Pouring a cup of coffee in the morning is the kind of action most of us don’t even think about anymore. Alarm goes off, shower goes on, coffee goes in mug. Taking the coffee out of this equation is almost unthinkable.
Brace yourself, because coffee isn’t allowed on AIP. It’s technically a seed, which makes it unsuitable. And while that may send a shiver of horror down your spine, don’t worry. We’ve got eight incredible alternatives that will make the morning easier than ever. (Including a delicious Golden Milk Latte.)
Wait, There’s No Coffee On AIP?
It can be a pretty terrifying thought to get to grips with, but coffee is eliminated in the AIP diet (that’s Autoimmune Paleo Protocol).
The idea of giving up coffee, even for a short period, isn’t a particularly appealing one. It can lead many of us to turning away from AIP entirely, and looking for other solutions to our autoimmune issues.
Cutting out coffee seems scary, but it’s really not that bad. Once you’ve experimented with a few replacements, you’ll hardly be missing coffee at all.
Why Is Coffee Not Allowed On AIP?
Although we all might know it as a coffee BEAN, coffee is actually a SEED. Seeds aren’t allowed on the AIP diet because of their high food intolerance and allergy rate. These sorts of foods can be tough for our body to handle, causing and exacerbating autoimmune issues.
Is Caffeine Okay?
Technically, caffeine is okay on AIP. However, it might be something you want to avoid anyway.
Caffeine can cause some pretty negative effects on the body. It can lead to anxiety, poor sleep, imbalanced estrogen levels, higher blood pressure, and digestive issues. Too much caffeine can even inhibit the absorption of nutrients.
Cutting it out of your diet, even for a short time, can potentially reduce stress and boost health.
If you’re interested in following AIP, it’s likely you suffer from some of the issues that caffeine exacerbates.
As well as coffee, it’s worth being careful with your tea consumption. Tea is allowed on AIP, but it does contain caffeine. If you’re trying to cut out caffeine entirely, then avoid tea.
How To Quit Coffee
If the idea of cutting out coffee is causing you some worry, you’re not alone. Coffee is addictive, which means for many of us, it’s not as easy as just throwing the beans away.
The best way to cut it out is to go slowly. If you normally enjoy three cups a day, start by gradually cutting down to two, then just the one. Over the course of a week or two, you should start drinking less and less coffee. Eventually, you won’t find yourself craving it in the same way.
It’s useful to replace coffee, which can help you find a new routine. Experimenting with replacements also gives you something to look forward to. Rather than thinking; “I wish I had my coffee”, you’ll find yourself getting excited for what you get to drink today!
If you’re trying to give up caffeine entirely, start by switching one of your coffee drinks for tea. They contain less caffeine per cup than coffee, so can help to make the switch easier. Then, you can gradually replace the tea with something caffeine free.
Some people have great success just going cold turkey, cutting out coffee right away and never looking back. But for the rest of us, this leads to some intense cravings, a sudden need to snap at everyone, and a headache that refuses to shift. You can give it a go, but don’t be surprised if you find everyone is avoiding you for a while.
AIP Coffee Alternatives
When you’re used to a nice steaming cup of coffee in the morning, the idea of replacing it with a glass of cold water is… unappealing, to say the least. The caffeine and the taste are a pretty big reason why we enjoy coffee, but the warming coziness plays its part.
The best way to cut out coffee is to find a healthier alternative to drink. You get to keep up the routine of starting your day with a mug of warmth, and you can experiment with some new flavors.
There are lots of options for replacing your morning coffee that can give you that same boost and get you going.
Nut milks, soy milks, and oat milks are all excluded on AIP, so many of these recipes feature coconut milk.
But that doesn’t mean it’s your only choice. Try making banana milk instead, which requires only a banana, some water, and a blender.
This is fantastic because you can use frozen bananas, so it’s easy to whip up when needed. Another good alternative is tigernut milk.
Despite the slightly confusing name, tigernuts aren’t actually nuts, so they’re good for AIP. (Tigernuts are tubers – yes, like potatoes.)
This is probably the best one to start with if you’re attempting to cut coffee out. The chicory and dandelion combination has the same bitterness as coffee, so you can almost pretend it’s the real thing.
Chicory and dandelion coffee is very popular among those following the AIP diet, because it has that bitter depth that we want from coffee. For hardened coffee drinkers, a cup of black chicory and dandelion is the best substitute. But it also makes a great base for lattes and cappuccinos.
If it’s your first time making dandelion/chicory coffee, try:
- 1 tablespoons of roasted dandelion root,
- 1 tablespoon of roasted chicory root,
- 2 cups of water,
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
Add them all together in a pan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour it through a fine mesh strainer, and enjoy either as is, or with a dash of your chosen AIP milk.
Dandelion and chicory coffee is one of those recipes that’s incredibly adaptable. Try replacing cinnamon with carob powder, to give your coffee a chocolate depth. Experiment with how much dandelion and how much chicory you use, to get that perfect balance.
This is also a recipe that can be made in a French press!
Let’s be honest, a beetroot latte doesn’t sound particularly appealing. But you have to go into this with an open mind! Once you’ve tried it, you just might be converted.
A beetroot latte won’t give you the same bitter taste of coffee, but it does have an incredible earthy depth that’s absolutely delicious. Beetroot is also excellent for your liver, so this drink is just fantastic all around.
And if you enjoy showing off your morning coffee on Instagram, the bright pink of a beetroot latte is sure to catch the eye of your followers.
The recipe is simple if you can get your hands on some beetroot powder.
Add 1 teaspoon of the powder to a cup of your chosen milk, with a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Heat through, and drink.
If you have some more time, you can also make a beetroot latte using fresh beetroot. See this recipe to get you started (make sure to replace the almond milk).
A chai latte on a cold day feels like heaven. This aromatic drink is thick and creamy, with just that hit of spice to warm you through. Delicious, and a lovely coffee replacement.
This recipe by Autoimmune Wellness is fantastic, and uses a black tea bag to give you that caffeine boost. Or try this simple recipe from Food by Mars, which has the flavorings of a chai latte with none of the caffeine.
Tea is okay if you’re following AIP, but you have to be careful. Many of the tea super blends contain ingredients that aren’t suitable for the diet. Make sure to carefully check the ingredients before buying.
To save yourself some effort, look for brands that make AIP compliant teas. The market isn’t huge, but it does keep growing. Autoimmune-Tea have a wide range with specific blends targeted towards alleviating different symptoms.
When you’re on an elimination diet, there’s a heavy focus on what has to be taken out. That can lead us to forgetting what needs to be kept in.
When starting AIP, you may find yourself lacking nutrients simply because you were so focused on what was being eliminated, you neglected the diet as a whole.
Broth is an amazing way to bring those nutrients back into your diet. A good vegetable broth, chicken broth, or even beef or fish broth makes a warming drink packed full of nutrients.
Making your own broth is as simple as throwing everything into a pot, and leaving it to simmer so all those flavors can seep in.
When it’s done, simply strain, and drink. You can mix up a giant batch over the weekend, and it will keep you going throughout the week.
Hot “Chocolate” by Unbound Wellness
For many of us, there are two big stumbling blocks to get over when starting AIP: no coffee, and no chocolate. Yep, there’s no chocolate allowed on the AIP diet either (it’s a seed).
And while that may seem a pretty big hurdle to get over, once you’ve slowly started to cut out chocolate, it’s not that bad. Especially when you have this fantastic hot “chocolate” recipe to get you through.
Carob powder takes the place of cocoa, leading to a richly delicious, and totally comforting, early morning drink.
If chicory and dandelion coffee doesn’t quite work for you, try Coffig. It’s made from – you guessed it – figs! But it really does taste like coffee. Surprising, considering figs and coffee don’t have a similar flavor profile.
Coffig is ideal for the AIP follower who is running a little low on time. There’s no need to fuss about, just throw a scoopful into whatever coffee maker you have. It’s great on its own, but can also be used to make lattes, and even iced coffee.
Golden Milk Latte
Golden milk is mouth watering, and packed full of anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Use this recipe to mix yourself up a big batch of powder. It streamlines your morning, and ensures you always have golden milk ready to go!
- 4 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch of mace
- Pinch of clove
Add a heaped teaspoon of the golden milk mixture to a cup of coconut milk (or banana/tigernut milk). Throw in a splash of maple syrup, and heat through.
This is another recipe that’s completely adaptable. Play around with the ingredient amounts until you find something that works for you.
Giving up coffee doesn’t have to feel like a loss with these drinks. In no time at all, you won’t be missing your morning caffeine boost, and instead you’ll be looking forward to an AIP compatible alternative.