WEEK 1 - COFFEE CREAMER TO GO
Start your journey to plant powered nutrition simply. This week begin by trying a plant-based creamer to put in your coffee or tea. There are so many options available to choose from, you will certainly find one you like.
Plant-based coffee creamers are made from a variety of plants such as rice, soy, almonds, hemp, oats, cashews, coconut, and more seem to appear frequently. Explore the different offerings to find what suits your taste. There are of course flavors such as vanilla and hazelnut available from some brands. And one of my favorite options is coconut milk. I use a low fat organic version, just a little bit per cup of coffee, and it adds the perfect hint of sweetness for my taste.
Coffee creamers from plants are generally made by basically smashing and squeezing the grain, nut, or coconut using a process specific to the item. Rice is ground up, oats or almonds are mixed or soaked with water before squashing, and coconut is grated, for example. Then water is added, and the resulting mix is further ground or strained. There could be an enzymatic process involved to break down a component such as the starch in oats, and there may be a heating and/or homogenizing process involved as well. To finish, other ingredients may be added such as sweetener or flavor.
I generally get unsweetened, unflavored versions of my creamer substitutes both because I personally prefer less sweetness and the unsweetened versions typically have fewer calories. The calories included in any version of the creamers are usually between about 5 and 30 per teaspoon or tablespoon serving - not much - but it is just something you may wish to consider. Also, if I want to add a little more sweetness than my unsweetened product has, I add a bit of sugar myself and control the amount. A tip-of-a-teaspoon of sugar is about enough for me.
Another thing to consider is that you can actually use a “regular” milk substitute as a coffee creamer. This is convenient if you run out of a coffee creamer product or so you don’t have to buy two different products to stuff into your fridge.
You may also wish to consider if you want additions in your creamer. Maybe you prefer not to have added sugar or flavor and so on. Some brands and brand types have fewer additions, so do check the labels.
If you love to stop by Starbucks or any local coffee shop, and who doesn’t, ask for a milk substitute in your selection as an easy way to test out an option without committing to an entire container of something. Obviously you won’t get to choose the brand or sample variations available in your grocery store, but it is an easy way to start to try milk substitutes with your caffeinated or decaf drink.
Here are some options I like which you may wish to check out:
Nut Pods This Nut Pods version of coffee creamer, below, is made from oats and has no added sugar, which I like. Nut Pods has several other offerings, including almond & coconut in a variety of flavors such as Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Toasted Marshmallow!
Laird Superfood Nondairy Creamer I like this powdered coconut creamer because it is sprinkleable and adds just the right amount of sweetness, and it does not need to be refrigerated so saves space in your fridge.
Coconut Milk I love this brand and it makes delightful coffee creamer all by itself.