Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY Coffee Creamers

If you start your morning with a cup of coffee, beware of non-dairy coffee creamers – especially the powdered, flavored varieties. These imposters contain no nutritional value, and are filled with toxic additives. They often – ironically – contain dairy by-products and are frequently filled with processed chemicals, hydrogenated oils and artificial flavorings, consequently transforming your daily wake-up drink into a potential heart attack in a mug.
They contain cheaper and more easily-dissolved alternatives, including chemical sweeteners, processed oils and stabilizers, with no real cream to be found. Instead, the creamy texture and flavor is provided by processed vegetable oils.
While powdered coffee creamers are labeled as ‘non-dairy,’ if you have milk allergy or are vegan, be sure to steer clear. These products are free of lactose, but still often contain casein, a dairy-derived product that may trigger a reaction in those sensitive to milk.

Non-dairy creamers may also contain sodium caseinate, a chemically-altered and extruded form of casein, which in its final form is not even considered a dairy product by the FDA due to the sheer amount of chemicals used.

Powdered non-dairy coffee creamers frequently contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or, as they are more commonly known, trans fats. Some brands contain up to one gram per tablespoon. Hydrogenated oils are created by adding chemicals agents, sometimes metals such as platinum and nickel, to pressurized and already-processed oils to further alter their molecular structure.

Instead of sugar, many non-dairy creamers contain corn syrup or corn syrup solids. Corn syrup solids are produced when corn starch is bathed in hydrochloric acid. For those unfamiliar, hydrochloric acid is an industrial chemical solution with highly corrosive properties that is also used in the manufacturing of plastics. Additionally, the corn itself is often derived from GMO varieties, adding all of the risk factors associated with GMO’s to the toxic brew.

If these facts aren’t already scary enough, these imposter creamers often use sodium aluminosilicate as an anti-caking agent. The aluminum in this chemical compound has been linked to cell damage, bone disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and organ damage.

Furthermore, the popular television show Mythbusters proved that sodium aluminosilicate is flammable when dispersed. Since when are metals and flammables acceptable in our beverages?

The liquid creamers like in the picture below also contain many chemicals and are just as bad for you.
So, in the face of toxic creamers, what’s a coffee lover to do besides drinking it black? The answer is simple: Make your own! It not only saves you money but you will know what exactly is going into your body! There are many ways to make your own, here are some recipes....

Coconut Coffee Creamer
1 can of full fat coconut milk (Golden Star is a good, clean brand)
1/4 c. almond milk (optional)
1 shake of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or spice of your choice
1 shake of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, vitamix, or magic bullet. I also use my hand blender with the whisk attachment.
  2. Serve with coffee and store in the fridge
French Vanilla Creamer
14oz sweetened condensed milk
14oz milk (whole, lowfat, or skim – doesn’t matter)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR Vanilla Coffee Syrup for a stronger flavor
1 large mason jar, or other container of your choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR Vanilla Coffee Syrup OR vanilla bean paste
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into your mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly, and shake vigorously for a few minutes until well combined.
*To Make it creamier, substitute the milk for heavy cream
**I use the milk/cream that I use expiration date as a guide to how long my homemade creamer is good for
Use the French Vanilla as a base and add additional ingredients to make new flavors. These are from
  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • (1 tsp vanilla extract, optional)
Chocolate Almond
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Vanilla Caramel
  • 2 tablespoons  caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Raspberry
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
Irish Cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookies)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut, heated & strained, for the milk/cream)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
Peppermint Patty
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Cinnamon Vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pumpkin Spice
  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Almond Joy
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut if you heat it first, strained, in place of the milk & extract)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Sweet Cream
  • Use 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream instead of the milk in the base recipe
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR the inside of a vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Chocolate Orange
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Chocolate Hazelnut
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Cinnamon Cake
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
  • 2-3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • replace milk in base recipe with equal amount of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Toasted Almond
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Directions & Tips:
In all these recipes, anything that has a dry or thick ingredient (like cinnamon, honey, etc..) should be heated up with a small amount of your milk/cream from the base recipe so it can dissolve properly. You don’t want grainy creamer! Next, add the rest of the milk/cream along with the sweetened condensed milk.
If you want them really creamy, just use heavy cream instead of milk in your base recipe. Of course that makes the fat content go up so be careful if you are watching your intake.
You stick a piece of tape on my mason jar lid with the expiration date from the milk used & have this as a guideline as to when the creamer should be used by.
Have fun experimenting to create your own favorite natural made creamer :)

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