatic “biology-hacker”, who strives to do everything in life better, and more simply. Sort of a dark-haired, slightly older Tim Ferriss.
Dave first experienced the magic of drinking yak butter tea while scaling Mt. Kailash in Tibet. He was exhausted from barely breathing the thin air at 18,000 feet and from the below-freezing temperatures, where he stumbled into a woman’s guest house, was handed a mug of the buttery tea, and immediately felt better. The indigenous people of the area live on it, and he was amazed at how well they all did in such harsh conditions. So when he returned to the US, he set about making his own version.
The idea/chemistry/proof is that the high-content fatty acid, called CLA, or conjugated linolic acid in the butter gives you energy, increases your metabolism, and feeds your brain. Sounds pretty appealing, right? Except that I’m not near any yaks, and I don’t consume dairy. So I wanted an alternative to his alternative.
I won’t argue; many people are starved for high-quality fats. And, if you are going to use butter, grass-fed, non-salted butter is the way to go. (As a side note, if you use butter, please always buy non-salted butter. Companies can take rancid cream, add salt, and sell it to you as regular butter.) The other recipe component, MCT Oil, which stands for Medium-Chain Triglyceride, is derived from coconut oil, or coconut and palm oil. This is another healthy fat, which is thermogenic, meaning it helps your body burn fat, rather than storing it. Together, with the coffee, it is supposed to help you with energy, weight loss, and give your brain a boost.
Looking for an alternative on the Bulletproof forum, people were very dismissive of vegans wanting the benefit without using animal products. It is true that CLA is primarily found in animal fats, and very difficult to obtain otherwise. It is found in smaller amounts in mushrooms and safflower oil, but that didn’t so sound good in coffee. So I started playing with coconut oil, and it was OK on its own, but I wanted something with more body and flavor, which is part of the appeal of the buttery latte.
Here is what I came up with, and I must say, I’m hooked.
A note about coffee: Yes, I drink it. Usually just one cup per day, and often don’t finish it. I do believe there are benefits to coffee, such as a little burst of energy from the caffeine and a healthy dose of antioxidants. (Anti-oxidant = disease-fighting) I do believe you can get too much of a good thing, which stresses your body. Too much caffeine can make you jittery, crash your adrenals, and act as a diuretic, which can be very depleting of minerals. So, please drink it in moderation. There are so many delicious and beneficial herbal teas that you can switch to later in the day if you like drinking something warm.
Cruelty-free Bulletproof Coffee
Warnings: 1: It cools off quickly. 2: It is crazy good.
I cup strong brewed coffee (8-12 ounces), organic and fair-trade, please
2 T. Coconut Cream (see notes below)
1 T. MCT oil
Add to blender, blend for about 10 seconds until frothy, and enjoy.
For coconut cream: Take a can of full-fat coconut milk and put in refrigerator, for at least 8 hours. The water and fat separate when cold, so scrape out the delicious fatty cream from the water, and put it in its own container, which will last for days in the fridge. (Save the water for a smoothie, it’s still usable and will contain a little bit of the fat.)
Although coconut cream does not contain CLA, it is full of medium-chain fatty acids, and is a great resource for a healthy saturated fat. You still get numerous benefits, and no animal is involved.
There is another aspect to Dave’s coffee, which is that his brand contains no to low mycotoxins. These are toxins that are produced from a fungus, and of course should be avoided. There is a lot of conflicting info as to what brands are better or worse, and I’m still delving into all of that. In the meantime, please use organic and fair-trade, and I’ll post more as I have more answers.
What I’ve noticed: I definitely enjoy this coffee. It is rich and creamy; if you leave it sitting for too long you can see the oil floating on the surface, so it is definitely full of fat (the healthy kind). I will usually take a digestive enzyme with this, just to help my system break it down. I typically still have a smoothie or green juice first thing in the morning, which is an easy-to-digest breakfast, because I still want the nutrition from my greens. I have been having the coffee an hour or two later, and it does keep me satiated for hours; I have been eating a later lunch because I’m just not hungry as early as I had been. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, you could also try this with chai tea, matcha tea, or whatever your favorite may be.
In the comments, tell me, have you ever tried any version of Bulletproof coffee? Let me know what you think of this recipe. Cheers!