Recipe Makeover: Your Favorite Frozen Caffeinated Drinks Made Healthier

Frozen coffee and tea drinks made world-famous by Starbucks and other coffee shop chains are popular for good reasons: the combination of energy-boosting caffeine blended with sugary syrups and fattening milks and creams make for a decadently delicious grown-up milkshake. These drinks can be as addictive as they are costly over time—a hazelnut frappuccino should be an infrequent treat; however, many adults slurp these blended drinks far more often than once in a while.

The calories, sugar and fat add up quickly in frozen coffee and tea drinks, particularly if you buy them with added whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. But, if you take the time to craft your own frozen concoctions at home, you'll not only save money, but also tons of unnecessary calories, sugar and fat. It doesn't take much time at all to prepare your own barista mise en place; you can prep the syrups you like over the weekend, and either cold-brew your coffee or make it the night before and allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight.

More: Give Your Workout a Caffeine Kick

Easy, Healthy Swaps

Step 1: Make Your Own Flavored Syrups

Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 whole vanilla pod

Cut vanilla pod down the center and scrape out the beans with a knife. Add vanilla beans and pod to the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in agave nectar, and set aside to cool. If you don't want specks of vanilla beans in your syrup, strain syrup using a small colander before you stir syrup in an airtight squeeze bottle or jar. Store the syrup in the refrigerator; it will keep for several weeks.

Mint Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint, washed

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat and stir in the agave nectar. Add mint leaves and stems, and let sit for 10 minutes to steep and cool. Remove mint leaves and stems with tongs before storing syrup in an airtight squeeze bottle or jar. Store syrup in the refrigerator.

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Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa)

Chop chocolate bar into small pieces with a knife. Place chocolate shards in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high heat for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If chocolate hasn't melted, microwave in 20-second increments until melted completely. Remove chocolate and set aside.

Combine water and agave nectar, and stir in the melted chocolate. Set aside to cool. Store sauce in an airtight squeeze bottle or jar in the refrigerator.

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