Breaking news: I have given up half-and-half.
I have long since given up sugar and white flour. I even gave up Diet Coke, though I think I’ve been drinking it since birth. I walk right past the processed foods in the grocery store like they don’t even exist. My counter is crowded with things I sprout, ferment, and soak in the name of better health and nutrition.
But. I love my half-and-half.
Deep down inside, I knew my health would benefit if I gave up this dead, nutritionally void food. So, when I came across a recipe for coconut creamer, I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t have the exact ingredients, but I tried it anyway. Surprisingly, I liked it. It was by far the best option I had tried for a non-dairy, non-soy, minimally processed creamer. In fact, I liked it so much, I haven’t used half-and-half since, even though there’s still half a quart in my fridge. Now that’s saying something.
Here’s my modified recipe:
Coconut Milk Creamer
1 can coconut milk*, room temperature
1 very fresh, organic egg from 1 very happy, pasture-raised hen
Stevia (I don’t like sweet coffee, but I find a few drops of liquid stevia makes up for the lack of lactose in the coconut milk)
1 t. Vanilla
Whirl the egg in a blender. Be sure to use the best eggs because you’ll be eating them raw. Slowly add the coconut milk and any optional ingredients you like. Blend until frothy and somewhat thick, about a minute in my Vitamix. Pour into a container and store in the fridge. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
*The original recipe calls for regular coconut milk. The first time I tried it, I used light because that was all I had in my pantry. I thought the creamer was tasty even so. I’ve since tried full-fat coconut milk, and even half-light, half regular. In my opinion, the taste difference between light and regular in this recipe is minimal, especially if I add a couple drops of stevia. Sure, the full-fat is creamier, but the fat and calories are more than double. In fact, full-fat coconut milk is much more calorie-dense than half-and-half. Eep!
In the end, the choice is yours. But, if you choose to use light coconut milk, look for a brand with no additives, like Trader Joe’s (a steal at only $.99 a can).
The original recipe also calls for 2 T. of coconut oil. She blends the egg and the oil slowly to create an emulsion, then adds the coconut milk. This creates a very thick whip. In fact, you have to spoon it into your coffee. She does this to keep the coconut milk from separating, but I find the lecithin in the egg is enough to keep the coconut milk from doing funny things in my coffee. So I cut out those extra calories. However, add the coconut oil in if you want a divine topping for a bowl of berries or a diary-free dessert!
Won’t a raw egg kill me? No. But it’s important to use farm-fresh eggs from reliable sources. See Nourishing Traditions for more about rawness.
Does the creamer taste like coconut? No.
Does a carton of coconut milk work as well as a can? No.
Is this coconut creamer gritty like the coconut milk creamer you buy in the store? No. In fact, it tastes much, much better than store-bought coconut creamer.
How long will the creamer last? I would try to use it up in about a week (I have no trouble with that!), although it may last longer than that.
Ready to give up dairy in your coffee? I hope you give this a try!
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