Flavoring your coffee

In the past I used to start by day by adding coffee creamer to my cup of joe.  You know, the really yummy ones like Creme Brulee, Cinnamon Bun, White Chocolate Raspberry.  Mmm… they were good!  I always knew it wasn’t all that healthy but I figured since it was just a little bit and it was non-dairy it wasn’t doing much harm.  Then I began to learn a little more about the creamy coffee addition I used daily.

Did you know,

  • Even though it’s called non-dairy it can actually contain casein (a milk protein) in the sugar? 
  • To give it that creamy texture without the actual “cream” oils like palm kernel oil are added.
  • Sugar, sodium and corn syrup are also added to give it extra flavoring lost when the milk is taken out.
  • Some contain trans fat the kind that increases your bad cholesterol as well as your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  • Sodium aluminosilicate, an ingredient added to keep powdered creamer from caking together, can actually ignite into flames!
  • They can pack on quite a bit of extra calories.  On average, one tbsp. contains 20 calories and let’s be honest, who only uses one tbsp.?

Now I love coffee but have a hard time drinking it black.  I’ve tried some of the flavored ones and they are okay but I like a rich dark espresso roast that to me needs just a little something added.  Since giving up the coffee creamer, I’ve learned a few other great options to add to my coffee which are actually just as enjoyable!

1. Canned Light Coconut Milk – 

DSC_0985 (600x397)

I purchase these cans from Trader Joe’s 5-6 at a time.  They are only $1.00, are BPA free and it’s really yummy!  This is by far my favorite thing to add to my coffee as it gives it a nice creamy sweetness without the added sugar.  Yes it does have slightly more calories than say that of boxed coconut milk but it’s a healthy fat that’s good for you 🙂

2. Vanilla Almond Milk

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

This is a great sweetened alternative to sugary creamer.  I sweeten this homemade version with a few dates and add in a little vanilla and cinnamon for extra flavor.  It’s lighter than the coconut milk but just as yummy!

3. Organic Grass Fed half and half or heavy cream – 

I don’t use these ones as much but when we have guest’s I’ll purchase a container and it lasts for quite a while.  You only have to use a tiny bit and they naturally sweetens your coffee a little while giving it a nice creamy taste.

4.  Cinnamon, Nutmeg, or Cocoa Powder – 

I add cinnamon at least twice a week and cocoa is also a favorite addition in my daily cup.  If I’m out ordering coffee I almost always sprinkle a little nutmeg on top for some extra zing!

5. Coconut oil – 

I know, this one sounds strange but you’d be amazed at what the smallest amount of coconut oil can do to your coffee.  Plus, the added health benefits of coconut oil are endless so you’re actually doing your body good!  I typically only add maybe a 1/4 tsp. into a cup of coffee when I’m not using coconut milk.  Usually if I am drinking it black or using almond milk instead.  It’s pretty good!

6. Flavored or plain Stevia – 

There are a ton of different flavored stevia’s on the market these days so the options for flavoring your foods are endless!  During the holiday season I used my peppermint stevia, coconut milk and cocoa powder for a peppermint mocha coffee everyday!

Anyone of these you use is going to be much better for you in the long run than the flavored creamer’s your purchasing at the store.  AND… they taste pretty good too!

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  1. I was the same way as you. I remember the peppermint mocha creamer being a favorite of mine during the holiday season. Every time I drank, though, I would feel so guilty because I knew how unhealthy it was. I gradually weaned myself off of the creamer and now use vanilla almond milk exclusively.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Love peppermint mocha coffee creamer! Better yet, a peppermint mocha from Starbucks… Mmmm… But like you said, so unhealthy! Good thing they make Peppermint Stevia now!

  2. I love this post! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. I love flavored stevia and coconut oil in my coffee. Apparently a lot of stevia brands aren’t as healthy as they appear so I was thinking of growing my own or trying coconut palm sugar. Have you ever tried?

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Yes, there are a lot of sneaky Stevia brands out there. So annoying! I stick with NuNaturals which is pretty good. Trader Joe’s also makes a good one that is individually packaged. Their large container is not as good though, it has milk as well as other unwanted ingredients 🙁 We grew our own Stevia plant last year but I didn’t use it as much as I thought I would have. I did make a good simple syrup to add to cocktails but didn’t even think about adding it to my coffee! I haven’t tried coconut sugar in my coffee but do use it in cooking sometimes. I’ll have to give that a try! Thanks Brittany!

  4. I never actually liked flavoring my coffee ever. I was always a fan of black coffee so I can’t relate to that but I know a lot of people who do love flavored stuff!
    For some reason I just can’t imagine putting coconut oil in coffee, it seems weird to me haha.
    I do love coconut milk – only some of the time though. It’s pretty darn delicious.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      You’re lucky you like it black! I wish I did but have to add a little something to cut it. The coconut oil does seem weird, I agree! But it’s surprisingly good and adds just a little flavor. Not overly oily like I thought it would be. I’ve been hearing about people putting butter in their coffee and using a hand held blender to mix it in really good. I think it’s called Bulletproof coffee? It’s bit in the Paleo world but doesn’t sound good to me!

  5. I love this! So Delicious Coconut creamer is currently my favorite but I’d like to try plain coconut milk instead.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I used to use the So Delicious creamer as well but am not a fan of the Carageenan they add to it. The plain coconut is really good and doesn’t have any added fillers 🙂

  6. So funny that you bring this up…I’ve just recently been thinking I need to change up (ie lighten up) the way I sweeten my coffee. Thanks for the ideas! I do want to try some of those flavored stevias, and I’m curious about TJ’s coconut milk.

    I wish I just liked it black! 🙂

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Definitely try TJ’s coconut milk. It adds a little sweetness without the added sugars. Oh and the can is BPA free too so I feel much better about buying it! It would be much easier if I liked it black too!

  7. I love adding coconut milk to my coffee. It’s my go to coffee addition. I used to add almond milk but I love the sweetness that comes with coconut milk.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I agree! I used to do almond milk too but coconut milk is just so much better!

  8. These are all such great ideas. I’ll admit that I love coffee and have no problem drinking it black, but very now and then I’ll get a craving for something different, but the ingredients in all of those creamed have always skeeved me out. I love adding coconut milk, cinnamon (and other spices), a few drops of flavoured stevia, or even just some vanilla essence.

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      You’re so lucky you don’t mind it black! I’ve tried but just need a little something… So glad I got off the creamer addiction though. Gross to think about how much I used to put in there back in the day!

  9. I really try to just take my coffee black, but I LOVE some creamer. I’ll have to try some of your suggestions!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I’ve tried black and it’s okay but I like a little something to take the bitterness away. If I’m traveling without any coconut milk though I’ll get an iced coffee black and add Stevia.

  10. Call me crazy, but I just don’t like coffee. I always wish I had, but nopeee! Ha Ha!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      My hubby doesn’t either unless it’s super sweet with lots of milk. Not crazy, some would say that’s a good thing 🙂

  11. Hi Giselle,

    Great post! I completely agree about the non-dairy creamers, its kind of scary when you think about all of the “extra stuff” that is in there. The canned coconut milk is a great idea. I have a can in my cabinet right now, I think I will try it tomorrow!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thanks Tasha! The coconut milk is so good you will love it! Sometimes I do the full fat canned coconut milk and that’s even better!

  12. Love all of these ideas! I’m content with a splash of half and half or even heavy whipping cream when I’m feeling really decadent. 😉 Typically I don’t need any sweeteners though. I do love the idea of coconut milk! I’m going to try that!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I just poured a cup of coffee with a splash of half and half before I sat down to read this. One of my favorite ways lately! The coconut milk is my absolute favorite though but we are all out. Definitely try it! oh and the full fat stuff added in is extra good! I usually use the light from Trader Joe’s but occasionally have the full fat and it’s yummy!

  13. That’s it! I’m trying coconut oil! I keep hearing about it! I LOVE coconut milk and almond milk they are my go tos! Great post! I was just going thru a few from other moms and can’t help but notice all the processed meals and packaged foods. Makes me sad. I’m always so happy to stop by your place to hear about whole, healthy food! xoxo!

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      Thanks Koren! Yes, there is way too much processed foods given to our kids these days. Very sad and I think it has a direct correlation to the amount of children diagnosed with hyperactive disorders. So I’m taking a stance in my sons health as soon as possible! You will love coconut oil! Costco has the best deal by far!

  14. Wow!! I so needed to read this, of course right after I just got back from the store!! I just bought creamer but am eager to try the first few options! Healthy and added health benefits sound amazing!
    Thanks for the info’
    <3 Sam

    • Giselle Schroer says:

      I’m so glad you caught this post! Yes, give them a try! I’d say the coconut milk is the most like coffee creamer and is really good!