The 30-Day Bigger Leaner Stronger Transformation
Many of us rely on coffee for our daily caffeine fix, but those beans are good for so much else.
For starters, they’re good for you.
Research shows that coffee beans can speed up metabolism, alleviate depression, and improve athletic performance, and because they contain high amounts of antioxidants, they can help prevent cellular damage and ward off disease as well.
They’re also good for making unique and delicious drinks and desserts, like those in this article.
If you already love all things coffee, then you’ll appreciate healthier twists on the classics, from the Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte to Apple Buttermilk Spelt Coffee Cake.
If you’re not sold on the brew, you might become a convert after trying Cold Brew Mocha Protein Ice Cream or Mocha Protein Cheesecake.
There’s something for every palate in this list of decadent coffee recipes.
This healthy mocha cheesecake is rich and satisfying, yet low in fat with a mix of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Chocolate whey protein also boosts the macros, so this cheesecake isn’t that different than drinking a protein shake – only you’re also eating a rich, decadent dessert.
The crust is optional, but since it’s all almonds, there’s no reason to cut it out nutritionally. If you go without, though, each slice is barely over 100 calories and still has 15 grams of protein with one-third the fat.
1/2 cup almond meal (or ground almonds)
1 1/2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate
1 egg white
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 shot espresso (or freshly brewed coffee)Get the Recipe
This healthy coffee cake manages to keep the added sugar low by using the natural sweetness of apples.
It’s topped with a glaze made with powdered sugar, but you could just as easily use a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, still mixing it with buttermilk to make a nutritious topping.
For the same number of calories, you’ll bump up the protein by about 3 grams per serving, decreasing the carbs by the same amount.
2 apples, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. low-fat buttermilk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extractGet the Recipe
Coffee and cream are a match made in heaven. The two are so delicious together, Starbucks practically built a business off of it one Frappuccino at a time.
If your morning cup of Joe isn’t enough to satisfy your cravings, dig into this creamy coffee mousse. It’s made with ricotta so you can use less heavy cream, replacing it with an awesome natural source of whey.
Looking for more low-carb desserts that’ll reduce sugar in your diet? Check out the Sugar-Free Mom Cookbook, packed with other awesome recipes like chocolate-coated salted chickpeas and homemade vanilla coffee creamer.
2 1/2 tsp. dry gelatin
1/2 cup brewed coffee, hot
2 cups ricotta
1 tsp. instant espresso
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. vanilla liquid stevia
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy whipping creamGet the Recipe
Sugar-free Mom: Naturally Sweet and Sugar-free Recipes for the Whole FamilyBy Brenda Bennett
To make a flourless coffee cake, you don’t need an alternate to wheat flour like coconut or almond meal. Just open up a can of chickpeas, mix with oats and peanut butter, then add sweetener like maple syrup to taste.
To make this into a peanut butter and jelly cake, spread on jam and fresh fruit. Then for crunch, add crushed peanuts to the oat crumble topping.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)
1/2 cup no-sugar-added mixed fruit jam (or homemade chia berry jam)
1/2 cup fresh mixed berries
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup peanutsGet the Recipe
In Italy, affogato is dessert-meets-coffee. Simple but decadent, making one couldn’t be easier. Just pour a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For this nutritious overhaul of the classic, you don’t ever need a frozen dessert – just whole bananas that have been stashed in the freezer, which is a great way to preserve them when they’re turning brown.
Blend the frozen bananas for a healthy vegan ice cream, and then add coffee (or tea) for a dairy-free affogato treat.
2 medium bananas, frozen
1 shot espresso (or 1/4 cup brewed coffee or tea)Get the Recipe
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You might expect this impressive parfait to come from a restaurant or café, but you can make it at home with just five ingredients.
Start by flavoring Greek yogurt with brewed coffee. Stir in chia seeds to thicken, or leave them out if you want a low-fat coffee dessert. Either way it’s packed with protein, which means it can also be enjoyed as an easy breakfast. Make it the night before, or assemble in the morning with fresh berries.
2 small containers (5.3 oz. each) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
3 BelVita chocolate breakfast biscuits, crumbled
6 strawberries, thinly slicedGet the Recipe
Craving a pumpkin spice latte when it’s still summer? Turn it into a healthy coffee milkshake with this easy recipe that uses Greek yogurt, a banana, and pumpkin puree.
1 1/3 cups brewed coffee, chilled
1 ripe banana
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
8 tsp. agave nectar (or honey to taste)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
9 ice cubesGet the Recipe
Enjoy a jolt of coffee in the morning or afternoon with these flourless cookies. A blend of almond butter, ground flax, and cocoa powder makes up the batter.
You don’t even need oil or butter, just some coconut sugar to sweeten up the three strong shots of espresso used for this coffee cookie. And if you’d rather not use chocolate chips, try crushed chocolate-covered coffee beans as a mix-in instead.
1 cup almond butter
2 shots strong espresso, hot
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)Get the Recipe
If you can’t get enough coffee in the morning, add some espresso to a batch of muffins so you can grab one on the way out the door.
They’re great to fill you up when your quick breakfast wasn’t quite big enough, and unlike a hot cappuccino, you won’t be spilling this on yourself in the car.
These coffee muffins also have the nutrition of a small serving of oatmeal, fueling you up on not just caffeine but also complex carbs that will digest slowly so you can fight off hunger until lunch.
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. espresso powder
10 cardamom pods, deseeded
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggsGet the Recipe
All you need are two ingredients to make coffee popsicles that are creamy and delicious. These easy snacks will cool you down whether you’re dreading going out in the sweltering summer heat, or revving up for some sweat-dripping exercise.
A couple pre-workout popsicles will provide your body with protein and carbs without leaving you with that full stomach feeling.
3/4 cup iced coffee
1 1/4 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurtGet the Recipe
Skip the line at Starbucks, and make a light pumpkin spice latte right at home. This PSL is made with regular brewed coffee, so you can use whatever method you prefer: French press, cold brewed, or good ol’ Mr. Coffee machine.
Start by thinning pumpkin puree with almond milk. Warm it up, and whisk the mixture into a cup of coffee. Then add pumpkin spice, vanilla, and sweetener to taste.
16 oz. brewed coffee
6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 cup original almond milk
2 packets stevia (or sweetener to taste)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream for garnishGet the Recipe
Make this low-fat ice cream with or without a fancy machine. And since it uses almond milk and whey protein in place of heavy cream, this frozen dessert is nutritious enough to have as part of an awesome summer breakfast.
Each serving of this mocha chip ice cream has about the same calories as the gourmet stuff, and yet you’ll benefit from over 30 grams of protein instead of overloading on fat.
If you don’t have time in the morning to do more than brew coffee, don’t worry about upgrading your drink.
Get the coffeehouse experience by drinking your cup of Joe along with these lemon biscotti, which can be baked ahead of time so they’re ready to snack on in the morning. With just oat flour, whey protein powder, and lemon flavoring, they’re naturally low in fat and have a healthy serving of complex carbs for breakfast.
If you have a place nearby that stocks craft brews, you can find a beer that includes coffee for flavor, like Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter or Rogue Cold Brew IPA, made in collaboration with Stumptown Coffee Roasters. But if you’re feeling adventurous (and patient), you can make your own homemade coffee stout.
Brewing your own beer actually comes with health benefits. Since most beer is pasteurized, it doesn’t contain live yeast. Not only is that what originally makes the mix alcoholic, but brewer’s yeast can actually be a nutritional supplement. It’s used as a probiotic for digestion, plus a good source of B vitamins.
12 1/2 lbs. 2-row malt
2 lbs. flaked barley
1 1/2 lbs. pale chocolate malt
1/2 lb. roasted barley
1/2 lb. midnight wheat malt
.8 oz. Magnum pellets
1 oz. Golding pellets
1 lb. lactose
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
2 Madagascar vanilla beans, whole
1/2 lb. medium-roast coffee beans, cold brewed
White Labs San Diego Super YeastGet the Recipe
Tiramisu is the perfect candidate for a high-protein dessert since you can add eggs to the cream. This recipe takes it one step further by baking ladyfinger cookies from scratch using whey protein powder.
The result a low-sugar dessert that’s loaded with flavor from coconut cream, coffee, and cocoa powder. You can add masala wine or dark rum too, but it’s not necessary with everything else going on.
5 large eggs, divided
3/4 cup powdered xylitol
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 scoops (about 1/2 cup) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate
Zest of 1 lemon
5 large eggs, divided
1/3 cup powdered xylitol
1 1/4 cups (9.5 oz.) crème fraiche
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
Cocoa powder, for dusting
1/4 cup marsala wine (optional)Get the Recipe
With lean macros, this chocolate cake doesn’t have to be dessert. Enjoy it in the mornings for breakfast, and it won’t take more than five minutes to put it together.
That means it’s also great for an afternoon post-workout snack or a late-night chocolate craving. No matter when you decide to eat this chocolate protein cake, it’ll fill you up with oats, yogurt, egg whites, and whey – adding up to an amazing 26 grams of protein per serving.
Turn your morning cup of coffee into a fancy homemade Frappuccino with just a handful of ingredients. And this one beats Starbucks any day since it includes a scoop of chocolate whey protein powder.
It’ll take less time to blend this up at home than it does to stop by a café and wait in line, and you can customize it with vanilla extract, sugar-free maple syrup, or cinnamon and honey.
There are a few tricks to making bulletproof coffee that actually delivers health benefits. First, start with grass-fed butter. It has a higher concentration of nutrients like vitamin K2, which prevents blood clotting.
Add coconut oil too for medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), and what you have is coffee that won’t just wake you up with caffeine, but also provide healthy fats to keep you full and power up your brain to prepare you for the day.
2 cups strongly brewed coffee
1 tsp. vanilla powder
2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter
2 Tbsp. coconut oilGet the Recipe
This is also a great way to kill cravings for a candy peanut butter cup, while the nutritional profile of protein and sugar makes a great post-workout shake. It’s similar to chocolate milk, yet with a scoop of whey protein to really fuel muscle growth.
Enjoy your favorite beverage as a delicious dip. This is easy to make, and since it has marshmallows and cream cheese, it’s an awesome snack everyone can enjoy at a family gathering or on game day.
Serve it with graham crackers and apple wedges. Or to enjoy a light snack that’s salty and sweet, try it with thin pretzel sticks.
1 package (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. espresso powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. vanilla extractGet the Recipe
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