BistroMD Health Library

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Healthy Recipes

Looking for a perfect recipe for tonight’s dinner, or need something healthy and delicious to take to a friend’s house for a party? Crafted by our award-winning chefs, and built on the nutritional foundation developed by Dr. Cederquist, these recipes are exactly what you’re looking for!

The Best and Healthiest K Cups Ranked + Fun Recipe Inspiration!

With such a broad selection of those notorious K-Cups®, how do you pick? Use these tips to find the best and healthiest coffee for your Keurig® (and don’t miss out on fun recipe inspiration for a nutritious and delicious cup of joe)!

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The innovation of the Keurig® machine has taken over counters at home, in the office, and amongst waiting rooms. But with such a broad selection of those notorious single serve K-Cups®, how do you pick? Use these tips to find the best coffee K-Cups® for your Keurig® (and don’t miss out on fun recipe inspiration for a nutritious and delicious cup of joe)!

Tips for Finding the Best Coffee for Keurig® Machines

1. Experiment with Flavored K-Cups®

A cup of black cup is essentially free of calories, though doctoring with sugar, syrup, and and cream can derail the benefits that morning cup of joe. But the options of flavored K-Cups® are numerable, including caramel, sugar cookie, southern pecan, that contain negligible calories unless otherwise noted. That being said, experimenting with various flavors can satisfy the taste of those fancy coffee drinks without adding on hundreds of calories.

2. Explore Organically-Grown Producers

Though organic is not synonymous to healthy, the method of growing sparks great interest in those devoted to selecting wholesome, fresh food sources. Organic coffee beans grow without the assistance of artificial and chemical substances, including pesticides and herbicides. Look for the USDA Certified Organic seal to verify organic growing methods of the company.

3. Go for Eco-Friendly K-Cups®

There is much chatter around K-Cups® in regards to their environmental impact, with the company’s very own founder apologetic towards the not-so-green situation. However, Keurig® is making a vast effort to sway towards a greener solution, as all K-Cup® pods are geared to be recyclable by the end of 2020 according to their official recycling webpage.

But with such interest and use of Keurig® machines, you might want to consider using biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable cups until then. Biodegradable products are decomposed by microorganisms into natural materials, while recyclable materials are suitable for reuse after industrialized processing.

Luckily, below lists some of the best coffee for Keurig® machines that are committed to cleaning the environment and becoming more sustainable.

4. Consider Supporting Fairtrade Opportunities

According to Fairtrade International, Fairtrade is “an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers.” Products baring a “FAIRTRADE” logo have met Fairtrade Standards, cover key areas for environmental protection and promotes training for farmers.

Supporting Fairtrade in turn provides access to agricultural services like organic training, enables better farming practices, and improves crops and yields.

The Best Coffee K-Cups®

1. San Francisco Bay® Gourmet Coffee OneCup

San Francisco Bay® Gourmet Coffee has recently released the “The No Waste OneCup,” which is a 100 percent compostable single serve cup. Using plant-based and renewable resources, including paper and vegetable oil, the cup is Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) Certified Compostable in an Industrial Composting Facility. Its 100 count box is only available at Costco, though Amazon also sells its various blends on a smaller scale.

2. Cameron’s Specialty Coffee EcoPods

Cameron’s offers their single serve EcoPods. They also offer a wide variety of organic options, including breakfast blend and French roast.

3. White Coffee®

White Coffee® is a USDA Certified Organic brand offering an organic, single-serve BioCupTM, which is both compostable and biodegradable, with 90 percent degradation after six months according to their webpage. They also offer numerous varieties, including chocolate morsel, French vanilla, hazelnut, sea salt caramel, Colombian, French roast, and a breakfast blend.

4. OneCoffee™

OneCoffee™ is a Canadian owned and operated company offering organic and Fairtrade coffee blends. They further pride themselves on innovative single serve coffee, with the cups being 100 percent commercially compostable They even use sustainable processing, including using the Swiss Water® Process, for their decaffeinated blend.

5. Ethical Bean

Ethical Bean is motivated to simply be just.better.® and places focus on Fairtrade opportunity, quality, community, and responsibility. In fact, they were one of the first companies to introduce 100 percent compostable single serve pods, helping to change the environment for the better.

6. Hills Bros Coffee

In 2012, Hills Bros Coffee Co. launched single-serve coffee in the Filter Cup™, which is suggested to use less plastic than the leading single-serve format. They have numerous K-Cup® options varying from light to dark roasts.

7. EKOCUPS

Touting themselves as “better for the palate” and “better for the planet,” EKOCUPSTM offers fair trade and organic coffee beans and recyclable capsules. What’s more, their single serve cups provide 30 percent more coffee than other leading brands. So if you like a bold, rich cup of coffee, EKOCUPSTM might be for you!

8. Real Good Coffee

Real Food Coffee Company offers recyclable, sustainable K-Cups® and a USDA Certified Organic dark roast described as “a full body that's ripe with Sumatra's South Asian spice and pronounced roasted notes, but not overpowering, this is an invigorating brew.” Though not organic, Real Good Coffee Co. also offers Breakfast Blend light, Donut Shop medium, and French Roast dark extra bold single serve cups.

Fun Recipe Inspiration with K-Cups®

In addition to enjoying a fresh cup of black coffee or flavored K-Cups®, you can also whip up these fun recipes and barista like a pro!

Mocha Latte

Craving the chocolaty flavor of hot cocoa but desiring a caffeinated energy jolt? Meet mocha coffee!

Simply brew 4 or 6-ounces of from a K-Cup® and mix in 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon preferred sweetener, and a splash of milk of choice. You can also add a packet of hot chocolate powder for greater convenience, though a homemade version offers more ingredient control.

Kick the mocha latte up a notch by adding chili powder for a Mexican spiced mocha or peppermint oil for a chocolate mint cup of joe.

Eggnog Coffee

Sip on the flavors of the holiday season throughout the entire year! Pour a light splash of eggnog into 4-ounces of your favorite K-Cup®.

Coffee Soda

Quench your thirst and get your caffeine fix with coffee soda! What’s more, it can be created in the comfort of your own home.

Brew 4 ounces of medium or dark roast coffee then allow to chill in the fridge. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour the chilled brew and 4 ounces of club soda atop. Also feel free to experiment with various flavors, including squeezing in fresh orange juice or preparing homemade vanilla or honey mint simple syrups.

Caramel Frappe

Though that Caramel Frappucino® from Starbucks is a crowd pleaser, a 12-ounce serving is laden with 46 grams of sugar. Fortunately, you can slim down a caramel frappe with the assistance of a Keurig® machine, freezer, and simple ingredients.

Start the process by brewing up a K-Cup® and pouring into an ice cube tray (this can be done the night before or at least two hours before use). Once frozen, add the coffee cubes, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice, and 1 teaspoon each of caramel and vanilla extracts into a blender. Mix until smooth, pour into a tall glass, and garnish with a small dollop of whip cream.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

While pumpkin spice lattes can be quite high in sugar from syrups, you can take a nutritional spin on that beloved coffee drink by making one at home.

Whisk a half cup of nonfat milk with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree over medium heat in a small pot. Continue to mix and add in a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for flavor depth. Once the mixture becomes frothy, pour over freshly brewed coffee and serve with an extra dash of cinnamon atop.

Cinnamon Coffee

Fill a reusable K-Cup® with favorite ground coffee as you would. But before closing and mixing, add a dash or two of ground cinnamon for a wonderfully-spiced, naturally-flavored coffee blend. Also have fun trying out other spices in your cabinet, including nutmeg and allspice.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on December 14, 2018. Updated on December 17, 2018.

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