Coffee creamer enhances coffee’s taste, richness, and mouthfeel. However, most creamers aren’t usually as creamy, sweet, or healthy as consumers may prefer.
The best coffee creamer alternatives are those that either beat creamer in terms of texture and flavor or are healthier than creamer. Heavy cream and half-and-half are creamier and thicker than coffee creamer. Natural sweeteners like stevia, vanilla extract, and maple syrup are sweeter than coffee creamer, plus they lack the unhealthy properties of artificial sugars found in creamers. Finally, plant-based milk products have several health benefits that coffee creamer products lack.
Best Coffee creamer alternatives
The best coffee creamer alternatives include:
- Heavy cream
- Plant-based milk
- Natural vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder
- Maple syrup
If you like your coffee especially rich and creamy, go for heavy cream, which is considerably creamier than coffee creamer. Its thick texture and sweet flavor instantly add a luxurious touch to your coffee. Also, you can add heavy cream to coffee as is or whip it into whipping cream before pouring it over your coffee for a smoother mouthfeel.
Half-and-half is a product that’s part whole milk and part cream. Half-and-half contains no added sugar or syrups, unlike most coffee creamers with added sugars and artificial flavors. It’s, therefore, a great coffee creamer substitute for those who like creamy coffee but prefer to stay away from sugar.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that tastes just as great as the artificial sweeteners found in most coffee creamer products, if not better. Therefore, if you’re concerned about the health impacts of the chemical sweeteners in coffee creamers but still want that sweet taste, try stevia instead. Moreover, stevia has weight control and antioxidant properties. Not to forget its glycemic index of zero, which makes it a safe alternative for diabetic coffee drinkers.
Dairy milk is the most common additive to coffee but is even unhealthier than coffee creamer due to its high sugar, lactose, and fat content. Plant-based milk products are healthier coffee creamer substitutes since they’re lactose-free and rich in plant protein. Examples include soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk.
- Soy milk- has a silky texture and contains as much protein and potassium as regular milk
- Almond milk- is lactose-free and has a delightful, nutty flavor
- Oat milk- has a creamy texture and is slightly sweet
Natural vanilla extract
Artificial vanilla flavoring is the most popular flavor globally, but just like coffee creamer, it isn’t healthy. Natural vanilla extract, has many health benefits but is expensive and hard to find as harvesting requires lots of elbow grease. If the price tag isn’t a major concern, you can gain a lot from pure vanilla. It’s rich in antioxidants that aid with digestion, boosts cardiovascular health, curbs inflammation, and prevent respiratory illnesses. Natural vanilla extract goes best with iced coffee, as its character diminishes in hot coffee.
Cinnamon adds a spicy taste to coffee that instantly invigorates the senses. Its health benefits are even more impressive. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and curbs cell damage. Moreover, a blood sugar regulator boosts brain functionality to combat diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Since cinnamon lacks a creamy, rich touch, it’s best used alongside plant-based milk for the best taste.
Add cocoa powder to your coffee for a delightful, chocolatey flavor. While this substitute might lack the creaminess of coffee creamer, it makes up for its health benefits. Cocoa powder is a superfood that improves insulin resistance, blood flow, and cognitive ability; while lowering blood pressure levels. We recommend dark cocoa powder, as it’s the healthiest, carrying the highest amount of micronutrients (flavonols) per ounce. Check the label for micronutrient content before making a purchase.
If you like maple taste in your coffee but don’t fancy the high sugar content in maple-flavored coffee creamers, try real maple syrup. This natural sweetener is extracted from maple tree sap, with the extraction process resulting in the generation of a molecule called quebecol. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of quebecol, maple syrup is great for combating illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
BUYERS GUIDE: Considerations when buying creamers
Here are some of the things you should consider when buying coffee creamers:
- Nutritional value- for instance, coffee creamer containing whole milk has more calories than non-dairy creamer or creamer that has skim milk
- Flavor- coffee creamers come in various flavors, including vanilla, maple, and hazelnut. You can also choose between sweetened and unsweetened varieties, depending on your taste preferences
- Health benefits- most creamers contain added sugars. Sugar is believed to increase the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. If you have health concerns, go for creamers with no added sugars
It could be that you find coffee creamer unhealthy or don’t like the taste and mouthfeel it adds to your coffee. Whichever the case, there are tons of alternatives you can opt for. The best substitutes are healthier, creamier, and flavorful.
I. The University of Rhode Island: A look at the anti-inflammatory properties of maple syrup