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Coffee needs non-dairy substitute for cream

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  • Enso Sep 9, 2012 08:10 AM
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I'd like to do a 2-week dairy challenge, to find out how spouse and I do without it.

The only area I foresee a problem is with our morning coffee. We use full fat cream in our coffee.

I could just give coffee up for 2 weeks and figure out what to do at that point should we decide we'd be better without cream in our diet, but my spouse can't imagine life without coffee, so I'm looking into what a good substitute would be.

What non-dairy cream replacement do you put in coffee that tastes the most like real cream to you?

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  1. the wildwood brand coffee creamer is the best vegan creamer i've tried. some people like almond creamer but for me it takes it to flavored-coffee frou-frou land... not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but not what i am necessarily looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: soupkitten

      Looked it up, it's a soy creamer, FOI. Looks like whole foods carries it, there's one not to far from us.

      I'm with you, prefer just the flavor of coffee and cream, though the spouse does occasionally add a splash of "Dr B" in his. (That's Bailey's Irish Cream)

      PS: I just ran across this person's comparison of several alternatives.

      Taste being so subjective, I'll probably have to just take a whack at it and guess what we'd like best. If the dairy test /challenge reveals problems we'll probably have to experiment some. Just hoping to avoid an obvious "vile" option...

    2. Supertaster likes the So Delicious french vanilla coconut milk creamer...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajbVGK...

      2 Replies
      1. re: happybaker

        I just learned there's coconut milk creamers. I thought it would be between almond milk and soy milk brands.

        Oh, I guess there's rice milk versions, too, but they seem generally disliked from what I'm seeing.

        I have no sweet tooth and don't care for the flavored coffee drinks, so the more plain the better. Most substitutions rarely taste like the original, so I usually try to forgo them, but I don't think the spouse will try this unless I find something as close to cow's milk cream as possible. Spouse doesn't drink many cups a day, but probably still qualifies as a coffeeholic! lol

        1. re: Enso

          So delicious has a plain, unflavored version, and online, the comments are good.

          I think the texture would be nice because of the natural fat already in coconut, so need to add more. You can get it at whole foods.

      2. how about almond milk...i know they make a coconut version as well

        1. have you tried DaVinci sugar free syrups? soooo many options there for flavor, and you only need a little. I really like the kahlua :) yummy

          1. Gotta tell you, I too like the So Delicious Original creamer. Not a huge fan of flavored coffee unless the flavor comes from real liquor, and then I prefer that in black coffee.

            1. Gonna try the So Delicious first, with fingers crossed.

              Spouse tried a soy milk one, don't know which brand, and ended up tossing the carton.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Enso

                the So Delicious original (unflavored) really is your best option. you might sense a teeny bit of coconut aroma or flavor from it, but it's the closest thing to dairy in terms of body & mouthfeel, and it won't separate. i don't do soy so i can't weigh in on that, but IMO almond milk does NOT work in coffee, and rice milk is way too thin & watery.

                i've gone back to a splash of organic half & half in my morning cup - these days it's the only dairy i consume - but when i was 100% off it i used the So Delicious original creamer.

                1. re: Enso

                  Just wanted to say that not all soy-milks are created equal!
                  I used plain (non flavored, non sweetened) Westsoy brand full-fat soy milk in coffee for years. The non-sweetened is key in my book. Also, none of this non-fat schtuff for me! It IS an acquired taste. It's good. But... it's not cream. A teeny tiny drop of real full fat creamy cream goodness still cannot be beat for flavor and mouth feel in my book.
                  Good luck!

                2. Spouse thinks the soy product that got tossed was Silk. Wondering if there can be enough variation that another brand might work.

                  The So Delicious coconut is a possibility. It doesn't last long as we found we had to about double the amount we use to give a similar taste. There's a faint coconut aroma/taste that is tolerable, for us.

                  Wondering how the almond version would stack up for us...

                  1. Haven't used this in coffee, as I don't drink the stuff, but I like MimicCreme for other cream substitutions (like for making ice cream).

                    1. Rich's Coffee Rich often found in the kosher section at the grocery store
                      . As well some of the soy based milks do have creamers dairy free for coffee.

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        RCR: I'll have to pass; the 2nd ingred. is corn syrup.

                        1. re: Enso

                          Here's the full list of ingredients, not an appealing read: WATER. CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF THE
                          FOLLOWING: MONO AND DIGL YCERIDES, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, SODIUM STEAROYL
                          LACTYLATE, POLYSORBATE 60, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, ARTIFICIAL
                          FLA YOR, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, COLORED WITH BETA CAROTENE.

                          1. re: mcf

                            What would be your recommendation for their situation?

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              Black coffee. Seriously, I'd rather not live than give up half and half in my coffee. There must be one of the subs out there, almond, hemp, coconut or soy that has less deleterious to health stuff in it. Cutting out cream and replacing it with hydrogenated fats and corn syrup wouldn't be even number 100 on my list. YMMV.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Just pure black espresso, 2 small cups each day.

                                0530 before the cold shower each morning, and again at 1030.

                                The only way to rise up and greet the day. Just like Liz Taylor used to say each morning when she woke up: " I feel like a new man. "

                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                  I just can't love black coffee nor espresso.

                                2. re: mcf

                                  If you cannot eat cream and dairy and don`t like your coffee black what would be your recommendation? The substitutes available do not seem great in terms of ingredients, almond, soy, rice alternatives all have additional ingredients added to them including oils and sugars. The op is asking for suggestions to replace cream but when you actually go to find a replacement it is very difficult to find an alternative that you want to drink.
                                  Here is what is in my unsweetened almond milk, natural almond base, calcium carbonate, sea salt, locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, zinc glutonate, Vitamin A, B2, D2, B12.
                                  Of all the soy milks, rice milks almond milks this was the one I could find that seemed the least intimidating. I spent some time at my health store yesterday and let me tell you it is not easy to find something that resembles the natural components of milk.

                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                    First of all, they can, but are, for some reason, experimenting with no cream. Second, I listed a number of products, most of which do not contain mostly corn syrup and hydrogenated fats. I may be presumptuous here, but am guessing that maybe they're a tad health conscious. The ingredients you list for your product are not offensive nor unnatural. AFAIK, they're also not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality they way Coffee Rich is.

                                    If the OP were looking for something like the natural components of milk, then milk would be the best choice. What I'm getting at is that choosing something made from among the very worst ingredients out there just to get a particular taste and mouth feel is maybe not a very useful strategy. Just my opinion.

                                    Maybe plain coconut milk? So Delicious makes a non dairy creamer from it, it has titanium dioxide, which is also used in toothpastes for color, but no other nasty things, AFAIK.

                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                      I beg to differ with Ruthie789. If you take a look at the following link, I think you'll be pretty pleased with the ingredients in Mimiccreme's coffee creamer:

                                      http://mimiccreme.com/nutrition.html

                                      No added oils, sugars, or chemicals.

                                      I have no connection with this company other than really enjoying their products, but you may want to take a look at their website and the nutrition facts/ingredients for their coffee creamers. Their unsweetened creamer is made up of the following:
                                      Purified Water, Nut Blend* (Almonds & Cashews)*, Natural Flavorings, Sea Salt, Bicarbonate Soda.

                                      They also have a sweetened version, as well as a sugar-free version with some sort of artificial sweetener, and those have a few more ingredients each, but generally more "healthy," vegan-y stuff. It's totally dairy-free, and kosher, for anyone who needs that (as I do).

                                      1. re: queenscook

                                        I am from Quebec I have not seen the product that you have mentionned here. I am trying a dairy free diet for health reasons and was not impressed with what I was seeing on labels. I did purchase a Silk almond milk which had the least ingredients added. I was not saying that all non dairy products are not good substitutes it takes some research to find what you need.
                                        My Dad was using Rich Coffee Rich this is what they serve to patients in hospitals on gluten free diets and it is kosher. Your product sounds like a much better alternative.

                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                          Ruthie, if health is your objective then Coffee Rich is an exceptionally bad choice. Unless allergic, switching to grass fed dairy products would be far healthier.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            Thank you for the advice, I am not eating dairy over the next few weeks to see if I feel better. I do not drink Coffee Rich myself. I suggested it as they were looking for a substitute for cream. It was a suitable replacement for my 86 year old Dad who could not eat gluten. When sick some people have to make radical diet changes something like the product can just make the change easier. I do understand that you have a strong stance on nutrition and respect your level of knowledge and that you are able to apply it to your health and diet. In the case of the OP it is not always obvious why people want to make the dietary changes.

                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                              I see your point, and if someone is 86 and hasn't got heart disease, it could be a compromise worth making. In literal terms, there's just no health benefit to using a nasty product in place of one not implicated in CVD. I'd cut carbs before dairy to see if I felt better first, but maybe you've already tried it?

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Without going into detail, I have intolerances to dairy and that is why I am trying to see if I feel better without. My symptoms increased when I went to Quebec city and had a cheese platter. As well I went on a 1 week fast for my church fast last January and to my suprise was symptom free during the week.

                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                  I have sporadic severe lactose intolerance for medical reasons, taking high potency probiotics (enteric coated ones from the fridge) and lactase with meals gets rid of it.
                                                  Of course, if it's allergy, that won't help. When you fasted, didn't you also cut out wheat/starch?

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    Yes but I think the milk is the problem.

                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                      I guess you can try a rotation diet type routine to figure it out. Hope you figure it out soon.

                                              2. re: Ruthie789

                                                I meant he had to be on a gluten free low protein diet re my Dad's restrictions.

                            2. I'm going to go out on a limb and make an unpopular suggestion. Just do without for 2 weeks. I quit coffee cream cold turkey last winter. I was sick of worrying about carbs in fake half and half and concerned about the sat fat in real cream. (I have to be concerned about both, unfortunately--and the calories.) But honestly, if you love coffee, you don't need the cream.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: sueatmo

                                I love coffee, and I NEED the half and half. Saturated fat is one thing I never worry about, but I do buy half and half from pastured cows, very heart healthy.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  I thought I needed it too. Turns out, I don't. Sometimes on a hot day, I take my afternoon carb break as a decaf, nonfat iced latte, so I have the milk in that. If I decide I want to drink an iced Americano, I'll add cream. But I don't need it for regular coffee. I can't believe how much I enjoy a cup without cream. I've drunk coffee with cream since 1970. Just this year I made the change.

                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                    I've tried it numerous times over the years, either due to temporary lactose intolerance or for experimentation. It's a buzz kill for me.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Neither my partner or I care for black coffee. And we don't care to do without coffee altogether, at this point anyway.

                                      Cheese, butter, and yogurt are the only other dairy we consume, and those will be somewhat hard to do without, but not nearly as hard as the cream in coffee.

                                      We can tolerate the coconut creamer sub. for the 2-week "intolerance/feel better challenge" I would like us to do. Or maybe we'll try coconut milk/cream. At this point, that's sufficient effort to get us through 2 weeks and based on what we learn, we'll go from there.

                                      Hard to know the whole context, so I appreciate all the varied ideas, letting my know about products I wasn't aware of before. It's nice to have choices!

                                      1. re: Enso

                                        Good luck, and be sure to let us know what you learn from your 2 week challenge!

                                      2. re: mcf

                                        i feel like we accidentally stumbled onto to the ""But You'll Like Our..." thread ;)

                                        i can drink my coffee black, but i enjoy it much more with half & half...and since *enjoyment* is the reason i drink it, i might as well maximize said enjoyment!

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          LOL... I've had people tell me "if you drink it black for three weeks, you'll never put cream in your coffee again." As IF. I gave up starch and sugars, but they'll have to pry the half and half and good coffee out of my cold, dead fingers. ;-)

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            For me it was simply desiring not to have to have it. I only put cream in Americanos now. And honestly, I do prefer it black.

                                            And I tried going black before, but always came back to cream or a facsimile.

                                            But if you have to have cream, you have to have cream.

                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              I *have* to have cream! ;-)

                                2. I have an allergy to cow's milk, and I can't (okay, don't want to) function without my morning coffee. My go-to creamer is something I make myself so that I can better control quality of ingredients and avoid soy.

                                  I take one can of Whole Foods 360 organic coconut milk, dump it in a blender, add a good squirt of raw organic agave nectar, then add one can's worth (use the empty coconut milk can) of almond milk or oat milk. Whir a bit and enjoy.

                                  I have tried goat's milk, soy-based creamer, coconut-based creamer, non-dairy creamer (ick) and almond milk. This recipe is my favorite.

                                  In the interest of full disclosure, my husband dislikes this concoction and uses straight almond milk in his coffee. I think he's nuts.

                                  1. I am also giving no dairy a go. I have tried Silk Almond Milk in my coffee and as well went to Starbucks today and had a coffee with soya milk. I did not like the silk at all, once in the coffee, I had to keep stirring to keep the combination emulsified, some thing with the soya milk and the soya milk left some kind of sludge at the bottom of my cup. The soya milk tasted fine though, just not the same texture as cream. Has anyone used an alternative that does not separate to some extent?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                      I don't think Mimiccreme separates, but I won't swear to it; I don't use it in coffee.

                                      1. re: queenscook

                                        I just found some at the health food store but the ones there are almond and cashew based, and for me a concern that is not neutral tasting, I did find an organic milk with an enzyme to remove lactase so now I am trying this.
                                        As well tried coffee black today and quite frankly it was the best option so far.