I tried it: Vegan version of BULLETPROOF® Coffee
BULLETPROOF® coffee is one of the latest health trends and is reported to be the way to turn your morning joe into a superfood. The brew is particularly popular in Silicon Valley where it’s used as a quick and satiating morning meal replacement.
So what is it, exactly? It’s a blend of organic coffee, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. And the benefits? Proponents, like BULLETPROOF® coffee inventor David Asprey, claim that the concoction boosts metabolism, stabilizes coffee’s effects on blood sugar (fewer jitters!), and increases physical and mental performance.
That’s quite a lot for some coffee and oils. The principle behind it makes some sense, however. Coconut oil is a unique saturated fat. As wellness gurus have made us aware, coconut oil is made of medium-chain fatty acids that the body breaks down into energy (so the oil is generally not stored as fat). Coconut oil is even credited with aiding in weight loss and the management of blood sugar. If you’re a conscious eater who chooses to consume oils, chances are there’s some coconut oil in your pantry.
I am all about the coconut—I even put coconut milk creamer in my coffee every morning. But coconut oil? Seems unappealing—in coffee, at least. (Since I am a vegan, dairy butter is not even on my radar. Sorry-not-sorry, Mr. Asprey). But for the sake of science and curiosity (okay, mostly curiosity), I decided to try this veganized version.
A Relevant Coffee-Related Detour
As I’ve chronicled on Peaceful Dumpling, I’ve often wondered if coffee contributed to acne, at least in my case. Since my blood sugar is annoyingly delicate, even my usual, single cup of half-caf can take me on a rollercoaster. To find out if coffee’s funny business with my blood sugar (and therefore my hormones, potentially) exacerbated my hormonal acne, I took 40 days off coffee (gah, it was so hard!). My skin reached a new level of consistent clearness. Now I’m back on coffee to see what happens in the next 40 days. I’m observing my skin in hopes that it gives me “permission” to continue my favorite vice. Ugh, I’m such a biased scientist.
Perhaps…just perhaps this odd coffee concoction will eliminate the need for such primitive experimenting on self.
DIY Vegan Version
I poured my morning cup of coffee into the blender with 1 tsp. organic, extra virgin coconut oil and 1 tbsp. unsweetened, organic soy milk (for frothiness!). Blending is preferable to stirring the oil in. It is recommended that BP coffee be consumed at least 30 minutes before breakfast since the fat can unsettle your stomach if consumed with a meal (I would have assumed to opposite to be true, but I’m playing by the rules here).
It’s also recommended that if you are putting fat into your coffee that you moderate the rest of your oil intake throughout the day. After all, even when we select the least processed option for oil (like extra virgin), we’re still consuming a processed food. It’s generally recommended that we consume no more than 1 tablespoon of coconut oil a day.
Moreover, some experts recommend treating the coffee as breakfast itself and skipping any additional food in the morning. Amy Shapiro, RD advises that we enjoy our bulletproof coffee and eat carbs in moderation (à la Paleo) since if we’re not eating clean all day, the oil in our coffee may be stored as fat, rather than energy, which would defeat the purpose of bulletproof coffee!
Since I’m very careful with my oil use and I tend to avoid refined carbs, I figured a little coconut oil in my morning coffee wouldn’t hurt. (I could see it becoming a problem if you’re the 5-cups-a-day type, however.)
Although it felt a little weird to drink my coffee before breakfast, I enjoyed my bulletproof coffee! I honestly didn’t expect to like it. The coconut oil was a nice addition in terms of both taste and texture. The frothiness was especially pleasant.
I also noticed that my body metabolized the caffeine much differently. I didn’t feel my heart racing, but I still had that nice caffeine buzz. Best of all, I didn’t go on a blood sugar roller coaster this morning. My energy was also pretty good, but I am a morning person, so this really wasn’t a big change from the norm. Bottom line: This coconut oil-infused coffee treated my blood sugar more kindly than regular coffee.
Of course, much of the hype surrounding BULLETPROOF® coffee centers on its long term results—increased metabolism, weight loss (via ketosis, hmm), and boosted cognition. I don’t know if it is something that I’ll do every morning—at least not as a meal replacement—but I’m glad to know it’s an option for my favorite beverage.
Would you try this recipe? What did you think?
More coffee news: DIY Coffee Body Scrub for Smooth Skin
I Tried It: Giving Up Coffee for 21 Days (by Molly–clearly we take turns self-experimenting)
More interesting experiments on I Tried It
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Photo: Mary Hood Luttrell