Friday, October 7, 2011

REAL Flavored Creamers

One of the last things I gave up on my food journey was flavored creamer. I adore a cup of hot coffee with a hint of vanilla nut, or cinnamon, or my all time favorite... peppermint mocha! Such a little tiny treat. Was it really that bad?

I began to notice that the coffee had a metallic taste to it when using the commercial creamer; a taste that I just couldn't ignore. And it seemed I had to use so much just to get the flavor! When I used just plain half and half, I used a fraction of the amount.  Something didn't seem right; red flags were going off in my mind.

Have you ever actually read the ingredient label on commercial flavored creamer? Cream isn't exactly listed. I noticed on one product's website, Coffee-mate, they don't tell you what's in the bottle except on their new line called "Natural Bliss". Good for them that they are getting the message... "We don't want fake food!".  In the Natural Bliss Caramel flavoring they only have "nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar, natural flavor". Unfortunately, they only offer the caramel, vanilla, and sweet cream, but it's a start!

Another option was to do it the Starbucks way... add my own cream and an Italian syrup. Torani is the most well-known line in this department. The choices in flavors are endless! Let's look at the ingredients on my bottle of hazelnut (their site doesn't list ingredients either)...

"Pure cane sugar, water, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness), caramel color."

No thank you!

I went back to my half and half and tried to be content. Except during the holidays. I confess that I treated myself to a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latta every chance I could get. They only have them for a couple of months a year, I reasoned. I needed to get them while I could. But the problem for me is that their coffee has way too much acid for my stomach (I have a hiatal hernia which means coffee is a no-no unless it's low acid). And the cost! The $3+ dollars per treat is a bit over the top when a cup of coffee from home is a fraction of the price. 

Then... a new day dawned!

Nicole at Pinch My Salt had a post last week that led me to Deliciously Organic where Carrie had a list of homemade flavored coffee creamers! (Please visit her site for the actual recipes). Creamers with ingredients like milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, extracts, and real spices! 

{jumping up and down with joy!!!}

So I tried the cinnamon strudel and it tasted like REAL cinnamon strudel, without the metallic aftertaste! It was easy to whip up in a few minutes because it was made with REAL ingredients I keep on hand (except I substituted half and half for the heavy cream the first time I made it because that's what I had; the second time I used the heavy cream and of course, I liked that, too!).

While I didn't do a break down of the cost per serving, despite the OUTRAGEOUS price I paid for the heavy cream, I'm almost 100% sure it was a lot less than $3 per cup including the coffee!

Win, win, win!!!

So for those of you who dearly enjoy a cup of hot flavored coffee on a cold, foggy morning before the sun is completely up (and the kiddos), may you now be able to indulge with only the guilt of a few added calories!

(I'll just exercise 5 minutes more today and live with it).


  1. I don't drink my coffee with creamer except once in a while. I like mine black with nothing. When I do actually use creamer, I prefer either half and half or pure whipping cream. I really enjoyed the cream from my goats when I had them. I like to drink cream in my coffee in the evening after dinner - kinda like drinking dessert!

  2. Thank you for sharing this~I too love the peppermint mocha's, but not the justification I give it every year! :)


  3. Again, what a timely post. Flavored creamer is one of those things that I just couldn't let go of despite the weird, unspeakable ingredients. Definitely going to try this.

    And thinking ahead to Christmas, wouldn't these homemade creamers be a great addition to a coffee-lovers gift basket?

  4. Oh wow!

    I love the flavored creamers but...didn't want to put all that extra junk in my coffee and then me!

    So I wondered. Now the guess work is gone...I'm going to check our her recipes.

    Thanks for posting this.

  5. I've linked to Deliciously Organic from my site too, with the same topic! :-) That was a few months ago though......I've learned to drink my decaf coffee plain now, so now creamer tastes odd. :-)

  6. I drink my coffee black, but these are great recipes! Thank you so much for sharing :)


  7. These are awesome recipes! I can definitely relate to the inability to give up the flavored creamers. I'd vowed to my husband that when we got goats and I had fresh milk, I'd give it up. Well, when I was milking, I didn't give it up. When the girls freshen again, this time I bet I will! ;)

  8. Sounds wonderful...I'll be sure to stop over for the recipes.
    Glad you were able to conquer the taste that you were looking for...
    Thanks for sharing...

  9. Amy -

    Your blog has been a source of encouragement and inspiration and joy. So glad that you have decided to simplify a bit, and still embrace the God-given joy of your writing, your ideas, and the expression of artistic beauty in the setup of your "page" (I am computer illiterate and know there is a better chosen word for this!). My prayer for you is that you continue to enjoy life and include us, your readers, as long as it seems best. God bless you. - Esther

  10. I checked out the flavored coffees. I will have to try the pumpken one. I have a trick I use when I want a mint and chocolate coffee in a hurry. I put two Andies Mints in the bottom of my cup then add the coffee. It melts the mints,and I have a great cup of coffee as I rush out the door.

  11. I used to like those creamers too, but haven't had any since I looked at the ingredients (well unless 7-11 has the little cups of it next to the coffee when I'm traveling). Now I just add plain cream.

    One thing I do to give my coffee a little extra flavor is I add some cinnamon (and sometimes nutmeg) to the filter basket with the grounds. It doesn't give it a strong flavor like the creamer, but it is a nice subtle hint of it. And it would work to flavor the coffee for people who drink it black (don't know how they can stand it - I put as much cream and sugar in mine as I can)

    I also sometimes add vanilla milk-to-go instead of cream. It's not perfectly healthy, but loads better than the flavored creamers. I've also added chocolate milk occasionally.

  12. I am so looking forward to trying out the coffee recipes!

  13. Good for you Amy. I am guilty too. Coffee is my chocolate. I love Starbucks, but the price is so high, I feel guilty when I go. This link to the recipes for great tasting flavored creamers made with real ingredients is a big bonus. Thank you.

  14. Thank You Thank You for this. I've been trying to get my hubby to give up flavored creamers. Now he doesn't have to and I"ll be happier.

    Also, thank you for mentioning about the acidity of Starbuck's coffee. I don't drink much coffee but every time I drink Starbuck's coffee I get sick - I suffer from acid reflux. I had no idea it could be because of acidity in the coffee.

  15. Thanks so much for posting this Amy!! I'm the same way - plus I have a lot of random allergies to things... there's some creamers I just can't have. I'll definitely be trying those and I'm sure my in-laws will love them too :)

    ps your black australorp in your new header looks like like my Patty & Selma!

  16. Amy, I'm SO glad to see this. I love the flavored creamers, too, but I don't need the sugar, and all I want is a bit of flavored cream! I'm gonna check this out! Thanks!

  17. Thank you for this post! I was just thinking yesterday about coming up with another creamer option. I can't wait to give this a try.

  18. Again, you have made my day :) Thanks so much for sharing this - off to check out those recipes. -Tammy

  19. Love my cup of coffee in the mornings before everyone wakes up, I use to use flavored coffee creams but dont anymore I just add some sugar, cinnamon & goats milk to my mugg :)

  20. oh heck no exercise - just clean the barn twice this week instead of once!

  21. Oh Amy...this is wonderful!! Thank you so much for the link to the recipes. I will totally be trying this!!


  22. awesome! we were just talking about his over dinner last night. I am going to send the link to some of my family!

  23. Sounds delicious and I am definitely gonna give it a try ! Thank You

  24. Heading over to those posts for the real deal! I love flavored coffee!

  25. Boy, it's good that I only drink have with half and half.

    Loved your post...made me smile.

  26. As for myself, I drink my coffee black with a little stevia, the husband, however, is a morning latte person (homemade, of course!). I make my own vanilla syrup, which is his favorite, but I KNOW he'll get his socks knocked off when I make the peppermint mocha! Thanks so much for sharing this terrific find, Amy! Blessings, ~Lisa :)


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