More Unicorn Lattes, Please
I've been making colorful lattes for a while: matcha lattes, turmeric lattes, and even beetroot lattes. My love affair with beautiful, delicious drinks dates back to about ten years ago when I would get 1-2 Grande Green Tea Soy Lattes at Starbucks.. a day. I assumed that I was making a "smarter" choice than my friends who opted for Frappuccinos, and mindlessly went back again and again.
The thing is.. according to Starbuck's website, a Grande (Medium) Green Tea Soy Latte is filled with sugar: 34 grams, to be exact! And, unless you ask for it to be made unsweetened, it will be made with a few pumps of their Classic Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), which adds another ~20g of sugar. That's 54 grams of sugar for a "smart" choice! That's more than a 16oz bottle of Coke! Damn!
(I checked their website, and I could have gotten Grande Coffee Frappuccinos with Soy Milk for 51 grams of sugar! My friends were actually making "better choices" with their dessert-drinks! While I was checking out nutrition facts, I poked around a bit and found other grande drinks with upwards of 70 grams of sugar per serving. For a medium beverage. Unbelievable!)
Once I discovered this, I started making my own green tea soy lattes at home with homemade nut milks sweetened with dates, vanilla, and cinnamon (or unsweetened almond milk) and unsweetened, organic matcha powder. Depending on which nuts you use (my favorites are almond, cashew, and Brazil nuts, which all are roughly 3g of natural sugar per cup of nuts) and if you use dates to sweeten (I usually add 2 or 3 dates to my nut milks, which makes the entire quart of nut milk have roughly 8-12 grams of natural sugar, 4.5 grams per date), you're looking at less than 4 grams of (natural!) sugar per "grande" green tea soy latte. That's 50 LESS grams of sugar per drink, not to mention no chemicals, no preservatives, and no line. Win!
Two things happened once I started doing this:
- I lost weight. Without doing any extra exercise or changing anything else about my diet. I didn't even try, and it just came right off: about 7 pounds! I remember going into one of my favorite shops two weeks after I stopped going to Starbucks, and being asked so many questions by the girls at the front about what I did: I simply stopped drinking sugary coffee drinks!
(Photos from 2011, the same day I realized that I lost weight from nixing my green tea soy latte habit!)
- I saved money. A Grande Green Tea Soy Latte costs somewhere between $4-6 dollars, and I was drinking two a day (sometimes more). Over one week, this added up to roughly $70!
Okay, now that you have my back story, let's get back to the unicorn lattes.
Unicorn Lattes are magical drinks that are not only vibrant and delicious, but also filled with goodness (think antioxidants, super foods, adaptogens, and sometimes even healing crystal-infused teas). I recently found out about them via an online blog post, and now I can't get enough:
So far, I have made yellow (turmeric based), pink (beetroot based), green (matcha based), and purple (no photo, but blueberry and acai based!). It's so fun!
Here's how to make my cotton candy pink, beetroot-based, unicorn latte. Enjoy!
Pink Unicorn Latte
Vegan, Gluten-Free // Serves 1
- 1 Cup Homemade Cashew Milk* (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1+ Teaspoon Beetroot Powder OR 1 Tablespoon Beet Juice
- Optional (adds color & a hint of sweetness): 1 Tablespoon Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup from my Spring Shift E-Book OR 1-2 Soaked Dates
- Optional: Adaptogens of Choice (I love Lucuma Powder, Maca Powder, or Satchels of Beauty Dust from Moon Juice!)
- Dusting Powders: The more color, the better! Mine has Turmeric Powder, Matcha Powder, Beetroot Powder, and Blueberry Powder
*Homemade Cashew Milk: Handful Raw, Soaked Cashews, 2 Cups Filtered Water, 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla, 1-2 Soaked Dates, Pinch of Sea or Pink Salt (Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender and strain with a nutmilk bag)
1. Warm a saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and beetroot powder (or beet juice) and whisk to combine. You can adjust the amount of beetroot powder to desired color. You can make this super light pink or bright red!
2. Once warmed, add to a blender and blend to combine (if using my Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup or dates, add them now!). You can also add in any adaptogens in at this time. I sometimes add Lucuma Powder or a satchel of Beauty Dust from Moon Juice. Make it frothy!
3. Pour into your cutest mug and sprinkle dust to your heart's content! You can also omit the dusting if you'd like to simply have your brightly colored latte (they're both stunning!).
Approximate Nutrition Facts for 1 (loose recipe based on my homemade cashew milk recipe using two dates plus one additional date to sweeten latte):
60 Calories | 2.5g Fat | 8.5g Carbs | 1g Fiber | 6g Sugar | 2g Protein | 215mg Sodium