The Basics of Bulletproof Coffee

I talk a LOT about bulletproof coffee...I talk about it to my family, my friends, my coworkers, my clients, on the blog... Not necessarily because I love it (although I mostly do), but more so because everyone always has questions! Somehow it's a frequent conversation, and everyone wants to try it.

I usually recommend my clients add it to their repertoire, either as a meal replacement for breakfast or as kind of an "early morning snack" before a lighter breakfast later. Like I have in the past, they always report a surge of energy beyond their usual coffee kick and often remark that they didn't need any additional caffeine later in the day to make it through. Many, also like me, find that they are full for hours and are content not to take their first real meal until lunch. And this, my friends, is why I love all things bulletproof!

I wrote about bulletproof before, a couple years ago, but I figured it's time for an update. A lot of people are confused by what they see online because bulletproof tends to be heavily branded or specialized—there is, of course, the actual Bulletproof brand that was founded by Dave Asprey, who really kicked this whole bulletproof trend off, and there are other people who tell you their version of "butter coffee," which generally starts with some organic coffee that costs an arm and a leg or is ridiculously difficult to prepare. 

We don't do that over here. Your bulletproof drink can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I have a few bulletproof recipes on the site already, each very different, that gives you a glimpse of the ways bulletproof drinks can take on a new life. I encourage you to try some! Or, even, experiment with your own favorite bulletproof blend.

Today, I'll give you the bulletproof basics—the ingredients you need to make a bulletproof drink, and optional add-ins to help it fit what you need. Because aren't options the fun part of life? Let's get into it.

Bulletproof Basics

  1. 8-12 oz of a base liquid: There's the obvious, coffee, and then there are other options like black tea (choose a boldly flavored one, like chai or English breakfast) or matcha.
  2. 1-2 servings of healthy fats: The original Bulletproof coffee uses MCT Oil and grass-fed butter, which I'm still a big fan of for most of my own blends. However, feel free to explore other options, such as plain coconut oil, ghee, cacao butter, hemp oil, full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream. 
  3. Blend the above in a blender or cup with an immersion blender for 30 secs to one minute. Enjoy!

That's it as far as the bulletproof basics go! Now, let's get into some add-ins that make it more interesting:

  • Spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. These can help beat sugar cravings as well as some pizzazz in your morning drink, and have their own health benefits to boot. Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and curb cravings, while ginger soothes and boosts digestion. 
  • Protein powders. I think these are a great add-in, especially if you're using this drink as a meal replacement. We don't want to go overboard with it, but a scoop of protein powder can go a long way in adding flavor, body, and variety to your bulletproof blend. I like the FitMiss Delight brand, which is low carb and adds a sweetness that doesn't taste artificial, like many protein powders do.
  • Collagen. Another type of protein, collagen is a great add-in because of its wonderful benefits to hair, skin, nails and bones. I add collagen to my bulletproof drink on days I don't plan to eat bone broth, because I find that it helps my skin glow. I don't typically mix this with protein powders though, because that would be too much protein at one time. Because I follow a ketogenic diet, which is moderate protein, I don't want to fill up too early on protein and risk the chance of being kicked out of ketosis, so I pick one or the other.
  • Hemp or chia seeds. First suggested by Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit, I like the body adding some seeds gives to my bulletproof blend, not to mention the extra fiber, which I'm always trying to get to make sure things keep, ahem, moving. A tablespoon of hemp or chia seeds adds some good fats, as well. Note: If you're using seeds, just make sure you blend your bulletproof drink very well.
  • A raw egg. Stick with me here. I know the idea of a raw egg sounds scary. However, if you're really averse, take heart: the risk is mitigated by using a pastured egg, and it's very slim using free-range eggs. Blending the egg in your bulletproof adds a certain silkiness to your drink that will feel super indulgent, all while giving you the benefits an egg brings, like lutein and calcium. I don't use an egg often, but I always love it when I do.
  • Flavor extracts. Vanilla, peppermint, orange, you name it. Whatever you're craving that day, you can build your bulletproof around it. I bet peppermint extract would taste AMAZING added to my white chocolate rocket fuel latte! I'll have to revisit this idea when it gets colder and I'm craving all things peppermint.
  • Sweeteners. To be honest, a bulletproof blend is usually delicious without sweeteners, but I also have been known to drink coffee black from time to time. If you want yours a little sweeter, add your favorite no-carb sweetener to the mix. While many people enjoy a drop of stevia (God bless you), I prefer monkfruit or even Torani sugarfree syrups occasionally.

Use these tips above, my friends, and you can get a great cup of bulletproof to start your day! As you see from above, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you'd like. There's no need to rush out and buy expensive products to get started—the basic bulletproof can likely be made with what you already have at home. If you want ideas to get creative, check back here, as I add new bulletproof recipes all the time!

Do you have a favorite bulletproof blend? Share in the comments below!