When the largest coffee shop chain in the world announced the arrival of coconut milk lattes and creamers on its menus, health-conscious fans rejoiced. Something other than watered down milk or hormone-heavy cream! Good news, yes?
Hate to break it to you, but the "coconut milk" that you're opting for instead of dairy milk at that big chain? Its fourteen ingredient list is loaded with artificial additives, cane sugar, and carrageenan (a thickener) which doesn't make it a much better option if you're looking for a healthier coffee drink.
As gross as the ingredients on the suspicious coconut creamer may seem, typical non-dairy creamers that you find in the grocery store aren't much better. Most are loaded with artificial sweeteners and sugar, on top of preservatives that help them stay on the shelf (and in your fridge) for longer.
Avoid the nasty stuff and keep the benefits of coffee unadulterated by making your own vegan coffee creamer at home. With under five ingredients, it's simple and blends into coffee just like conventional creamer.
Homemade Vegan Coffee Creamer
Place cashews in a large bowl, cover fully with purified water, put a lid on it, and soak overnight.
Drain soaked cashews and discard soaking liquid. Rinse well.
Place cashews, 1 1/2 cups water, and salt in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.
Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the cashew mixture into the strainer. Press all the cashew milk from the strainer, and discard the solids.
Return cashew milk to cleaned blender and combine with coconut oil, coconut milk, and honey. Blend until well incorporated.
Store in fridge up to 3 days.
For a vanilla flavored creamer, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract into the finished creamer.
For a hazelnut creamer, replace the cashews with the same amount of raw hazelnuts.
Chocolate Almond Creamer
For a chocolate-almond creamer, add a teaspoon or two of raw cacao to the blender at the same time as the coconut oil, coconut milk, and raw honey. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract at the end.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont