How many of you start your day off with a nice hot cup of coffee?
I know my hand is raised! Coffee in the morning is as natural as breathing at this point, and is one vice I will never give up. Yes, I know that caffeine is a drug, and it is possible to live without coffee, but honestly, … why? Kidding… sort of.
One of several items in my house that has come under scrutiny lately though, is my coffee creamer. I usually buy the store version of whatever flavor sounds good at the time or is on sale (french vanilla, hazelnut, mocha, peppermint…). But if you check out the ingredients list, you will find things like: high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, sugar, carrageenan, and tons of other substances I can’t spell or pronounce (and I’m a scientist).
Do I really want a cup or so of these things every week? Do I want polysorbitol whatever building up in my body? Do I know what the long-term effects of all these chemistry experiments (not to mention the cocktails of pesticides & hormones found in CAFO cows’ milk) are going to be?
Stop using creamer & drink black coffee? HAHAHAHAHAHA… nope.
Make it myself? Challenge accepted.
I started with whole, organic milk*. Then I threw in some sugar (it has to be palatable, otherwise I could just use plain milk. But my palate is still just a little too young to fully appreciate the “coffee-ness” of coffee). A dash of vanilla and salt to draw out all the flavor, and we have a winner!
*Note: This is of course not a recipe for those who are lactose intolerant or trying to avoid dairy. I am experimenting with various non-dairy milks too, and if I create a winning recipe I will share it!
This took me approximately ten minutes, basically just long enough to caramelize the sugar. Then just mix it all up in a large jar (I use mason jars, but you could use any container, even an empty container from previous creamer) and you’re good to go for a few weeks. With a waaaay shorter, and completely pronounceable, ingredients list.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla
Step 1: Add the sugar and water to a pan. Slowly bring it to just a simmer, and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. You don’t want the sugar to burn!
Step 2: As the sugar caramelizes, it will become thicker and opaque. Measure out the cream and vanilla, and slowly pour it into the pan while mixing constantly.
This creates a lovely caramel-like sauce.
Step 3: Pour the caramel into your jar and let it cool. If there is some lingering sugar in the pan, either add the milk and whisk until dissolved, or add a few tbsp water and whisk to dissolve. Pour the milk into the bottle as well.
Step 4: Add in a few tsp of salt, to taste, and shake it all up. Done!
Now all you have to do is pull this guy off the refrigerator door, shake it up once or twice, and add a few tbsp to your morning cuppa. It’s so delicious, you may be tempted to drink it straight from the jar… not that I’d know 😉
Enjoy your healthy, natural creamer! I will definitely be experimenting with more flavors in the future too.
Anyone have a favorite creamer recipe? Have you ever tried making your own creamer, or would you consider it?