If you are familiar with the Bulletproof Coffee obsession that has grown over the last few years, you’ll soon understand why I had to add the “ish” on there. I like the concept… but the execution needed tweaking for my own real food standards. This is now the only way we take our coffee at home, every morning!
Oh, coffee. You are the wind beneath my wings. You inspire me to stay awake. You are the reason I’m vertical. You’re a good friend.
Indeed, I have a big fat crush on a hot cup of joe (still not sure why they call it that), but I don’t love pasteurized cream and white sugar. Sadly, I am incapable of enjoying black coffee like the hipsters, so I needed to find an alternative. And find it, I did! Wowza.
This is now the only way we take our coffee at home, every morning. And guess what? This is a healthier way to enjoy coffee than taking it black. Take THAT, cool hipsters.
If you are familiar with the Bulletproof Coffee cult-like obsession that has grown over the last few years, you’ll soon understand why I had to add the “ish” on there. I like the concept… but the execution needed tweaking for my own real food standards.
The official Bulletproof cup of coffee includes high quality, low-toxin brewed coffee (there are mold toxins in most cheap coffees that add burden to your body’s already-overloaded detoxification system), as well as grass-fed butter, and a shot of MCT oil. Blend it together in a high-powered blender until it’s emulsified, with a nice thick foamy layer on top, like a latté. Brilliant, right? Totally.
Or almost, anyway.
What I Love/Don’t Love About Bulletproof Coffee
I definitely cannot deny the motivations for choosing a low-toxin coffee bean. Our bodies are already way over-burdened in today’s age with all of the toxic chemical uses in everything from our food (eat clean!) to our furniture (detox your home) to our medicine (try natural remedies).
If I have an opportunity to invite fewer toxins into my home and my diet I’ll take it.
Right now we buy this brand of coffee. It’s fair-trade and certified organic. I’m currently doing some more research in to the coffee industry and the potential health ramifications of the various methods of roasting and such (like mycotoxins, as mentioned above). We may choose a different brand in the future, but for now this is working well for us. We use a Chemex to brew it.
I also fully agree with the great health benefits of grass-fed butter (or, more accurately, butter from grass-fed cows). Butter is a health food, and grass-fed butter is even better.
MCT oil vs. Coconut Oil
MCT oil is the last ingredient in the official Bulletproof concoction, and that’s the one that I skip altogether. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides (or medium chain fatty acids), which is the type of fat in coconut oil.
Of course, coconut oil is a super health food, right? So I guess they figured, “If coconut oil is so healthy, then how ’bout we make a pimped out, SUPER POWERFUL version of that oil?!”
Unfortunately, all they did was to artificially break it down and separate the components. The lauric acid is removed (one of the best and healthiest components of coconut oil) and we’re left with a potent liquid of fatty acids (source). But is that better? In almost every case, I believe that the way nature intended it is the best way*, which means no MCT oil for us.
Instead, I add a dollop of virgin coconut oil in with my butter and coffee, as well as a splash of real maple syrup. You could get creative, too, and try things like cinnamon, cocoa, and more. I’ve used just coconut oil when cutting back on all dairy, and I’ve used dates instead of the maple syrup, and all versions are great.
I blend it on high using my Vitamix for about one minute, then pour and enjoy! It’s an amazingly frothy, creamy, flavourful concoction with a hint of sweet.
(*Of course, cooking, preparing, and preserving are not what I’m talking about here. I’m referring specifically to artificially altering foods from their original state with non-traditional methods. But you’re smart and probably already knew that.)
Breakfast Replacement? No Thanks.
The last argument that I have with the official Bulletproof coffee is that the creator actually recommends that it be used as a breakfast replacement. From his website:
“Try this just once, with at least 2 Tbs of butter, and have nothing else for breakfast. You will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy and focus. It’s amazing.”
I definitely agree that this would be a better option than breakfast cereal with low-fat milk (blech). However, I can tell you with absolute certainty that having just a cup of coffee (bulletproof as it may be) for breakfast is not going to work for a lot of people like myself, with adrenal fatigue, who need a big breakfast with some solid protein, fat, and vegetables (see this morning’s on instagram here).
When I give up caffeine (I confess: I’ve been avoiding that step) in order to heal from adrenal fatigue, I’m going to have to find a new way to get a daily dose of coconut oil, but for now – this is sheer perfection.
It tastes great, it’s the healthiest way to enjoy a cup of coffee, and it’s easy!
Here’s my adapted recipe:
Bulletproof-ish Coffee Recipe
- 1 cup brewed fair-trade organic coffee
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup optional
- Pre-heat your high-powered blender with hot water for a minute, then dump out.
- Combine ingredients and blend on high power for a minute.
- Pour and enjoy.
- Serve with a real-food friendly breakfast!
Serve it up alongside a big ol’ healthy breakfast with a recipe from my breakfast ebook, The Breakfast Revolution!
Head here to grab your copy.
(Use the code “redbreakfast” to get 10% off.)
Better choice than butter is to use hemp seed oil, I also use only pure organic unrefined honey to sweeten. My mix is coffee, organic Dutch chocolate, astragalus, hempseed oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, macadamia milk, RO water. whip to emulsify. enjoy. For 22 oz mug, amounts I use are: 1 tsp each of hempseed oil and coconut oil [both organic and unrefined], 1 heaping tsp each of Folgers classic instant and organic coco powder, 1/4 tsp each of organic Cylon cinnamon and Astragalus extract. 2 tsp organic unfiltered clover honey. fill half full with boiling water, emulsify. Top with organic macadamia milk. Smooth and creamy.
I’ve been enjoying bulletproof coffee for about a year now, I drink it every morning. Probably not as decadent as your recipe as I use 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp coconut oil per 2 cups of coffee. I’m just wondering if all that saturated fat everyday is healthy, but I really don’t want to stop drinking it. I was also thinking of doing a vegan version and using a coconut butter or spread in place of the ghee. And what about maple butter, would that add some creaminess as well as sweetness?Thoughts or opinions?
Saying sugar works for some and not for others is going against well researched biological studies. Sugar isn’t fermented differently in the gut before it hits the liver. What’s happening is the sweet tooth is playing judge, jury and executioner in your brain and you need to cut the cord. Learn life without sweet things. There are other ways to get dopamine.
Thanks for posting! I’m sipping it now (no sweetener)& used my Vitamix as well – it’s got a super creamy consistency and a fun frothy top.
Pretty sure Italians called the “americano” coffee that soldiers wanted instead of espresso. “Joe” as in the watered down coffee for soldiers (Joes) this cup of Joe..
After reading that long, it ended with more or less the same recipe as the creator. So what’s the special about yours lol
Everything aside, what exactly do you mean with “ilke a hipster” comment?
First I’d like to say that I’ve honestly always done my coffee with straight natural coconut oil (since MCT is not available where I live), I it works like a charm, not leaving any of the coconut flavor at all like other comments have been saying. However, I completely disagree with the maple syrup. It’s the most refined form of quick sugar, defeating the purpose of the coffee. The butter and oil combined with high quality and strong coffee (I live in South America, so fortunately I can get that locally) is enough for a rich flavor that balances out the bitterness of the coffee. If anything, I’ll maybe add a pinch of cinnamon.
I totally hear your concerns withe the maple syrup, however – to clarify, REAL maple syrup is definitely not “the most refined form of quick sugar”. It’s one of the least refined – it’s literally just sap from a tree that’s boiled down. It definitely is a sweetener that affects your blood sugar, but a healthy gut/body without insulin issues should be able to process a small amount of natural sweetener without issue. If you’re trying to ditch a sugar addiction, fix leaky gut, or lose weight, then I’d recommend abstaining from most sweet things for a while (natural, or not). Otherwise, I don’t see harm in it. Would having unsweetened coffee be healthier, technically? I would say yes… maybe? But if using maple syrup instead of white sugar allows someone to still enjoy their coffee while using a more natural sweetener than they would have otherwise – I’m all for it. I’m in favor of wellness in REAL LIFE. Sometimes that means we make intentional choices that someone else might not make, and that’s ok. Technically speaking – giving up coffee altogether would be “healthier”…
sugar is sugar when it comes to the risk of you being taken out of ketosis.
brett – yup, I know that. But Bulletproof coffee isn’t just for Keto people. The recipe says the maple syrup is optional, so if you’re doing Keto, I assume you know not to add it…
I agree about the maple syrup wholeheartedly. I also didn’t have some ingredients so I use salted butter. I just put some regular hazelnut flavoring (you know the kind that is NOT full of sugar)
I put some heavy whipping cream (2 Tho) in and a half a pack of sweetener. It was very good & actually. my first time attempting to make this. I only used what I had on hand. Also.
I would never have used maple syrup either, BUT to each their own I guess. There any rate the concoction that I came up with was very good
Agree on the make syrup front. I make a BPC coffee almost every day. I’ve had a habit of adding “sugar-free” syrups like SF vanilla and SF caramel but I’m finding they’re worse due to the sucralose and other artificial crap they have. Now I’m learning to just drink it unsweetened or with just a few drops of stevia. It’s still creamy and delicious!
I’m not sure if you mentioned it but adding sugar to it (in the form of maple syrup) completely changes how the body uses the whole drink. It’s no longer keto, which means that if you make this receipe, your body is not going to be burning the fat, rather it’ll use the sugar and then store the fat from the butter and coconut oil.
So it seems to meike you’ve changed what was a disputable health drink into what is an indisputable unhealthy drink.
Thank you, Beth, for all of this great insight!
By the way — next time you’re looking for afordable grass-fed butter, if you can’t seem to find it at your local grocery store, here’s a trick I recently discovered: buy any brand of Irish butter. All butter produced in Ireland must be grass-fed. It’s the law there. Who knew? And it’s not marketed as “special” just because it’s grass-fed like a lot of natural markets do. For instance, I’ve sometimes found Kerry (grass-fed) butter to be 2 dollars cheaper at my Acme supermarket than comparable American brands that are not grass fed. Ha!
I’m sorry but i have to respectfully disagree with your thoughts and feelings on this blog post. I always use MCT pil in my bulletproof coffee and I am healthy as a horse. Coconut oil is a good alternative, however, for those who are sensitive to coconut flavor this recipe would be an immediate fail. MCT Oil is flavorless, therefore, perfect for those who don’t enjoy a coconut flavor. Maple syrup, unless it is sugar free, would also be a no-no for BPC. Remember, what works for you, isnt always right for someone else. Your post is insightful and informative, but I will continue to do it the way I always have. Have a great day!
Denying you’re a hipster is part of being a hipster, isn’t it? This is as hip as a hipster can get.