Starre's Healthy Summer Coffee Energy Drink Recipe


Too many so-called energy drinks are missing key ingredients to give you truly sustained and healthy power. Too many refined sugars and caffeine, but no sustenance, and ingredients are processed and packaged months before you drink it. Fresh is always better and more life-sustaining– and if you’re looking for real oompf, ‘old’ ingredients just don’t cut it.

The drink below relies on plain old caffeine from (organic) espresso, yes, but it is moderated with a serious dose of protein, vitamins and minerals from raw nutmeats, and sweetness from raw honey, which in addition to sweetening the pot, also contains all sorts of fabulous enzymes which can help stomach ailments (ideal if coffee can bother your digestion at all), and contains anti-bacterials and natural anti-cancer properties. Look for local raw honey for the very freshest and healthiest versions. I live in Connecticut, so I either eat Andrew’s Local Honey (from right here in Fairfield County) or Apitherapy raw honey from Honey Gardens in Vermont.

Raw cacao is ridiculously tasty (I found mine at Whole Foods) and ups the energy ante in this drink through theobromine, a natural stimulant. It also contains plenty of magnesium, calcium and iron, as well as high doses of antioxidants (much more than processed or ‘cooked’ chocolate). Wilderness Family Naturals also makes an excellent raw cacao powder.

I love goat’s milk for this recipe, even though I don’t generally drink cow’s milk, as it is high in protein and naturally low in fat, but this would work as a vegan drink with a richer non-dairy milk like hemp or soy milk (Rice milk isn’t as nutritious and is too low in protein, not to mention too watery for my taste with all the other strong flavors here). The other reason I tend toward goat’s milk is because it’s fresher than packaged soy or hemp….which means I just have to find a place that makes fresh soymilk or make my own!

Starre’s Raw Mocha Coffee Energy Drink

1 tablespoon raw almond or raw cashew butter*
1 1/2 cups goat’s milk, organic milk, hemp milk, or soy milk
2-3 shots Espresso
1-2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons raw cacao

-Add milk and espresso to blender, then honey, raw cacao and nut butter.
-Blend on high speed for at least a minute or more
-Serve over ice cubes, or take with you for a fantastic drink on the go in an insulated glass or stainless steel thermos.
-Don’t let friends steal it from you; enjoy natural energy rush and sustained focus

This drink is thick, supercreamy (mostly due to the nut butter) delicious and chocolatey, and can serve in place of a meal in my diet. It contains about 450 calories.

*I thought I needed a Vitamix blender to make my own nut butter, but it turns out you can do it in a good-quality regular blender. If you haven’t noticed, pre-made raw nut butters are insanely expensive (and I’m not a cheapskate about food, but it’s a little crazy), so I now make my own and keep it in glass jars away from the light. Just add raw nuts to blender and keep blending, while scraping the side of the container into the middle blade (stop blender while scraping!) and you will get there!

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.