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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Photo credit: David Joyce

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Read 19 Comments

  1. I’m looking to be much healthier. I realize my fat sugary intake may be much. I look forward to making my own creamers without all the sugars and additives.

  2. I use the Atkins protein shake as my sweetener the French vanilla taste great with iced or hot coffee. It’s the best way to get the taste you want for low carbs and sugar’s it’s a great alternative. Plus you get 15g protein to fill you up. I feel like I have a treat throughout the day that only has 1 net sugar and 1 net carb for a Vente size iced or hot coffee. Save yourself money brew your own coffee and add a great protein shake to not only fill you upbut treat you without using guilty coffee creamers.

  3. ” 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.”

    I was wondering if you could recommend a particular brand of Vanilla. I’m trying to get off of International Delight and I use a fair amount but so much sugar and fat. I’d like to make a big change but I need flavor.

    Thanks Everyone!


  4. I’ve let go of all unnatural sugar, except coffee mate creamer. And I use so much in my coffee! Tried using half of what I usually do but it just ain’t the same. But it’s time to let go. I think I’ll check out the nutpods that @phil mentioned, or maybe even make my own. I’m curious about how almond milk would work too.

    1. I always used Coffemate as well – until I did the Whole30. Once I went back and read the ingredient list on Coffeemate, I can’t bring myself to drink it again!

      It was hard for me to find a replacement that I could live with, then I found Nutpods! I highly recommend the Hazelnut Nutpod creamer! I’ve tried to use almond milk, and it just isn’t enough for me. I also tried coconut milk and oil as others recommend (yuck lol) I needed something a little thicker and creamier – It took me a few days to get used to it, but I love it now.

  5. Among these 4 options, which one should be the best pick? I got cold allergy, so this is a serious concern for me, does any one of these harm my health condition? and which one should be the most cost-effective one?

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. These coffee creamer alternatives should be similarly priced and available at your local grocery store. If you have dietary restrictions, we encourage you to reach out to your doctor to find which of these options will work best for you. Thank you, Alex

  6. its really amazing article on coffee because i love creamy coffee. i really admire by your article. this gives me tips how to make my coffee more creamy and tasty . thanks for sharing this article about flavored coffee creamer.

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