As I have researched and lurked in so many keto groups, I have picked up on some keto holy grails. Foods and beverages that everyone loves and newbies panic about if they do not like or allergic to any one of the ingredients involved. So, let us just start off by unequivocally stating: THERE IS NOT A SINGLE KETOGENIC-FRIENDLY FOOD OR DRINK THAT IS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE KETOSIS. I REPEAT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EAT ANY CERTAIN FOOD TO BE KETOGENIC. There just so happens to be some that lots of people find work great and are prime sources of healthy fats.
OK? Are we good? No one is going to panic if they do not like coffee, are dairy intolerant, do not eat pork, or do not have a Trader Joe’s in their tri-state area? Great! Then let’s go over one of the staples: bullet-proof coffee.
Bullet-proof coffee is usually abbreviated to BPC. (Another keto love is acronyms. They are all over the place on blogs and podcasts, so start your keto-dictionary now.) The really basic definition of BPC is that it is a coffee with (usually more than one source of) fat blended in and no sugar. One thing you will learn about me is I love podcasts, so I first heard about bullet-proof coffee years ago on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. (Yes, the introverted middle-aged librarian lady listens to Joe Rogan. I am a very complex person with a rich inner-life.) The idea then was pairing fat with caffeine made for a slow energy burn instead of being hit all at once with all the caffeine.
I started drinking coffee in my twenties when I had a part time 2nd job doing deliveries from 7pm-7am on the weekends. Since my weekday schedule was a more standard 7am-4pm job, caffeine became a matter of life or death for me, so I learned to love coffee and of course I learned on sugar laden lattes made “healthy” with skim milk.
I was not grossed out by Joe’s descriptions of BPC with butter and later MCT oil added in, I just did not see the point until years later.
Fast-forward to now and I am a BPC convert. It is my favorite thing on this diet. It is delicious, hot, and endlessly customizable. One of the posts I see on the keto-centered Facebook groups I follow is some form of “What’s your recipe for BPC? Go!” Seriously, I am in just three groups and that post is on my feed daily. So, my first recipe post will be my version of BPC.
Beginning my keto journey, I had a few versions of BPC until I settled on this one:
I use a blender that was made for smoothies, so I put everything in the cup, screw on the blades, mix it up, and throw on a lid.
In the cup,
- 1 tablespoon of Kerrygold butter
- 1 tablespoon of MCT oil
- about 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups of coffee
Blend for a few seconds and enjoy!
All of these measurements are approximations. The only thing I measure is the MCT oil. Helpful hint: MCT oil is something you ease into. Start out with a teaspoon or half a tablespoon and work your way up to one or even two tablespoons. Take your time, unless you enjoy diarrhea.
That BPC was heaven and I did not even miss Starbucks, but all was not well in Who-ville so I had to make some modifications.
One of the things I began to suspect about my body is that dairy and I do not mix. I am not at a lactose-intolerant level where I am unpleasant to be around in a small areas after I have ingested dairy. No, I have just noticed that it is suspect numero uno for stalling my weight loss, so I had to come up with a new dairy-free BPC.
- 1 tablespoon of 4th & Heart Himalayan Salted Ghee
- 1 tablespoon of MCT oil
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- small squirt of Sweet Drops (liquid Stevia, salted caramel is my fav)
- 2 cups of coffee
Ghee is a clarified butter. The clarification part removes whatever it is that makes ghee difficult for people whose bodies cannot handle dairy. I sometimes sub in Vanilla Bean Ghee, but it took some getting used to. At first I thought it tasted like I was drinking a candle, but ghee is too expensive to waste so I powered through and now I am used to it when Himalayan Salted is not available.
Sweet drops is one of the few generally “keto-approved” sweeteners because it is liquid stevia. That means it comes from a natural plant source and does not cause insulin spikes. (Guess what! Acceptable sweeteners, if any, are a hotly contested subject in the keto world.) My deal is many artificial sweeteners have an aftertaste or give me a headache. I think the sugar-free syrups that Starbucks uses have a horrible aftertaste, so the money I have saved not going there has gone toward my ghee fund.
I have also subbed in extracts for the Sweet Drops and various other nut milks (that phrase makes me giggle). Just read labels and find the concoction that works best for you and the ingredients available in your area. They are not always easy to find, and often they are not cheap once you do, but chronic illness and Starbucks aren’t all that cost-effective either.
So, do not panic if you are not a coffee drinker. BPC is just popular because coffee is popular and this will get you a lot of fat and caffeine to start your day.
And what a great way to start the day!