This season, we’re all about warm beverages that boast health and beauty benefits, in addition to helping us thaw out from the winter cold. One drink category we can’t stop sipping on? Herbal lattes. These nourishing elixirs feature an array of herbs, spices, and other ingredients that help combat winter woes with their potent antioxidant-rich makeup and ability to customize with additional ingredients to pack an even bigger punch.
Up ahead, find out why we’re trading our coffee in for an herbal latte ritual, plus three grounding recipes we can’t get enough of.
Meet the Experts
Serena Poon is a celebrity chef, nutritionist, and Reiki Master.
Coffee vs. Herbal Tea Latte
If you love your lattes but want something without the caffeine, herbal lattes are a fun way to mix up your hot beverage selection. And, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, making the switch might come with additional benefits. “Coffee can cause anxiety, nervousness, and digestive disruption,” explains Serena Poon, a celebrity chef, nutritionist, and Reiki Master. “While coffee actually causes your body to release a stress hormone, adaptogens [found in herbal lattes and known for their stress-relieving properties] help your body react to stress in a healthy way,” she adds. Additionally, coffee is a diuretic and some herbal lattes support hydration. “Hydration is at the cornerstone of optimal health, so choosing a hydrating beverage is always the best option,” Poon notes.
How to Make a Herbal Latte
At its core, making your own herbal lattes requires either steeped herbs or powdered herbs and milk. The type of milk you choose depends on preference, but Poon says she prefers plant-based milk as cow milk “is notorious for being difficult to digest [and is] an allergen.” Additionally, Poon says that cow milk can cause issues with skin health, too. “When consuming nut milk, the best option is to make your own at home,” she adds, noting the importance of making sure you don’t have a nut allergy before making the switch. “If you need the convenience of pre-packaged non-dairy milk, look for products that are organic, unsweetened, and have a short ingredient list (ideally just nuts and water),” she adds.
Editor’s Note: If you’re looking to make your own nut milk, The Almond Cow is a fantastic investment. I purchased one, plus a couple of glass milk bottles, and making my own nut milk has never been easier. One thing I love about the Almost Cow (aside from clean, fool-proof DIY nut milk) is that many herbal kinds of milk — such as golden turmeric milk — can be made directly in the Almond Cow.
In addition to herbs and nut milk, herbal lattes can be elevated with additional ingredients. Our go-to is honey for added sweetness and health benefits. “Honey contains compounds that deliver antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties,” says Poon. She suggests reaching for high-quality manuka honey as it is the holy grail of honey with potent properties that further benefit health. You can also dress herbal lattes up with functional mushrooms — such as Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga — maca powder, and turmeric.
If you need a place to start, we’re sharing three of our favorite herbal latte recipes featuring chamomile, cacao, and beets, ahead.
Spice Chamomile Tea Latte Recipe
For a nice kick to a classic calming tea, we love sipping on a spice chamomile tea latte. “Chamomile is a beautiful herb that has calming properties and also provides so many health benefits,” says Poon. The herb, which is widely known for its calming and soothing benefits, is rich in flavonoids and phenols that “give it antioxidant properties,” says Poon. Additionally, it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- 1 cup of chamomile tea, steeped
- ½ cup of coconut creamer
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground clove
- 1 star anise pod (steeped with the chamomile tea)
- honey to taste
- Using either loose leaf tea or a teabag, steep your chamomile tea along with the star anise pod for 5 minutes.
- While your tea steeps pour coconut creamer into a milk frother on the hot setting.
- Once your tea is steeped, remove the star anise pod and add the cinnamon and clove powder, stir to combine.
- Add a drizzle of honey to taste before pouring the frothed coconut milk.
- Top with a dash of cinnamon on top.
Cacao Latte Recipe
If you’re craving chocolate, you’ll love this cacao-based latte recipe. “Cacao is a wonderful source of polyphenols that supply an array of health benefits,” says Poon. “From heart health to reproductive health, cacao’s plant compounds benefit almost every system in [the] body,” she adds, noting how ancient cultures in Central America referred to this herb as the “food of the gods.” Additionally, cacao is loaded in antioxidants and its powder can actually be added to a homemade bentonite clay mask for glowing skin.
This cacao latte recipe boasts a chocolate twist on the popular golden milk latte, which is an herbal latte made from turmeric, nut milk, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
- 1 tablespoon of cacao powder
- 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 pinch of ground ginger
- 1 pinch of ground pepper
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or more to taste)
- ½ cup of almond milk
- hot water
- In a kettle, boil water.
- Once water is boiled, pour one cup into a mug and whisk in cacao, turmeric, ginger, pepper, and cinnamon.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or more for a sweeter flavor).
- Place almond milk in a milk frother on a warm or hot setting. Once frothed, pour it over the cacao tea mix with a dash of cinnamon on top.
Beet Latte Recipe
Beet lattes are becoming more and more popular for their gorgeous color, health benefits, and grounding flavor. “These gorgeous roots contain so many vitamins and minerals and are specifically a great source of folate, which is an important nutrient for blood cell formation, cell growth, and pregnancy,” says Poon. “Beets also contain incredible compounds called betalains that are known to have antioxidant [and] anti-inflammatory properties,” she adds, noting how they are also a good source of natural nitrations that “support nitric oxide production and, therefore, healthy blood circulation.”
- 1 tablespoon of beetroot powder
- 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup of oat milk
- hot water
- In a kettle, boil water.
- Once water is boiled, pour into a mug and whisk in beetroot powder, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla extract.
- Place oat milk in a milk frother on the warm or hot setting. Once the milk is frothed, pour it over the beetroot elixir and top with a dash of ground cloves.
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