*This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze. All opinions are my own.*
There are some really brave and admirable pregnant women who will go caffeine free throughout their pregnancy.
I am not one of them.
You might think that’s absolutely horrible. In fact, it’s much, much safer than the other option, which is an un-caffeinated me (and, yes, I know that’s not a word).
I told my husband the other day that having my cup or two of coffee in the morning is actually the responsible thing to do, because I wouldn’t want to see what my morning drive to work would look like minus the caffeine.
I’m 33 weeks pregnant, and lately I feel like I could sleep until 9am if I was ever allowed to. Which, to me, is super late, because I have always been an early riser. That is, before I was a mother.
So Almond Breeze so kindly sent some almond milk for me to try out and make some recipes with, and it was actually the first time I tried almond milk. I wanted to do a drink recipe first, and I’m sure it’s wonderful in smoothies and cold beverages, but hey — it’s the end of October in Manitoba. A nice, steaming cup of something rich and chocolatey is where it’s at.
And you know how there are those days when you know it’s either going to be a cup of coffee or a nap? Or maybe even both? It was definitely one of those days. So I went for the caffeine.
My daughter and I sampled 3 kinds of Almond Breeze one afternoon: original unsweetened, vanilla unsweetened, and vanilla sweetened.
Now, this was my first experience with almond milk but not my first experience with lactose-free milk. Growing up, we went through a lot of milk in my family. In fact, I hated water. I would never drink water unless I was playing sports. Milk was just what we drank.
A few years ago, I was feeling sick a lot so I asked my doctor about it and she suggested I lay off the dairy milk for a while. But I couldn’t live without any milk, so I bought lactose-free milk for a while. And I’ve got to say, it just doesn’t compare. It’s bitter and not something I would drink plain.
And I think that’s why the Vanilla Sweetened Almond Breeze was my favorite. I mean, I’m sure that’s probably what you would have guessed, if you follow my blog at all, but it’s just totally, incredibly delicious. It’s like a treat, really. The one thing I missed when I was drinking lactose-free milk was that slight sweetness, and the Vanilla Sweetened definitely has that.
Now, keep in mind that the Vanilla Sweetened has no more sugar than a regular serving of 1% milk, it has 30 fewer calories and is packed with all kinds of good things, like Omega 3’s and calcium. And for those reasons, I actually like it more than regular dairy milk, even though I incorporated dairy milk back into my diet long ago.
We also like the Vanilla Unsweetened, and I think the Original Unsweetened would be awesome in savory dishes or smoothies.
How was that for a tangent?
So this beverage.
It’s SO good. I am a big lover of anything Almond Joy, and that’s the first place my mind went when I thought of almond milk. You could definitely make this caffeine free by substituting the coffee for more almond milk. You could also make this completely dairy free by choosing a hot chocolate mix with no dairy.
- 1 cup vanilla unsweetened (or sweetened) Almond Breeze
- 1½ cups leftover brewed coffee
- 2 tbsp hot chocolate powder
- ½-3/4 tsp coconut extract (you could also add in coconut milk)
- whipped topping or whipped coconut cream
- toasted coconut, toasted almonds, chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles for garnish
- In a small pot, combined Almond Breeze, coffee, hot chocolate powder and coconut extract. Heat over medium heat until hot.
- Pour into one large mug or two smaller mugs, and top with whipped topping and garnishes as desired.