Small Change: Making Coffee Creamer

While I was browsing through my blog reader this morning, I saw this post about blogging 31 days of change in October. I’m tempted to join in, but I need to give it some more thought before committing. Remember, I’m all about simplifying right now – and committing to write a blog post every day for an entire month doesn’t sound exactly simple. However, I was already planning a series of posts on some of the small changes I’m making in our home and my life – and a 31 Days of Change series would fit right in. It would be a great way to document the changes I’m making, and may even motivate me to make more small changes than I would have otherwise. Since I was planning to write this post anyway, I figured I’d do it today and see how I felt about committing to do this every day for a month. This change is about switching from buying non-dairy coffee creamer to making my own real dairy creamer.

I’ll admit it, I really enjoy drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, since I started trying to eat better, my cup of coffee had been feeling like a guilty pleasure (which made it less enjoyable) because I have to have creamer in my coffee. Have to. This was my creamer of choice:

Cinnamon Vanilla… yum! But I’m sure it really wasn’t good for me. Take a look at the label.

35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per Tablespoon. And I’m sure I was using at least 2 tablespoons of creamer in every cup of coffee. And sometimes I’d drink more than one cup a day. Yikes! Not only that, look at the list of ingredients. I’m not sure what some of those are, but I know they don’t fit into my plan for eating natural foods and avoiding artificial ingredients. When I read this article with a recipe for making homemade coffee creamer, I decided to take the plunge and try making my own. After a bit of tweaking to the recipe, I came up with this recipe, which I’m enjoying. It took a bit of getting used to because it’s not quite as creamy as the purchased creamer, but my taste buds have adjusted and I’m now enjoying my cup of morning coffee without guilt.

Homemade Cinnamon Vanilla Creamer

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (made with milk and sugar)
  • vanilla – about 1 Tablespoon
  • cinnamon – about 1 Teaspoon

Directions: Put everything in the blender and mix until blended.

It’s super-easy, plus my homemade creamer has only four ingredients – milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. I love that! Each Tablespoon of the creamer has 9.5 calories, 0.05 grams of fat, 0.75 grams of protein, 1.4 grams of sugar, and 1.1 mg of sodium. Bonus!

I store the creamer in repurposed spaghetti sauce jars. The recipe makes two jars of creamer – I put one in the fridge and one in the freezer. Not only does making my own creamer fit into my desire to eat better, but it makes trips to the grocery store easier, takes up less space in my fridge (since I’d always have at least 2 containers of creamer in there so I didn’t run out), and I’m not putting all that extra plastic packaging in the recycling bin. The only thing I’m not 100% happy with is that the recipe uses a canned ingredient and I’m trying to stay away from cans because the lining contains BPAs. After seeing Darcy’s post on making sweetened condensed milk, I may try tweaking my recipe yet again to eliminate the can – and I may try substituting honey for the sugar. I’m not really sure sure what that would do to the taste, though. I’ll let you know how it turns out if I try it!

While I was reasearching the nutrition information for the bottled creamer, I saw that CoffeeMate now has an all-natural version of creamer called Natural Bliss which contains only natural ingredients – milk, cream, sugar and natural flavors. Definitely a step in the right direction!

What do you think about a 31 Days of Change series on the small changes I’m making to make our home a happier and healthier place?

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