By now, most of you know that I have quit my beloved Diet Coke. Big Deal. Really Big Deal. I am well known for my ability to drink gallons of it. I have also been known to go out of my way to stop while on vacation, before work, in the middle of kids’ activities, even running downstairs right before going to bed to grab one. I could be counted on to have a Diet Coke on me at all times. More about my great restraint coming up (spoiler alert-you can do it too!), but clearly I needed something to replace some of the caffeine with. Although I was only a fair weather coffee drinker at best, I have found that a cup of Cold Press Coffee with this Caramel Coffee Syrup has easily replaced my morning Diet Coke. (and I have grown to LOVE it!) Read further to find out how I did it!
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After about 6 months of contemplating giving up Diet Coke, I finally did it. Cold Turkey. No magic, just saying no. From a 12 pack a day (or more) to none. No Diet Coke for over a month now! Why you ask? Mostly because I didn’t want to be “dependent” (even psychologically) on anything, but also because I am in the midst of “trying to get more healthy”. I was starting to think that the chemical laden unnaturally colored liquid wasn’t helping me get there. And that meant ditching the Diet Coke (for starters).
My big concern about being successful was avoiding the headache from caffeine withdrawal. And I wasn’t against a little caffeine (although I can argue the amount of caffeine in a 12 pack of Diet Coke every day wasn’t necessary). I decided a Cold Press Coffee in the morning made overnight in my French Press (affiliate link) would take care of keeping the caffeine withdrawal headache away, as well as keeping things economical. After all a daily Starbucks run gets expensive quickly.
But to me, the Cold Press was still a little bitter, and I was used to a whole bunch of sweet. Easy fix. This homemade Caramel Coffee Syrup solved the problem. Now in the morning, I pour some coffee concentrate over ice, add water and a Tablespoon of this Caramel Coffee Syrup into a portable cup (affiliate link) and head to work. Voila, problem solved!
Yes, it is consuming some sugar, but far better than all of the aspartame I was consuming in the Diet Coke!
Now you’re wondering, has quitting Diet Coke been worth it? The answer is a resounding YES! I am so much less hungry. I’m eating less. Fruits and vegetables taste better. I am not craving fast food as much. I am drinking so much more water, and I’ve rediscovered La Croix Sparkling Water (affiliate link). The benefits go on and on. It has been very, very worth it.
This is also a great gift idea! I use these bottles (affiliate link) to store the Caramel Coffee Syrup in the refrigerator.
Caramel Coffee Syrup
This is an easy Caramel Coffee syrup, perfect for your morning cup. This is also a fabulous gift for the coffee drinker in your life!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water divided
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
In a small sauce pan add sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Dissolve sugar over medium low heat until completely dissolved.
Turn heat up and bring to a slow boil while continuously stirring. Heat until mixture turns a caramel color. (Do not walk away during this step).
Once the mixture has turned to a caramel color (about 3 minutes of slow boil), remove from heat and carefully add remaining 1/2 cup of water. BE CAREFUL during this step as the syrup will steam and spatter.
Continue to stir mixture until all crystallized syrup has fully dissolved. Stir in vanilla and kosher salt.
Allow to cool slightly. Using a funnel (or a very steady hand), pour caramel syrup into a glass storage container. Cool fully before using. This Caramel Coffee Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for several months.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons (to taste) to sweeten your coffee!
Caramel Coffee Syrup can be finicky. There is a very short time period between the time the the syrup is caramelizing and the time the syrup is burning. Stir continuously during the time period. As soon as you've made this a time or two, you will be easily able to determine when to remove this from the heat.
Calories listed are for 1 Tablespoon of Caramel Coffee Syrup.
Do I miss the Diet Coke? Sure. And at some very strange times-like driving home from work. But I am an all-or-none personality, and I won’t be able to have “just one” without climbing back on the Diet Coke Train. Easier to quit all together.
One last life hack..a bottle of this would make a great gift for the coffee drinker in your life. As the end of the school year/sports season is on us, here is also a link to buy teacher or coach gift cards from Target (affiliate link). I can’t imagine any gift I’d rather receive than a gift card and a bottle of this Caramel Coffee Syrup!