Have You Tried These 5 Healthy Coffee Creamers?
Americans love to fuel up on coffee, sometimes to the tune of several cups a day. It can be comforting, energizing and satisfying all in a single pour. These days, more coffee lovers are dressing up their java with creamers. Flavored coffee creamers have become a huge beverage trend these last few years, driven both by consumer demand at the grocery-store level as well as national coffee chains. But before you order your next latte or flat white, check out the healthy coffee creamers you can try.
Whether you’re grabbing your own carton of store-bought coffee creamer to glug into your brew, or ordering a few industrial-sized pumps for your cup at your favorite local coffee shop, know that commercial creamers tend to be the unhealthiest part of your morning joe routine. They can be high in added sugar, have hydrogenated oils known as trans fats, and get their silkiness from emulsifiers and lots of additives. A big splash of creamer can add up to 50 extra calories to your cup. All this extra sugar and calories might taste good, but it’s really turning your coffee into an unhealthy dessert.
But there are ways to switch to healthy coffee creamers without sacrificing smoothness or taste. Here are a few try:
Coconut milk. This one turns your coffee creamy and sweet, with just a hint of tropical flavor. It’s a great non-dairy alternative and has some health benefits, too, as coconuts are rich in iron, magnesium and calcium. If you spoon canned coconut milk into your coffee, it will be thicker and higher in calories. For a slimmer option, choose light coconut milk, which has less saturated fat. This version has a higher water content and pours like skim milk. Check the ingredient list to make sure the brand you’re buying contains only water and coconut.
Almond milk. This nutty alternative has a huge following, with lots of coffee drinkers already either keeping their own cartons on hand in their refrigerators, or asking for it specifically when they order their coffee to-go. Made from just almonds and water, almond milk is high in Vitamins B-12, A and D. It comes in flavors like vanilla and dark chocolate, but if you are going that route, just watch out for added sugar.
Oat milk. This rising star in the alternative milk scene is made by soaking steal-cut oats in water, then straining the mixture. Oat milk is often fortified with vitamins and minerals. It’s been gaining popularity in the coffee world and is often an option when ordering a latte because it is creamier than soy or almond milk and steams well. It’s vegan as well as lactose-, soy- and nut-free.
Milk and honey: If you like dairy products, go for the real thing with 1% or 2% milk. You should skip the high-calorie heavy cream and half and half, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Pour some low-fat milk into a container and drizzle in a little honey or agave.
Make your own. Another way to know exactly what you’re pouring in your coffee is to make your own creamer. It’s not difficult. It typically only takes a few ingredients and, once blended, keeps nicely in your refrigerator in a small container. Begin with a milk of your choice and flavor with different extracts like vanilla. You can also try baking cocoa or cinnamon. Sweeten by carefully measuring out and tasting as you go with various sugars such as brown sugar, honey or agave.
For more do-it-yourself flavors, check your favorite online recipe site, like this one. Remember, serving size should be about 1 tablespoon, no more than two.
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