During a business trip to Italy, I was exposed to a coffee culture I didn’t know existed. Coffee so delicious, it needed nearly no accouterments. I quickly became addicted to cappucinnos along with my morning breakfast, and was afraid to leave that behind when I returned stateside. Naturally I brought back a coffee maker and some espresso, and quickly figured out a recipe for a capp that was a reasonable stand in. Cappuccinos are traditionally equal parts espresso and steamed milk, topped with milk foam. Of course, I was excited to figure out a way to make these a little bit more fitness friendly! While this is no protein shake, it’s over double the protein and less than half the fat and carbs. It makes this treat a little less of an indulgence, while still tasting fantastic. All of this said, these techniques are also perfect for making an easy, at home cappuccino without an expensive machine- just use 2% or whole milk and a teaspoon of sugar.
There are a few pieces of equipment that will make this much easier- and I promise, you’ll use them like crazy! If you don’t have them, fret not. I’ll give you alternatives.
This has been one of my favorite purchases from Italy, and I’ve used it every day since. This is a much more affordable and easy to use alternative to traditional espresso machine. If you’re sans espresso machine and Bialetti, just use double strength coffee- preferably espresso.
I don’t have the counter space for a full sized espresso machine with a steam/frother attatchment- nor the funds or patience. This is a great, fun little gadget. Pro tip: You can also use it to quickly aerate wine.
Of course, any espresso drink will do better with actual espresso rather than just coffee. Espresso is roasted differently and ground finer, to give a more robust, potent coffee made for either enjoying straight or blending into espresso drinks like this. If you’re using regular coffee, grind it extra fine or if it’s already ground, use extra. This one by Lavazza is my current favorite.
Coming in at 30 grams of protein per 12 ounces, these are a staple for me. While more expensive than mixing up my own protein shake (about $1.50 a bottle vs about .55 cents if I make my own), they’re super convenient and taste really good. They are still milk-like enough to froth, which is really the key to a more authentic capp. I also use the vanilla as milk for cereal.
Protein Cappuccino Recipe
2oz espresso (two shots)
2oz Rockin Refuel Muscle Builder in Vanilla
Pour 2 ounces of Muscle Builder in a small, microwave safe cup, and froth for about 1-2 minutes using the Aerolatte. It should double in size. Microwave for 30-45 seconds. It will continue to increase in volume in the microwave- watch out it doesn’t bubble over!
If you don’t have an aerolatte, you can always use a mason jar and shake vigorously for about 2 minutes. The Muscle Builder won’t froth well this way, but regular milk does okay!
Pour the espresso into your mug along with the Muscle Builder. Spoon out some foam onto the top. Enjoy!