Everyone knows that sugar is bad for you, and it is becoming more well-known that sugar is one of the biggest culprits in weight gain, inflammation, and disease. Despite this knowledge, it is such a part of our culture today that it can be hard to fathom giving it up completely.
If you are a coffee lover, you may be struggling with giving up or cutting back on some of your favorite flavored coffee drinks. For a long time, I just ordered my drinks with half the normal amount of syrup. While that is definitely a step in the right direction, I wanted to get away from sugary drinks completely. When those drinks start with anywhere from 35-100 grams of sugar, half can still be a significant amount. I also realized that any amount of processed sugar can take a toll on the body, and it increases cravings for MORE sugar!
Thankfully, there is a very easy solution to this problem. You can make your own flavor syrups, and have them on hand to make your favorite drinks! Whether you just want to switch to more natural sugars like real maple syrup or honey, or go completely sugar free with a natural sweetener like stevia or xylitol, this method helps you re-create delicious coffee shop-style syrups at home (and many of these homemade syrups actually taste better, in my opinion)!
Here are the super-easy step-by-step directions, including conversions for several sweetener and natural sugar choices you can try. The directions make about 10-12 oz of syrup, but you can certainly double the recipe if you want to make more!
Easy DIY Natural Flavor Syrups
Step one: Add 1.25 cups of water to a saucepan. (Filtered water gives the best taste, but you can use whatever water you use for drinking and making coffee).
Step two: Pick two sweeteners and add to the water (one from each column below).
Step three: Heat to a rolling boil, and turn down slightly, so it continues to boil for 15-20 minutes. The syrup should thicken slightly (it will thicken a little more once it cools).
Step four: Let it cool, then add an optional 1.5-2 Tbsp any flavor extract, or leave out the extract for simple syrup.
Look for pure extracts like this organic vanilla extract. Make sure your extract does not include propylene glycol (which is a form of mineral oil and a toxin restricted to mostly non-food uses in Europe). Here are some more options that would go wonderfully with coffee: almond, peppermint, raspberry, cinnamon, or chocolate.
Serving Suggestion: Try 1 tsp of syrup mixed into an 8 oz mug of coffee or a small espresso drink. Have fun mixing flavors, or try any other flavors you love! I would love to hear any of your favorites below!