Food and Drink

This coffee may not make you bulletproof, but it’ll sure help you get through cold, dark winter mornings

For Christmas, my cousin’s girlfriend gave me “The Mexican Keto Cookbook,” written by her friend Torie Borrelli, who is a nutritionist in California. I’m not on the keto diet but I really enjoyed the cookbook, and it got me on this kick making “bulletproof coffee.” That would be coffee with butter in it. I know, sounds weird, but stay with me.

I have been on the morning protein smoothie train for a while, not because my sugar-free green smoothies are delicious, but because they are healthy and fast and keep me from being possessed by a wolf-like hunger that leads to eating office doughnuts. This coffee serves the same purpose and is more tasty. And I’ll tell you what: a warm, fatty, fragrant potion, sipped while driving through the icy darkness in the morning, feels pretty right.

The flavor, if you add cinnamon, is a little like Mexican hot chocolate, but not too sweet. It took me a week of experimenting to get my ratios right. Another bonus: something about adding the fat mellows out my caffeine jitters. (I totally drink a non-butter “appetizer coffee” while making the butter one. I’d only recommend that for serious coffee drinkers.) I put a scoop of collagen peptides powder, which is basically just flavorless protein, at the bottom of my travel mug, pour the coffee from the blender in, put the top on, and shake it up. If you lack a blender, you could probably just give the whole concoction a vigorous shake in a closed container like a mug or jar and it would work fine.

One last thing, because Costco just knows things: Just about all the ingredients for bulletproof coffee are at Costco in Anchorage right now, including cacao powder, Kerrygold butter, MCT oil, and collagen peptides powder.

Bulletproof coffee

8 ounces hot coffee (decaf is fine)

1 tablespoon good quality butter, like Kerrygold brand


1 teaspoon cacao powder


1 tablespoon MCT oil

1 10 gram scoop collagen peptides powder

1/2 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon, or more, depending on your preference

½ teaspoon vanilla

Liquid Stevia, to taste

Put the hot coffee, butter, cacao, and, if desired, cinnamon, MCT oil, vanilla and/or stevia in a blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until frothy. If desired, put a scoop of collagen peptides in the bottom of the mug before pouring in the coffee and stir to combine. Consume immediately.

(Adapted from “The Mexican Keto Cookbook”)

Julia O'Malley

Anchorage-based Julia O'Malley is a former ADN reporter, columnist and editor. She received a James Beard national food writing award in 2018, and a collection of her work, "The Whale and the Cupcake: Stories of Subsistence, Longing, and Community in Alaska," was published in 2019. She's currently a guest curator at the Anchorage Museum.