Homemade Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer — by Sam

Recently, a friend was asking about homemade coffee creamers.  I have made some over the years, but it’s never really been a thing I did on a regular basis.  I am not sure why, to be honest.  I prefer making my own food, because I want to know what’s in it, I am allergic to milk protein (which is an ingredient in so-called “non-dairy” creamers), and I am not all that fond of commercially available soy-, almond- or coconut-based creamers.  So, why not make my own?

Today, I decided to do it.

I started with my favourite brand of almond milk.

AlmondMilk

It’s local, and the only ingredients are filtered water and almonds.  I am sure I could make my own almond milk at home, and maybe, someday, I will try it.  For now, this works for me.  I like the creaminess and the texture of almond milk, and love that it contains a healthy dose of calcium, which my bones desperately need, as well as Vitamin E.  You can use another type of milk, if you prefer.  In fact, I am pretty sure you could use whole milk, if you’re not allergic to it, but I’ve never tried it that way.  Naturally, you can use your favourite brand.

I decided to sweeten with honey, because it is one of my favourite sweeteners.  I happened to have some raw honey, which I thought fit the bill nicely.  Next, I added vanilla.  I whisked the whole thing together, and it tasted great.  The I decided to add some cocoa, because I love iced mochas.  After cooking, tasting, and adjusting the sweetener a tad, I sort of wish I had a) stuck with the vanilla, and b) not added more sweetener to compensate for the cocoa.  However, it’s not bad, and I think it’s a little better than the commercially available dairy-free options I have tried.  It does have a rather pronounced almond flavour, which I don’t mind.   Nevertheless, I think I might experiment with a coconut milk beverage as the base for this recipe in the future.  It does not taste like the usual “non-dairy” creamers that come in so many fabulous flavours, but actually contain milk protein (I am still confused about their “non-dairy” status), but I think it is a good jumping-off point, so I decided to share it.  Next time, I will make vanilla.  I am thinking about making a variety sweetened with brown sugar, too.  I’ll keep you posted, and share the best recipes.  For now, if you are looking for a quick, easy, homemade option, give this a shot.

Vanilla Creamer:
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup honey*
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash salt

Chocolate Creamer:
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup + 2 TBS honey*
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
dash salt

Whichever recipe you choose, proceed as follows:

In a small saucepot, whisk together all ingredients over low heat.  Continue to cook, whisking often, until the mixture boils.  Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes, whisking constantly, then allow to cool completely before pouring in to a jar or bottle. (I used an old creamer bottle I had saved)  Store in the refrigerator.

* After tasting the chocolate creamer in my iced coffee, I felt it could easily have been less sweet.  You might want to start with less sweetener, if you don’t like your coffee sweet.

The purpose of boiling the mixture is to reduce the amount of liquid, so it is more concentrated, like commercial flavoured creamers.  I noticed that, after I added the cocoa, it tasted like a really good hot chocolate.  If I had just turned it off as soon as it was hot and added it to a cup of hot coffee, I think it would have made an excellent hot mocha.  On this hot day, however, I chose to enjoy it iced ~ just a tiny glass, to make sure it was palatable.  It’s not half bad.

coffeecreamer

That’s all.  I’m  off to chase away the stuck-in-my-house-with-a-bum-foot-on-a-hot-day blues with a tiny iced mocha and some banjo picking.  Just thinking about it makes me feel better.

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