Having a bad morning? Maybe you need to take a little break and try this iced coffee recipe.
From a Caramel Machiatto to a simple shot of Italian espresso, if you were to head on over to your local Starbucks to conduct a coffee poll you would quickly learn almost every coffee drinker has a favorite coffee drink. Living in hot and sunny south Florida, my coffee of choice almost always involves ice cubes. I can’t do black coffee and so my favorite iced coffee recipe is rich and creamy.
In fact, my iced coffee recipe tastes basically just like a Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte. Minus the sugar, dairy and cost.
The Science of Delightful
Vanilla syrup, espresso (strong coffee will also work), steamed milk and foam are what make up a Starbucks Vanilla Latte. Like it cold? Add ice.
My “Clean Cuisine” Vanilla Latte iced coffee recipe is made with pure vanilla extract instead of empty calorie and artificially flavored vanilla syrup, pureed dates for “whole food” sweetness and pureed coconut (also known as coconut butter) for a dairy-free plant-based creamer (Note: pureed coconut/ coconut butter is not the same as coconut oil and does not contribute any unwanted “tropical” flavor undertones to your coffee.)
So, the only ingredient in my Vanilla Late iced coffee recipe that is most similar to the Starbucks version is the coffee. And even that is not the same. Although I could certainly brew my own Starbucks at home, I’m actually not the biggest fan of Starbucks coffee. Besides, these days I really do prefer my coffee to be organic if at all possible. Although I will definitely drink non-organic coffee when I go out, at home I have started buying organic. Not only is organic coffee a lot healthier for the environment, it’s also grown without using toxic pesticides that kill birds and harm workers.
If at all possible, I really do think organic is definitely the way to go with your coffee…
The Best Organic Coffee / Espresso for Your Iced Coffee Recipe
First of all, you can use either strong coffee or diluted espresso (see notes in recipe below for how to dilute espresso) to make my iced coffee recipe.
As for which coffee/ espresso brand to choose….mugs down, my absolute favorite organic coffee is slow-roasted Artizan Coffee (White Rhino Espresso Signature Blend) Nespresso-Compatible coffee capsules. Made from FairTrade Specialty Grade Arabic Beans, sipping an iced coffee made from Artizan is a delightful escape. Of course you need to have a Nespresso machine to make this specialty coffee, but once you try Artizan you will never want Starbucks again. If you have a Nespresso machine you can order Artizan capsules on Amazon HERE. (Note: Artizan capsules are compatible with all Nespresso® OriginalLine machines and capsules are BPA-free.)
If you don’t have a Nespresso machine, my second favorite organic coffee brand is Equal Exchange, which has excellent coffee and espresso.
If you already use (and love) coconut oil, your next must-buy pantry superfood staple should definitely be pureed coconut (AKA “coconut butter”.) Because it is the “whole” food, pureed coconut has a number of different health-promoting advantages over coconut oil, including phytonutrients and fiber. Not only does it make an amazing non-dairy creamer for your organic iced coffee recipe, it is also delicious in smoothies, sauces, dressings, desserts and even vegan icing! And no, coconut puree/ coconut butter does not make your coffee taste like coconut; it has a very neutral/ creamy flavor that is the closest thing to dairy cream I have ever tasted.
The only downside to using coconut puree/ coconut butter as a coffee creamer is that you can’t just stir it in your coffee the way you would cream. If you want to use coconut puree as a creamer you need to put the brewed coffee plus a teaspoon of coconut puree/ coconut butter per 8 ounces of coffee in a high speed blender and process for about 30 seconds to emulsify the coconut butter.
Organic Nutiva brand Coconut Manna is the brand of coconut puree I use. It can be purchased online at Amazon or at any natural foods store in the culinary oil section.
The Finishing Icy Touch
Although certainly not necessary, adding coffee ice cubes is always a nice touch!
Ok, on with the recipe…Print
- 8 ounces organic brewed coffee OR 3 shots (4 ounces espresso plus 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold water)
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons coconut puree/ coconut butter (such as Nutiva brand “Coconut Manna”)
- 2 pitted dates
- Regular water-based ice cubes or coffee-ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process for one full minute, until smooth, creamy and frothy. Pour your coffee in a glass, add ice cubes and transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes. Drink cold.
To dilute espresso, add cold water in a 1:1 ratio. If starting with 3 shots (4 ounces) of espresso, then you will want to add 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water to make diluted espresso.
P.S. The Iced Coffee Recipe Just Might Help You Live Longer
Did you know coffee consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of death from ALL causes? (1) And that’s not all…
If you start digging around in medical journals such as JAMA , the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of Epidemiology, you’ll find some pretty amazing research linking coffee to a wide number of health benefits. Even the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee finally gave the green light on coffee. Not only does the official report declare caffeinated coffee to be OK—it even goes so far as to say coffee is good for you. This was the same conclusion my husband and I made almost fifteen years ago after pouring through coffee research in countless medical journals (Click HERE to learn more about the health benefits of coffee.)
So yes, clean eating and coffee absolutely can go hand in hand. Of course this assumes you are sipping on black coffee or a “clean” coffee concoction (such as our dairy-free, no-sugar Iced Coffee Recipe). I wouldn’t count on a Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte contributing to a longer life span anytime soon!
1. Iwai N, et al. “Relationship between coffee and green tea consumption and all-cause mortality in a cohort of a rural Japanese population.” J Epidemiology. 2002 May; 12(3): 191-8.