Survey shows that only one-third of coffee-drinkers in America like their morning cup of Joe black, which means that the rest of the two-thirds use sugar to sweeten up their beverage and may even use cream or milk to make it richer – not just in taste but also in calories.
Although most of us need a dose of caffeine to boost alertness throughout the day, drinking a sweet, milky beverage every morning for breakfast may not be the best idea if you’re cutting down on sugar or trying to lose weight. So what exactly can you do to make your black coffee more palatable without sugar – especially when you’re not used to drinking it bitter?
Why French-Pressed Coffee is Better
One nutritionist and food blogger Alex Van Buren says that the secret to her sugar-free morning routine is a French-pressed coffee made a specific way to reduce its bitterness so that you require less than a quarter of the amount of sweetener you would normally use.
When it comes to coffee, Buren prefers function over form. She meticulously attends to every single detail of the brewing process in order create the product that she desires – and what she ends up with is a perfect cup of cold-brewed coffee which requires only quarter of the agave syrup she typically uses in her hot coffees.
To start off, Buren takes fresh, whole coffee beans and grinds them coarsely in her Burr grinder. She then matches the quantity of her coffee beans with 4 to 5 times the amount of filtered room temperature water. She says that using cool water instead of hot in French-press coffees makes them taste less bitter – which is exactly the goal in order to avoid adding too much sugar to her morning beverage.
After adding the liquid to the coarsely ground coffee, Buren stirs the mixture carefully and leaves it to do its magic for 24 hours. After waking up the next morning, all she needs to do is to press the coffee and add a dash of 2% milk for some added creaminess and a small drizzle of agave nectar for a hint of sweetness.
Save Time and Money
Summer is the perfect weather to enjoy a glass of cold brewed coffee in the morning, which packs the caffeine punch without being as acidic as hot beverages made with espresso or drip machines. But it’s not just the mild flavor of cold-pressed coffee that makes it Buren’s go-to beverage choice in the morning. The nutritionist says that on busy days when she’s pressed for time, the French press can save at least 10 minutes from her morning routine – as well as extra calories from sugar.
Making cold-brew coffee at home using a French press doesn’t just save time but also a ton of money that you would otherwise spend on store-bought expensive cold-pressed coffees. Even if you don’t have a French-press at home, you can set your own little brewing apparatus by using a lemonade pitcher, cheesecloth and a sieve.
Simply mix ground coffee beans and water (in a 1 to 5 ratio) in the pitcher and leave it to brew for 24 hours. When you’re ready to ‘press’ the coffee, simply line a sieve with a cheesecloth and pass the liquid through it to catch any coffee granules. The best part about making your own inexpensive cold-brewed coffee is that you don’t have to drink anything hot during summer just for the caffeine kick.
Here are some more useful tips to help you change your relationship with sugar and consume less of the bad stuff during your day:
Don’t Skip Meals
Delaying meal time until you’re absolutely ravenous can make your energy levels dip, making it more likely for you to reach for a quick source of energy – like sugary snacks. Nutritionists suggest eating more mindfully and frequently throughout the day will help you steer clear of foods that are bad for you.
When trying to cut sugar from your diet, eating fresh, unprocessed foods is the way to go. Processed snacks and packaged foods contain a ton of added sugar, sodium and preservatives which are all bad for your health. Instead, eat fresh, healthy produce like fruits and yogurt which are abundant in natural sugars to satisfy your cravings.
Our bodies often mistake hunger for thirst which is why you often find yourself reaching for sugary snacks when you actually need water! Drinking enough H2O throughout the day will keep your cravings in check and help your body give more accurate hunger cues when it needs fuel.
When trying to eliminate sugar from your diet, cutting back gradually instead of going cold turkey is a more realistic approach and lets your body slowly adjust to the lack of sugar. If you’re used to having 2 cubes of sugar in your coffee, cut down to only one for the next two weeks and slowly decrease the quantity until you’re accustomed to having the beverage unsweetened.