Dairy-Free Coffee Drinks for Your Morning Buzz

These dairy-free coffee drinks make a great morning alternative.
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Consumers have been turning to store-bought coffee drinks for their caffeine fix, but with an 11-ounce store-bought Starbucks Iced Coffee + Milk clocking in at 21 grams of sugar, those store-bought blends can be unhealthy. With milk alternatives on the rise, juice brands have entered the coffee market and taken cold brew to the next level by incorporating almond or cashew milk, nuts and even chia seeds into their recipes. Even alternative milk brands like OMilk and Califia have started to play the coffee game by adding espresso or cold brew to their milk bases. But are all of these dairy-free options a healthier way to feel the buzz? Not necessarily. We took a look at a few popular brands and then made our own concoction that’s easy to whip up with a blender at home (no fancy equipment needed).

At $5 for a 16-ounce bottle, this is an affordable option for your morning joe. It’s made with coffee beans and coconut milk, not nut milk, so those with nut allergies can rejoice. Watch out for the sugar content, though: It’s 20 grams per bottle.

Per serving (8 ounces): Calories 70; Fat 2 g; Sugars 10 g; Protein 0 g

Cold-brewed organic coffee is blended with homemade almond milk, dates and almond extract for this lower-fat coffee drink that has just 90 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per 11-ounce serving. At 13 grams of sugar per serving, it’s definitely on the higher side, but that’s due to dates, which contain natural sugar.

Per serving (11 ounces): Calories 90; Fat 2.5 g; Sugars 13 g; Protein 0 g

This blend is packed with chia seeds, cashews, dates and more. While the flavor is on point, thanks to cinnamon and a bit of salt, the coconut oil and chia mean a higher fat and sugar content (10 grams per 8-ounce serving), so this might be more of a snack than a morning pick-me-up.

Per serving (8 ounces): Calories 229; Fat 12 g; Sugars 10 g; Protein 6 g

If creaminess is what you crave, this one is a clear winner. This blend uses agave nectar (a natural sugar) to clock in at 14 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving.

Per serving (16 ounces): Calories 256; Fat 16 g; Sugars 14 g; Protein 7 g

Can't decide between a chai and a latte? This brew has both plus ginger and cinnamon for a spicy kick.

Per serving (10.5 ounces): Calories 110; Fat 4 g; Sugars 13 g; Protein 2 g

The best way to regulate calories and sugar content in a dairy-free coffee drink? Make one at home! We used cashew milk and cashew butter instead of raw nuts so you don’t need a powerful blender. To keep sugar content down, we used maple syrup as a sweetener (which is the lowest in grams per teaspoon compared with other sweeteners). It’s the perfect way to use up leftover coffee!

Cashew-Coffee Drink
Makes one 10-ounce drink
1/2 cup cold coffee
1/2 cup cashew milk
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon 100 percent maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
A large pinch of cinnamon

Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Serve over ice if you’d like.

Per serving: Calories 160; Fat 10 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 90 mg; Carbohydrate 17 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugars 8 g; Protein 5 g

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