Fireside Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee

Fireside Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee

If you live in a cold winter climate, give this warming, comforting hot coffee beverage a try. It is wonderful to sip on for a pick-me-up.

No Worries. Caffeine is Safe!

Back in 1958, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified caffeine as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). In 1987, the FDA reaffirmed its position that moderate caffeine intake produced no increased risk to health. Both the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have put out statements confirming the safety of moderate caffeine consumption.

If you need to avoid caffeine for health reasons, or because you are sensitive to it, use your favorite decaf coffee.

How About the Chocolate?

Not only is chocolate considered an herb, it contains many health benefits. Read The Nutrients in Chocolate for more information on this amazing, appealing food.

Combine these two favorites, add a little spice and you’ve got a warming cinnamon chocolate coffee treat.

Finally…the recipe!

Fireside Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Recipe

Cup of Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee
Ingredients:

2 cups brewed strong hot coffee
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Half and Half
Aerosol Whipped Light Cream
Chocolate shavings, if desired

Directions:

Pour coffee into 1-quart saucepan. Stir in chocolate syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through (3 to 4 minutes).

To serve, pour into individual coffee mugs. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Notes:

  • If desired, add a dash or two of ground red pepper for a little extra heat.
  • Instant coffee is not recommended; however, if in a pinch, it will do. The flavor won’t be quite as good, though.
  • Use Organic Ground Cinnamon# to reap the most benefits from cinnamon, which also contains many healthful properties.
  • A 4 Inch Cinnamon Stick is a nice garnishment in addition to the chocolate shavings.
  • Cut fat dramatically by using Land O’ Lakes Fat Free Half and Half.

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Coffee and Alcohol

Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart

Oh no – not doom and gloom on two such commonly ingested beverages! No worries. Just a few notable notes so you can make informed decisions on both your coffee and alcohol consumption. In moderation, coffee and alcohol cannot harm you. That is unless you have a sensitivity or health concern specifically harmed by either.

Coffee Consumption: The Good News

Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart
Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart

Drink coffee made from coffee beans that are organically grown, properly harvested, stored, and roasted. Drinking coffee in moderation may have some beneficial properties. For type 2 diabetics, reviews of 9 studies of coffee and diabetes by two show that drinking coffee may be the best counter to your sweet tooth. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In short, experts consider moderate consumption to be up to 300mg daily. That would be the amount contained in 2 to 3 cups of coffee or five to six cans of caffeine containing soft drinks. For more information, see Caffeine and Coffee.

Coffee Capers

Pesticides. They’re the main problem in coffee consumed in North America. Much of the coffee is actually grown in 3rd world countries where they use toxins such as DDT. Coffee arabica tends to be from Central or South America while coffee robusta from Indonesia or Africa. To be free of such toxins, look for organic coffee.

Those white paper filters used to make your coffee could be a culprit in the negative effects. Numerous studies confirm the existence of dioxin residues in bleached paper coffee filters. Dioxin can suppress the immune system, decrease vitamins A, D and K levels and cause bleeding in babies. Some research suggests dioxin can harm the thyroid hormone regulatory system in addition to having carcinogenic potential. Going with the tan-colored, natural paper filters is a good idea.

Decaffeinated Coffee

This is a conundrum. People who are sensitive to caffeine in regular coffee will turn to decaf to help themselves – but then are exposed to the various chemicals used in the process of decaffeinating. Those chemicals may include:

  • Trichloroethylene.
  • Trichloroethane.
  • Ethyl acetate.
  • Methylene chloride.

There is an alternative: Swiss water-processed decaffeinated coffee. More research is needed on the effects of the above chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee. Just to be on the safe side and to avoid consuming the potentially harmful substances, give the Swiss water processed decaffeinated coffee a try. Especially if you need to avoid  caffeine. There are many brands available – just do a quick Bing or Yahoo! search to find options.

What Happens When We Drink Alcohol?

Cocktail
First, your liver has to process alcohol. While busy with this task your liver’s ability to perform up to 500 other functions can be reduced. Second, when you drink alcohol to excess, as in binge drinking, your liver starts to store the excess alcohol. Too much of this behavior can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis.

Alcohol decreases your body’s ability to detoxify and inhibits white blood cells, which can negatively affect your immune system. Research also shows links to cancers of the mouth, esophagus, liver and breast from excessive alcohol consumption. According to Cancer.org (PDF):

The way alcohol causes cancer is not completely understood. It could be that alcohol itself causes cancer by increasing hormone levels or it may be carcinogenic because of the way it is metabolized, which can make cells more vulnerable to other carcinogens.

You don’t have to be an alcohol or health expert to understand it’s absolutely best to avoid alcohol in excess.

There you have it. Two of our favorite beverages – coffee and alcohol – can be safely drunk in moderation. In excess, we may have some health problems to contend with. Coffee and alcohol. Drink up, but drink smart.

Fit Tip

As in most things in life, just make those smart, informed choices and practice moderation.

See also: Achieve Coffee Perfection