The new chocolate drinks from Caribou Coffee are flavored with all-natural Guittard chocolate– and lots of it. I’m loving the focus on all-natural, but are these drinks really any healthier than the previous ones?
Let’s consider the popular mocha: Some milk, espresso, all-natural chocolate… maybe some whip cream… oh, and chocolate pieces sprinkled over the whip… and of course, 2 chocolate covered espresso beans gently placed on the lip of the cup. Hmmm… uh-oh.
Here’s the damage:
A small size dark chocolate mocha from Caribou has 410 calories, 33 grams of fat and 26 grams of sugar. Hold the whip and swap to skim milk and you’ve got 280 calories, 19 grams of fat and 25 grams of sugar left in the cup. I’m definitely not into counting calories. It takes too much time and makes me compulsive. But, when it’s possible to burn through about 20% of your recommended caloric intake on one small mocha, then calories become an issue. Caribou’s previously lab-created mocha actually had less fat and calories, but came with some nasty chemicals. So, I’m not sure I can choose a “healthiest” winner here…
Certainly, the calories can be justified every now and again, but this is not a great choice for a daily beverage. Some easy swaps from a high-calorie coffee beverage to something healthier can result in some real weight loss and other health benefits. Here’s what I do:
- At the coffee shop, I go for a hot tea (the cinnamint tea at Caribou is really yummy) and then for a sweet fix, coffee shops will usually have a small-size treat. Caribou has some decent dark chocolate covered graham crackers or single caramels to savor. A soy latte is also on my list (but the $ is crazy, so I usually stick with the cheaper tea). The soy milk at the coffee shop is likely already sweetened, so no need to add a shot of syrup. If you need more sweet in it, add a bit of honey, cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
- I make my own chai to save money and calories. Here’s my recipe.
- Experiment with new types of teas at home. Spend a bit more to get a good-quality one– the flavors will be much more pronounced. I’m a big fan of TeaSource (you can order online and have your tea shipped).
- And here’s the best beverage for a chocolate fix:
Dagoba Drinking Chocolate (unsweetened) makes THE best hot chocolate (or mocha). I just take a heaping tablespoon (or 2) and mix it with a cup of almond/hemp milk (or whatever milk you’re digging at the moment) and just a little maple syrup or agave. Ahhhmazing.
If you have a yummy warm-weather beverage, please share 🙂