Do you think we can head the 1,000 miles to Austin to hit up that food truck with the best vegan tacos where we stopped on our cross country road trip? No? Oh man, can’t I just teleport myself for a minute back to my favorite coffee shop in Philly for a coconut mocha latte? (And of course to visit my peeps!) I am constantly thinking of new recipes to create that are healthy, nutritious and delicious to share with my readers (that’s you!) and when a friend gets a whiff of my brain activity, I am often asked where I draw my inspiration from. TBH, (sorry, I had to do it) I don’t have one specific answer. Creating and cooking is a form of expression and I have found a love for food photography and styling as well. I love drawing inspiration from those restaurant meals that leave you drooling after you eat and reeling in the meal for days, such as the best vegan tacos ever or coconut mochas out of my doorstep. How can I recreate that meal that I crave, but is soooo far away? Or is soooo unhealthy? I think about meals that would satisfy our cravings. Is it a time when we are with family and we crave something sweet? Or a salty snack to munch on to get us through a project? Or a warming soup or drink on a rainy day? As of late I have been motivated by childhood favorites from a cookbook that my mom gave me and to recreate them to leave out the junk and to fuel our active lives. What will leave you with energy to get out and go for that hike or ride your bike along the beach or maybe feel like you can run your first mile ever? THIS is where I get my motivation from. This and the fact that I am the Earth and food is my sun. Sometimes I take weeks to dream up a recipe.
And sometimes I am driving home from the gym at 630am and stop at a coffee shop to enjoy one of my Christmas gift cards and an idea pops into my head. And that’s where this “fauxppuccino” comes from. These glorified milkshakes were my first baby steps into the coffee world. I would stop with my cousin on the way home from the shore and we would get one to sip on a hot summer’s day. And man were they amazing. Full of chocolatey sugary goodness. And an extreme sugar high, crash, and a huge belly full of bloat. Now that was my 10 year ago self before I understood the effect that sugar had on my body and now there is no way no how I am going to spend $4.50 on a overly processed sugar bomb (58 g to be exact) that will send me soaring and crashing faster than I can say the word………
….especially since I can make my own vegan healthy version at home! So instead I purchased an espresso and home I trotted, or walked really, to whip you all up the cinnamon vanilla latte fauxpuccino, the natural.
Cinnamon vanilla fauxpuccino
1-2 frozen figs* (found at Trader Joe’s or frozen fresh) OR remaining banana
1/2 c. coconut milk, unsweetened (or other non-dairy milk)
1 shot espresso
1 tbsp. flax seeds
1 tbsp. hemp seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 ice cubes
1 scoop natural vegan protein powder (optional)
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Pour, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
*The frozen figs at Trader Joe’s are HUGE, so I only opt for 1 unless I happen to pick out the runt of the pack.
A note on the protein powder. After much research and taste testing of protein powders, I use Sunwarrior Protein Blend, the Natural flavor. I found that it has the most neutral flavor and dissolves well even when just in plain water.
This contains just 14g sugar from fruit PLUS the fiber that comes along with it. That is almost 4 times less than the “conventional” version! Let’s mention the protein here and the fat, that will help your body regulate the release of sugar over an extended period of time so there is no crash & burn. Oh and how about the potassium, Vitamins A & C, folate, Magnesium among others from the fruit.
This is an awesome breakfast treat, especially after a WOD that involved wall balls, lots of ’em, but not something that I would eat every day. It’s all about balance.
BONUS: Pour your ‘ccino’ into a glass and save a bird, or a sea otter, or Nemo!