Spice Up Your Coffee:
Preservative-Free Homemade Coffee Creamer and More!
For some, a hot cup of morning coffee is the best part of waking up. It gets even better when delicious creamers are added to the mix. They are perfect for savoring seasonal flavors while lightening up your java. But when store-bought creamers boast a full roster of mysterious ingredients, you might be wondering if there is a healthier option.
This is where homemade coffee creamer recipes come in. By making your own, you can have full control over the ingredients. Moreover, you can adjust the flavors to fit your preferences and dietary restrictions. And with dairy-free foods becoming increasingly popular, it is worth checking out the list of nontraditional possibilities. To top it off, homemade coffee creamers are budget-friendly, healthy, and easy to make. Read on to learn how to do it yourself.
All About Nondairy Milks
In recent years, nondairy milks have become the highlight of the food industry. This surge in popularity is a result of increased consumer knowledge across several areas. People are learning more about the dairy industry and traditional production practices. Additionally, the health benefits of no-dairy alternatives have garnered significant attention. Consumers are embracing different types of diets, lifestyles, and preferences. Many are also acknowledging the prevalence of lactose intolerance, a condition impacting more than 65 percent of the world’s human population.1 Some individuals are allergic to dairy or simply do not like the taste. Thus, the industry has begun to focus on milks created from sources other than mammals.
Currently, the most popular nondairy options are soy, coconut, and almond milk. Many cafés and restaurants keep these options in stock. Other versions include cashew, rice, and pea protein milk. Unsurprisingly, these nondairy milks taste different from traditional cow’s milk. Each has a distinctive flavor that may take some getting used to. The consistency and color may also differ. And since these alternatives are specialty milks, the price points are often a bit higher. However, for most consumers, this is a decent trade-off for the nutritional value and dietary accommodations. It also makes it easier to enjoy foods that typically call for dairy – examples include oatmeal and milkshakes. And if you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll be happy to know that flavored creamers can also be made in the same way with nondairy milks.
How to Make Homemade Coffee Creamers
Store-bought creamers might be inexpensive, but they come with a price that doesn’t have to do with money. Often, they are full of preservatives, processed sugars, and sodium. Commercial creamers are typically dyed with artificial coloring; flavoring from real ingredients is seldom used. Luckily, you can make coffee creamer right in your own kitchen.
Over medium heat, combine 2 cups nondairy milk and 2-4 teaspoons of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup in a stainless-steel pot. Feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener per your preference. Continue stirring until the liquid is uniform. Keep a close eye on the creamer to make sure it doesn’t boil. If you are making a flavored variation, simply mix in the additional ingredients indicated by the recipe.
Cinnamon Vanilla Creamer
This simple version brings together two classic favorites. The finished product will offer a medley of warm and cozy flavors that complement the best notes of coffee.
Pumpkin Pie Creamer
Embrace the best of autumn with this pumpkin pie version. This is a perfect quick fix when you’re craving a pumpkin spice latte. If you want to use the freshest ingredients possible, swap out the canned pumpkin with fresh butternut squash puree. The flavor is practically identical.
Peppermint Vanilla Creamer
Take it up a notch with a generous dose of mint flavor. It’s an excellent way to create a holiday-inspired beverage on a chilly morning. Top it off with coconut whipped cream and dark chocolate flakes for a luscious treat.
Hazelnut Chocolate Creamer
Hazelnut is a classic creamer flavor that can be enjoyed all year round. You can also use almond extract instead of hazelnut for a slightly different taste.
If your taste buds are craving more, you can add another sweetener. The traditional choice is white table sugar. These days, however, cafés and restaurants cater to consumers’ need for alternative options. For example, raw sugar is commonly available for people who want the most natural option possible. This sugar is the most earth-friendly as it requires the least processing and chemicals. Brown sugar, which contains molasses, boasts a distinct flavor that some love. Low-calorie artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Equal have also become increasingly common. And while there have been debates regarding the safety of these synthetic sugars, they are widely available at food establishments.
Clearly, there are many choices out there. But when you are making a homemade coffee creamer, it’s likely that you also care about your sweetener of choice. If you want to leave room for experimentation, prepare your creamer with less sweetener than the recipe calls for. This way, you will have the space to adjust the taste with each cup.
Keep it simple with all-natural alternatives. Honey is simple, healthy, and tasty. Buy local honey whenever possible; it’s an easy way to support local beekeepers.
Agave nectar is sweeter than honey and doubles as an excellent option for vegans. Molasses does not have as many calories as white sugar and offers a distinctive taste that is adored by many. You can even opt for dairy-free butter made of olive or coconut oil. This new substitute has stolen the spotlight as a healthy choice that creates a creamy, luscious consistency. Maple syrup is another unique alternative. It is extremely high in sugar, however; it’s a good idea to use sparingly and mindfully.
As you can see, coffee offers ample room for customization. Don’t be afraid to play around with ingredients until you find a combination that works for your taste buds, preferences, and lifestyle. It’s a delicious way to bring out the best in every cup of coffee.
Written by Kirsten Nunez
Kirsten Nunez is a New York-based author and lifestyle writer focusing on food, health, DIY, and creativity. She is the author of the DIY book, “Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion” (Laurence King Publishing, 2014).
Kirsten, who has lived in both New York and San Francisco, is an active member of the DIY communities in both cities. When she’s not writing lifestyle articles, she can be found teaching DIY classes, exploring new towns, and dreaming up recipes.