I love herbal tea so it wasn’t too hard to give up coffee when I started my first round of Whole 30 back in January. Without sugar and cream, what is the point? I mean, really. Thankfully, I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. Iced coffee is definitely more my style.
Straight up cold brew with an extra shot if I’m feeling adventurous.
Still…cold brew without sugar? No splash of cream? That is not a world I want to live in. I made the choice to stick with herbal tea.
As long as I could have my relaxing cup of tea every day, I could survive and not feel deprived when I was on Whole 30 (just finished another round in September!). I was so happy to discover that I could use coconut milk in my tea for that dash of cream without all the bodily trauma of dairy.
RELATED: What I learned on my Whole30 journey
Coconut milk has been my lifesaver.
Canned coconut milk is easy enough to find at your local grocery store. I found a low-fat version at Trader Joe’s that contained coconut and water, nothing else. Don’t bother with coconut milk that has ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Every time I went shopping, I stockpiled cans like it was going out of style. At .99 a can, how could I not? There seemed to be a coconut milk shortage for a while, and I’m happy to report that Trader Joe’s got their act together and now offers a different brand at a slightly higher price. I can’t complain. If they run out, which sometimes happens (*raises fist at the sky toward all the Whole30 people*), I just buy the full-fat version. It’s basically thicker but tastes about the same. I usually pour the coconut milk in a container and store it in the fridge for the week.
But sometimes I like to be fancy and put it in a pretty ceramic dish. I can’t be savage all the time, guys.
If you are going the no sugar route, it’ll take some time to find a tea that is naturally sweet. I love Good Earth’s Sweet & Spicy tea. It’s a black tea with a blend of cinnamon, sweet orange, anise seed, chamomile and ginger to name a few things. Drinking a warm cup of this tea helped me survive those harsh days when I was really battling the sugar demon and I just needed something. If someone tells me this tea has sugar in it that the label isn’t listing, don’t tell me because I don’t want to know. I’ll stay in the dark. You can’t take this tea away from me, guys. It is that good.
Plus, they add really cool quotes on the tea bags. I mean.
On those days I want chai — I’m equally obsessed with chai — and I’m not doing strict Whole 30, I add a small amount of sweetener. Chai without some sort of sugar is plain nasty. Whenever I have chai — I’m partial to vanilla — I usually add a spoonful of agave. It gives just a hint of sweetness. If you are used to sugary, syrupy frappes, this spoonful of agave will do nothing for you. But for those of you who have gotten accustomed to less sugar, that spoonful is life, I’m telling you.
This tea is delicious without cream but feels much more civilized when you add the coconut milk. It makes me feel like I’m not being deprived. It’s totally Whole30 compliant. And the real bonus? Coconut milk is freaking delicious.
RELATED: I heart herbal tea
Add as much or as little as you’d like to your cup of herbal tea. I like to be generous with my coconut milk! I almost never go to Starbucks now and my wallet is happy. Friends have told me that Starbucks started offering coconut milk as a creamer option. Beware. It has lots of unnecessary crud in it. Starbees, keep your carrageenan, your tricalcium phosphate and your corn dextrin.
Just make your own tea at home.