Herbal “Coffee” (AIP/Paleo)

Herbal "Coffee" (AIP, Paleo)

I will admit, back in my pre-AIP days I was a total coffee addict. I loved my coffee! I had a cup every morning, nice and strong with full fat cream, honey and a dash of cinnamon. Delicious! I enjoyed going to Starbucks with friends and I enjoyed Espresso just as much. The day I started AIP and gave up coffee was absurdly difficult. I switched out my trusty cup of coffee for tea and I have yet to go back.

It seems silly that one little beverage can be such a strong sticking point for so many people but when you think about how big a role coffee plays in the routine and social life of so many people it begins to become clear why so many people shy away from eliminating it.

Is it possible to be successful on AIP and still enjoy one cup of coffee a day? I get asked this question a lot. I mean it is just one little adjustment, how big of a difference can that actually make? Well, maybe if you understand the logic behind the loss it will ease the bitterness (pun intended).

In this post by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne she explains the drawbacks of coffee consumption that have led to its elimination in the autoimmune protocol. First, coffee comes from a seed, the pit of the coffee fruit. This is a cause for concern, seeing as many seeds contain compounds, meant to keep the seed intact, that are harmful to the lining of the gut. Second, coffee stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CKK) which stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder. In a healthy individual this isn’t likely to cause too many problems, but in an individual with deficiencies in gallbladder function this can cause heartburn, digestive upset and damage to the lining of the intestines. Third, caffeine of any sort (in coffee, tea, chocolate…) increases cortisol production. Excessive cortisol can lead to a ton of health problems including an overactive immune system (detrimental to autoimmune disease sufferers), disruption of sleep, and disruption of digestion. Finally, some studies have shown that even in healthy individuals, there is a correlation between coffee consumption and increased inflammatory markers in the blood.

So, you see that in order to allow the gut to heal and the hormones to regulate so that you can be well on your way to managing your autoimmune disease, giving up coffee is, unfortunately, necessary. That isn’t to say you won’t be able to enjoy it later on in the future but it does need to be eliminated initially.

So how can you break the habit while still enjoying the comfort of a warm, full flavored beverage in the morning? Why AIP “coffee” of course! This recipe combines the earthy and bitter flavors of roasted chicory, dandelion root, and carob with the subtle sweetness of dates to create an absolutely amazing coffee substitute that is seed and caffeine free.

Collage Cover 2What makes this recipe even more special is that it is a special preview from a brand new AIP cookbook on the market right now : 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts. This e-book is entirely dedicated to answering the question “what can I eat for breakfast on AIP?”. It can be incredibly daunting to have to give up eggs, dairy and grains and then turn around and come up with a satisfying breakfast idea, this book makes it easy. It was a collaborative effort, headed up by Eileen over at Phoenix Helix, which includes recipes by myself Dora Siah of Provincial Paleo  and many more of your favorite AIP bloggers. If you like this herbal coffee recipe I highly encourage you to click HERE and check out the 84 other recipes waiting to be enjoyed in this book!

Do you/did you drink coffee every day? Did you drink it for the taste, the caffeine or both?

Herbal "Coffee" (AIP, Paleo)


Herbal “Coffee” (AIP)

(Recipe by Dora Siah of Provincial Paleo and Taken From the Book 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts

Makes 2 Servings


1 TBS Roasted Dandelion Root 

1 TBS Roasted Chicory Root 

1 TBS Carob Powder 

1 Date, Pitted

3 Cups of Water


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and serve.




Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.


  • I tried this this morning minus the date (being pretty sensitive to sweeteners) – and it was an excellent substitute for coffee ….. I added a couple of teaspoons of warmed coconut milk too 🙂

  • Coffee was the hardest thing that I have given up. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it several times now & I can’t wait til the next morning to have it again. I didn’t use the date but used coconut sugar. I also added 1T of coconut oil, coconut milk & blended with an immersion blender. It was frothy & delicious. Can you have too much? I have found myself wanting more throughout the day.

    • Sounds delicious! As with everything is should be consumed in moderation but as long as you aren’t having any issues one cup a day should be fine.

  • I’m allergic to all things related to ragweed unfortunately. These two herbs are so I haven’t been able to go this route. Have had to stick with black tea in the AM. Green tea doesn’t agree with me but I drink herbal teas throughout the day and make my Mickey Trescott’s anti-inflammatory tea by the quart. I love coffee too, but can’t handle it except on occasion.

  • I have been enjoying my dandelion/chicory “coffee” but am looking forward to trying it with carob and dates. Are there any repurcussions to having this daily? Since dandelion root is a diuretic? Thanks for sharing!

    • I have dandelion root tea fairly regularly without any problems. Just listen to your body, but I don’t know of any specific issues with having it daily.

  • Hi, I have been trying to buy the dandelion root and chickory root locally. Does it come in a ground up powder form? This is what salespeople have thought while I thought it looked like chuncky herb pieces. Thanks, Megan

  • I would love to try dandelion root but am concerned about the warning to not use it if you have gall bladder issues. I had my gall bladder removed so I’m wondering if I should use it.

  • Hey thanks for posting. After many failed attempts at AIP I’m doing it for real this time:) I’m interested in trying this! So carob powder? It’s AIP friendly?!

    • carob powder is AIP friendly, but most other carob products like store bought carob chips are not because they have soy in them.

  • From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I have been following a Whole 30 lifestyle, but went AIP when I found out about my autoimmune condition. This is delicious. It’s a little time consuming, so it may have to be a weekend treat. Do you ever batch make this? I am wondering how it tastes reheated.

  • Hi there!
    New to your website as I am on my AIP journey for SLE Lupus & few other auto immune diseases but this looks awesome as I miss my cup of Joe so much! I ordered the stuff and wondering if I could put it all in a french press? Have you tried that?

    Thank you so much!!

    • I have not tried it and I don’t know much about using a French Press, but if you try it report back and let us know. I’m sure a lot of people would like to have a new way to use their coffee making supplies!

  • I find that the carob powder does not completely dissolve and leaves a large amount of “sediment” in the bottom of my cup. I am following your directions but the powder does not appear to be completely dissolving. How do I resolve this issue?

    • It is not supposed to dissolve you have to strain it before drinking.

Comments are closed.

Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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