4 healthy alternatives to flavored coffee creamers
There are a lot of articles out there telling you to put down the coffee and pick up less caffeine-packed beverages like herbal teas. While we agree that cutting down on caffeine is important, we also realize you’re human and that sometimes nothing perks you up better in the morning than a warm (or iced) cup of joe. But that said, while you’re enjoying your brew, take a moment to think about what you’re putting in it.
Commercial coffee creamers with flavors like Almond Joy and Thin Mint can be tempting, but don’t let the low-fat and sugar-free claims fool you into thinking they’re healthy. These products tend to be highly processed and packed with ingredients like trans fats, sugar and artificial additives. The good news is that there are plenty of natural creamers that will provide the same perk with some additional health benefits.
Coconut Milk: Coconuts are rich in iron and calcium and lactose-free and their milk provides the same creaminess that commercial coffee creams do without all the added artificial ingredients. Coconut milk is super simple to make yourself (two ingredients, people!) or can be bought at the store. Whether you go for the canned kind (thicker and higher in calories) or a carton from the refrigerated section (imagine the thickness of 1% milk), go for the product with the least amount of added ingredients. Ideally you want just water and coconut.
Almond Milk: Almond milk is a delicious, nutty alternative to commercial coffee creamers. One cup of almond milk contains 100 percent of your B-12 requirements and 20 percent of your vitamin A and D recommendations. You might be amazed at how easy and cost efficient it is to make homemade almond milk (again, two ingredients!), but you can buy it in the dairy aisle as well. Try vanilla or dark chocolate flavored for extra taste, but watch out for added sugars in the flavored milks.
Real Milk and Honey: Combining skim, 1% or 2% milk with honey will give your morning mug a sweet kick while still allowing you to know exactly what you’re drinking. Natural sweeteners like honey or agave also maintain your blood sugar levels because they are both very low on the glycemic index. Need a little more something? Add cinnamon to your coffee for a nice flavor boost that also helps lower blood sugar.
Make your own: Creating your own coffee creamer isn’t as difficult as you think. Here are a few simple and delicious recipes for everything from Mayan Mocha to Cinnamon Strudel.
What natural alternative to commercial coffee creamers do you use?
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- Read this before buying another energy drink
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Photo credit: David Joyce