Decaf Coconut Caramel Iced Coffee + 6 Coffee Alternatives

It’s no secret how much I love smoothies but there’s another drink that’s near and dear to my heart – coffee.


I didn’t understand the hype until I was in my early 20s. It was my first ‘real’ office job and as I looked around I could almost hear the moans of ecstasy as people took that first sip of the morning.


I was like what is this stuff and why is it making people feel so damn great? Truthfully I always liked the smell but never the taste.


It wasn’t until I worked for Starbucks [more on that here]  that I truly started to appreciate the art of coffee and yes to me it’s an art. During my time at Starbucks I actually became a certified Coffee Master – yup there’s such a thing. So I know a thing or two about coffee. I can also speak to the quality of Starbucks Coffee.


Now I not only appreciate the taste, I also enjoy the energizing hit and mental clarity it gives me.


However I don’t drink it often.


There are SO many conflicting reports about coffee and whether or not it is good for you. It can be quite a confusing topic, even for me as it seems like a new report comes out every damn day. So what’s the deal? Is coffee good or bad for us?


Well…it depends…


Allow me to explain.


If video is more your thing then check out my video below where I show you how EASY this iced coffee is to whip up at home!



Here are the top 3 reasons to cut back on caffeine consumption:


1. It increases your stress hormones:

The caffeine in coffee has been know to increase your stress hormones. When you’re stressed your body secretes cortisol which increases your insulin. Insulin can increase inflammation in your body. So you’ll want to be mindful of this if you’re reaching for coffee in times of stress. Give this Chocolate Latte a try instead.


2. High acidity:

Foods and drinks that are highly acidic disrupt this delicate balance in your body and an acid/alkaline balance is necessary for good health and strong immune system. Your body has to work extremely hard to create this balance so give it a hand by including fresh fruits and veggies to maintain this balance. Start your day off with a glass of water with lemon is the best way to kick start your body for the day.

The acidity in coffee can cause extreme discomfort for some people: heartburn and indigestion mostly.


3. Addiction

This is a problem for a couple of reasons.

Addiction is a major issue because it makes is really hard to rely on your body’s natural source of energy. If you’ve ever tried to withdraw from coffee, you’ve probably experienced headaches and some of the same symptoms a drug addict experiences when they stop drug use.

There’s also the foods that go hand and hand with coffee like pb and jelly. Things like heapfulls of cream and sugar or that muffin or danish that goes perfectly with your cup of java.

In addition coffee drinkers also tend to have lower levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) and excess coffee can lead to sleep disruption and fluctuating energy levels.


Again the occasional cup of coffee is not detrimental as I still like to enjoy a cup of coffee myself every once in awhile (Starbucks Verona is my FAV).


However if you’re trying to cut back on coffee or even if you want to just try another alternative then you’ll want to give Dandy Blend a try.

Dandy Blend is my fav alternative!


This my friends is as close as you’re going to get to coffee – it’s THAT good!


It’s instant granules so throw in your mug add some hot water and stir.


Dandy Blend is a herbal coffee substitute. Taken from their website, ‘it’s a mixture of ‘roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye. Nothing else is added’.


It also has 50 trace minerals and is gluten free. Dandelion root is exceptional for aiding in digestion and for removing toxins from your liver. It also has powerful antioxidants which slow down aging. These health benefits only scratch the surface.


Dandelion root is also known to support your liver and regulate hormones.


In this delicious recipe I’ve used Dandy Blend which you should be able to find at your local health food store. Trust me, you’ll want to try this stuff whether you’re trying to cut back on coffee or not hun. It tastes amazing AND it’s good for you.


For the creamer, I’ve made a velvety smooth coconut creamer that has hints of caramel, you won’t miss the half and half for a sec. In fact half n half is only half as good as this stuff.


You see what I did there?!


This easy Coconut Caramel Iced coffee is so rich and creamy you’d never know it was caffeine and dairy free!


If you’re looking for a few other coffee alternatives, give these options a try:



Chaga is part of the mushroom family and grows on birch trees. Research is showing that it is a food with the highest level of antioxidants. It has been called “King of the Plants” in Chinese medicine and has been used for healing for thousands of years. In addition to alleviating stress it also boosts your immune system and has anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. More on chaga and a delicious recipe here.


Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate tea has been called the tea of the Gods. It’s is a natural stimulant that gives you an even amount of energy without the crash. It’s native to South America and is from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly.
Not only will it increase your energy but it will increase your mental focus as well. It has less caffeine than coffee and it won’t cause you to get jittery or interfere with your sleep.
It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It’s also great for digestion and can help with weight loss.

Looking for some more energy hacks to get you through the day? Check this out!


Turmeric Tea

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is the king or queen of powerful anti-inflammatory herbs. Not only will you strengthen your immune system with each sip, you’ll also receive a big boost of energy as well.

I love this turmeric tea recipe by the amazing Meghan Telpner.


Green Tea

Green tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee and just enough to give you a boost.

Green tea is also a natural way to boost your metabolism. It contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps to cleanse your liver and speed up the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos (pronounced “Roy-boss”), is a South African herb. It’s a refreshing pick me up with a mild sweet taste and is known to have immune-boosting properties.Rooibos is naturally free of caffeine as the plant contains no caffeine and makes a terrific beverage for anyone avoiding caffeine late in the day or all together.


Now that you have some coffee alternatives to get you going? Which will you try first?


Sip on this with your feet up in your backyard on a hot summer day or make it to go as you run out the door to go to work.




Coconut Caramel Iced Coffee

This easy Coconut Caramel Iced coffee is so rich and creamy you’d never know it was caffeine and dairy free!
Prep Time 10 minutes


For Coffee

  • 2 tablespoons Dandy Blend
  • 1- 1 ½ cups boiling hot water

Coconut Creamer

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 dates


For Coffee

  • To a mug add Dandy Blend and hot water. Stir to combine and chill in fridge for 3 - 4 hours or until cold.

For Coconut Creamer

  • Soak dates in hot water for about 2 minutes to soften. Remove pits [if not using pitted dates] and add to food processor along with the other ingredients. Pulse to combine.
  • Place a mesh strainer over a bowl or mason jar and pour creamer through strainer. Use a spoon to push creamer through strainer.
  • Add creamer to chilled ‘coffee’ stir to combine and top with ice.

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