With 50-70 million US adults suffering with a sleep disorder, it is important we do what we can to improve our evening routines to ensure good sleep. After all, sleep is not a luxury but a necessary entity to life, health and disease prevention. There are many daily health routines we need to manage to regulate a restful sleep cycle. Elements of stress, blood sugar, mood, digestion, metabolism, and musculoskeletal health are all required for the regulation of our sleep. It can be hard to manage all of that. Having a backup plan like this White Chocolate Nightcap Latte, you can relax into that restful sleep so many people miss out on.
While many habitual aspects of our life can be adjusted to improve our sleep routine, nothing compares to a cozy cup of tea when you are in a pinch and can’t get to sleep. If you love matcha, you have to try this caffeine free nightcap (if you want caffeine, you can also check out my matcha recipe!) – it settles the mind, body and nourishes you for an energized start to your morning.
This White Chocolate Nightcap Latte offers no shortage of comfort, flavor and sleep supporting health benefits.
Nutrient Profile in The Lavender White Chocolate Nightcap Latte:
This highly valued leaf is used for many medicinal and food applications, originating in the tropical regions of the world. Even dried, the leaves have a powerful nutrient profile with 19 different amino acids. Up to 30% of the total nutrients are proteins. It contains a wide range of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, and selenium. Not only is it full of proteins and important minerals, but it also contains 17 beneficial fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid. It contains fat soluble vitamins like 77 mg of vitamin e and 18 mg of vitamin a to compliment the fat profile along with antioxidants and gut friendly fiber. As a plant based ingredient, it has a very complete nutrient profile. (Busani et. al 2001).
This blend of nutrients is amazing for skin, hair, mood, stress, sleep, and digestion. With a sweet grassy flavor similar to matcha, it’s a great option to keep in rotation for delicious caffeine free recipes.
Many people love lavender essential oil aromatherapy for stress or a good night’s sleep. It is important to note that there are a few different types of lavender with slightly different properties. There are 3 different types of lavender: medicinal lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), true lavender (Lavendula officinalis) and common lavender (Lavendula vera). This sweet smelling herb has been recorded for thousands of years for it’s medicinal benefits. The latin root of Lavender’s name even means “clean” or “to wash” due to its antibacterial and anti-pest benefits.
While the nutrient profile can vary due to the type of lavender or growing conditions, it contains a variety of essential oils, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron. Infusions and extracts (the form recommended for this recipe) have sedating, muscle relaxing and pain relieving properties. Throughout history, tinctures of lavender are recorded to aid with depression, headaches, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and respiratory health. (Prusinowska & Śmigielski 2014).
The list of potential benefits that come with lavender make it an easy choice when dealing with insomnia, stress, frequent illness, and even practical home applications like cleaning or insect management.
As the only fat component of chocolate, cacao butter has a key role in texture and flavor of this recipe. Even though cacao butter is mostly fat, it contains a few antioxidants like quercetin. Quercetin is known to assist with seasonal allergies, inflammation, and heart health. It even has a role in protecting the body against certain cancers. Quercetin may be beneficial for asthma, stroke, fibromyalgia and eczema. The fatty acid profile in cacao butter is complemented with fat soluble vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin e. These vitamins act as powerful antioxidants and can help with skin elasticity, wound healing, digestion, prostate health and energy. (Hannum & Erdman 2000)
In addition to the other super powered ingredients in this recipe, cacao butter has a key role for it’s fat and antioxidant properties. Fat is necessary for some antioxidants to be absorbed (like vitamin e, & vitamin k), making cacao butter a purposeful ingredient to this recipe. A main priority during sleep is to put absorbed antioxidants to work in order to clear or reduce system wide inflammation. The coupling of fat with fat soluble vitamins like vitamin k and vitamin e is crucial to achieving the full potential of anti-inflammatory benefits in the body during sleep. This role of antioxidants ensures that you wake up feeling rested and ready for the next day. (Gluec et. al 2012)
If you struggle with sleep often or occasionally need a quick cup to help a racing mind, this recipe can take your sleep routine to a new level of peaceful. Whether you need a mid-day stress relief or a way to calm your mind and body to prepare for a new day, this recipe has your back and will nourish you mind, body and taste buds. Next time you reach for a pick me up, remember your end of the day settle down!
- 1/2 c steamed milk of choice (I prefer cashew or oat milk)
- 1/2 c hot, almost simmering water
- 1 Tbsp white cacao butter (melted / heated in milk)
- 1/2-1 tsp tsp moringa powder
- 1 tsp raw honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract (heated in milk)
- 1 dropper dropper lavender extract (not essential oil)
Steam milk with cacao butter, do not boil
Simmer water in a teapot or electric tea kettle. Do not let this boil either. Water that is too hot can ruin the flavor and nutrients in the moringa.