I admit, I’ve started to miss coffee creamers since cutting out sugar. It’s not the sweetness or the flavors that I miss. Rather, it’s the simplicity of adding one thing to your coffee before it’s good to go. For the past couple of months, my habit’s been to heat up coconut milk on the stove top along with erythritol, vanilla extract, and maybe cinnamon – depending on how I’m feeling – before adding it to my coffee. The results of which are fabulous, albeit, watching my roomies add one splash of creamer to their coffee and then proceeding to enjoy it sip by sip has instilled a particular kind of envy in me.
The only good reason for me to avoid pouring cold coconut milk straight into my coffee is that by the time I add the amount I want, the coffee dips below an enjoyable temperature. Creamers, on the other hand, are more concentrated than straight up plant-milks, thus they lighten up the coffee before it has a chance to cool down.
Plus, they do come alone with pleasant flavors and added sweetness, which I’m a sucker for. Particularly for the universally denounced yet guilty pleasure of millions – French Vanilla.
Have you ever wondered “what makes this vanilla French?” Yeah, me too. As well as I can figure, it’s marketing, because it isn’t a special type of vanilla bean that grows in France, such as Madagascar vanilla. Instead, French Vanilla is a mixture of vanilla and nut flavoring, such as almond or hazelnut. For example, if you order a “French Vanilla Latte” at Starbucks, they will give you a latte flavored with half hazelnut syrup and half vanilla syrup. The most popular creamer among my housemates – French Vanilla Soy Creamer by Organic Valley – on the other hand, is flavored with vanilla and almond extracts.
To flavor our creamer, we use a 4:1 ratio of vanilla extract to almond extract, because almond flavoring is far more than subtle vanilla.
By “concentrating” coconut milk, I mean that we’re going to simmer it until the overall volume is reduced by one third. By simmering the milk, much of the water will be evaporated while the fat content stays the same. Thus, in the end, the amount of fat per tablespoon will have risen, which is a good thing, because it’s the fat that’s going to make our coffee light & creamy.
A granulated sweetener – such as xylitol or erythritol – is preferred here as it will thicken up the creamer as well as sweeten it, which will assist in adding a thicker body.
Once you’ve made your creamer, you can store it in the fridge for up to two weeks! It will be thicker than most store bought creamers – that means you followed the recipe right. To use, simply add to your desired sweetness/creaminess and stir. For a 10 oz cup of coffee, which is what I drink in the morning, I like to add 3 tablespoons/1.5 oz of creamer.
We hope you enjoy this simple, lectin-limitied, sugar-free, take on French Vanilla Coffee Creamer! If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Ryan & Kim
French Vanilla Creamer
Concentrated coconut milk sweetened with erythritol and flavored with vanilla & almond. Use in place of store-bought creamers.
- 1 c full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 c + 1 tbsp erythritol or xylitol
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- tiny pinch of salt
- Add coconut milk to a medium sauce pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, than drop heat to medium low to ensure coconut milk doesn’t boil over.
- Simmer until the coconut milk has reduced down to 2/3 c. The only way to know for sure is to remove the coconut milk from the pot into a measuring cup periodically to check your progress. However, it should only have to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Once it’s reduced down to 2/3 c, add back into pot along with erythritol and salt. Stir over medium low heat for 1 minute or until the erythritol has dissolved.
- Turn off heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts. For extra smooth creamer, transfer contents to a personal-sized blender and blend on high for a couple of seconds, albeit this is optional.
- Move contents to an airtight container (I like a mason jar) and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. To use, simply stir in desired amount into coffee or tea. I prefer 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz) for 10 oz of coffee.
*Recipe can easily be doubled that way you have more creamer on hand for longer, as most store bought creamers tend to come in 16 oz containers. Simply reduce 2 cups of coconut milk down to 1 1/3 of a cup and double everything else.