Tag Archives: coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

One of my favourite things to do is listen to Podcasts. I’ve always enjoyed listening when driving or walking the dog, but especially since becoming a mom since my time available for learning has plummeted. Podcasts let me consume content while doing something else! The Balanced Bites podcast is one of my favourites, and it was also the first place I learned about Cold Brew Coffee (a popular brand in the USA is a sponsor).

Fairly early into my coffee journey (I started enjoying a cup daily midway through high school. I blame my parents! lol) I realized iced coffee was amazing. But my favourite was a super sweet fake dessert iced coffee from Starbucks – so not super ideal for health. Then one VERY HOT summer working on a rooftop restaurant in Toronto, I started drinking plain ol’ iced coffee with some milk and sugar. I quickly learned that the best results came from brewing an espresso, chilling it and then turning it into iced coffee – that way it wasn’t watered down like when you brew coffee and try to chill it quickly with just ice! But it also took forethought.

Fast forward to this summer, where my coffee obsession is fairly high (this time I blame the baby. Ha!) and it’s hot. I’m often heading out in the morning when I want my second coffee, and can’t stand drinking hot coffee on a hot day. I tried to make an extra pot in the morning and chill it for later, but it doesn’t usually happen. That’s why DIY Cold Brew entered my life.

Cold Brew Coffee is exactly as it sounds. Coffee that’s been brewed cold, instead of with hot water. There are many reasons for the rise of Cold Brew Coffee – with the most common being the smooth, rich flavour it has combined with the less acidic feeling in the stomach. I like it because it takes 1 minute to prep and allows me to have iced coffee all week! Here’s how:

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

1. Measure out ¾ cup of organic, fair or direct trade coffee (why direct trade?), ground on the coarsest grind setting you have. I’m sure a high powered blender would work if you don’t have a  coffee grinder. Fine grind = bitter coffee, so make sure it’s coarse! Coarser (like with a mortar and pestle coarse) is better than fine any day!


2. Dump coarse-ground coffee grinds into a 1L jar.

3. Add 3 cups of filtered water to the jar. It can be cold or room temperature. Secure lid and place in fridge for 12-24 hours. (Note, after making this once, I no longer measure the water because I know that the jar is almost full with the water and grinds combined!) 

4. After desired length of brew (I like 18-24 hours best), remove from fridge, strain into another jar and voila – you’re done! Coffee for the week, or a few days if you are sharing with someone.

Keep in mind that cold brew is MUCH higher in caffeine. So enjoy smaller servings and/or water down with water, ice and your desired milk (I like full-fat coconut milk or grassfed cream). I also like to sweeten with a touch of maple syrup!

My favourite way to enjoy cold-brew is:

  • small cup, filled with ice
  • ½ cup cold brew
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup

You can also heat up cold brew and enjoy it like a normal cup of coffee! I do this on Crossfit mornings, when I want cup of coffee fast, and don’t want to wait for it to brew. I can have a delicious cup of coffee ready to go in less than a minute!

Are you an iced coffee drinker? Or are you a purest and only enjoy a cuppa joe hot. Share your favourite way for enjoying this delicious vice in the comments below!


Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Now that it is officially fall, I can finally post a pumpkin recipe! It’s been a busy week in my household, so I’m going to keep this post short. It’s also been an exciting week, because I was quoted in an article for in the Toronto Sun, as well as local Sun Media papers in a dozen or so other Canadian cities such as Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Check out my thoughts on sugary vs. salty snacks here!

Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Amanda Naturally

Okay, back to more important things, our beloved pumpkin – the celebrated fall flavour that is exploding all over the blogosphere and Pinterest right now! You can pretty much type “pumpkin” before any food and find a recipe…pumpkin fudge, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin chill and of course, the fan-favourite:

Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I’ve been making my own pumpkin spice latte for a few years now, because:

  1. I didn’t trust the barristers to not cross contaminate my soy latte with milk
  2. I don’t love soy milk, especially the heavily sweetened one they use at Starbucks 
  3. They’re damn expensive
  4. I didn’t trust the ingredients

I knew the ingredients had to be shifty, but I hadn’t actually looked into it, so I couldn’t speak to it. Well that all changed a few weeks ago when Vani over at The Food Babe did an expose about what’s in your PSL! If you haven’t seen it on your Facebook feed, go check it out now. It’s worth the read! Turns out all of my reasons for avoiding the Starbucks PSL were legit: the pumpkin syrup is sweetened with condensed milk, so even a soy version has dairy in it, and there are some other sketchy ingredients!

Last year I was in the habit of routinely making PSLs from scratch every morning – and while they were delicious, it was a little time consuming. So this year, I created a PSL creamer that you can just add directly to your coffee! Not a coffee lover? Add some extra milk to enjoy a warm mug of pumpkin spice deliciousness, similar to a hot chocolate!

A few notes:
– pumpkin spice does not have to contain pumpkin, but I like to add it because it makes the flavour richer and pumpkin is good for you!
– I don’t like my coffee sweet, so if you’re expecting a Starbucks style PSL, you’re going to want to add more maple syrup!
– the creamer works best if you pour it in first, and add coffee to it, or if you blend it with an immersion blender, but a vigorous whisk with a fork will do just fine!

Step 1: gather ingredients – coconut milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt 

Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Amanda Naturally

Step 2: combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a stand up blender.

Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Amanda Naturally Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Amanda Naturally

Step 3: store in a jar in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Amanda Naturally

Pumpkin Spice Creamer
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
  1. 2 cups full-fat coconut milk (preferred brand: Aroy D)
  2. ⅓ cup pumpkin puree (organic canned or homemade)
  3. 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  4. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. pinch of sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium.
  2. Blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender.
  3. Store in a jar in the fridge.
  1. Use within 5-7 days.
  2. Shake well before using (there are no emulsifiers added, so separation might occur!)
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