Better Half Coconut Cream & Almond Milk Unsweetened carton on tray with coffee maker, cup and milk pitcher.

Image: Anne's testing of the faux cream in coffee.

|| 10 December 2018

Non-dairy Creamer Update

After I posted a Nouvelles about my search for a non-dairy creamer, Chic & Slim reader Laura emailed a helpful suggestion. Laura wrote:

I recently read your posting about non-dairy creamer. I am a vegan, so I haven't had cream in years. I have found success using almond based creamers with coffee, but with tea only soy seems to work. I'm not sure why this is. I suggest trying as soy-based creamer with your tea. I am happy using concentrated tea with regular soy milk. I've never found a soy based creamer, otherwise I would suggest you one to try. Good luck.

Today there is a large selection of soymilk products. (Though, like Laura, I could not find any soy-based creamer.) For my first trial I chose a variety of soymilk that had a high level of fat. As Laura suggested, I brewed my tea about double the strength I usually drink it. Then I added about four times the amount of soymilk that I would have added had I been using dairy cream. I found soy milk much more compatible with the taste of Assam tea than the non-diary creamer based on almond and coconut I had first tried.

I will continue to try different brands of soy milk to see which tastes best to me in hot tea. But a caution. Many versions of soymilk contain sugar, especially the "original" and flavored versions. If you don't want a soymilk with sugar, read labels carefully.

Merci to Laura for her useful suggestion.

|| 25 November 2018

Testing Faux Cream

Cream is lovely consumed so many ways. And if you have enjoyed cream produced in France, particularly northern France, for some time, then adjusting to what American stores sell as cream can be difficult.

Still, as years pass, memory of that luscious French cream fades. But then the day sometimes arrives when for one of several reasons you need to find a non-dairy substitute for the American version of cream. Milk allergies, digestive problems, vegan diet, for instance. Or for those trying to control blood pressure with exercise and diet, eliminating animal fat.

I enjoy a café crème as well as any French woman, and I even, on occasion, put cream in certain types of hot tea. I know some of you are shuddering. British friends years ago lectured me that one did NOT put cream in tea, only milk. But I learned to drink tea in India where generous amounts of water buffalo milk with its very high fat content is added to tea. So with a very malty Assam, cream tastes “right” while even whole milk seems too anemic.

But as I discovered recently, finding a non-dairy creamer that does not contain (horrors !) corn syrup or other objectionable ingredients takes searching.

The first non-dairy creamer I tried did not prove satisfactory. Califia Farms Better Half Coconut Cream & Almond Milk Unsweetened tasted very much like regular cream when poured into a spoon and put directly into the mouth. But when I added it to hot Assam tea, it gave the tea a bitter unpleasant taste. The Califa Farms Coconut Cream & Almond Milk Unsweetened did marginally better in coffee. But not enough better to suit me. The only acceptable use I found for this product was in frozen fruit whips. Very nice. And a BIG savings in calories over real cow's milk cream.

Ingredients are Almondmilk (water, almonds), coconut cream, natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, potassium citrate, locust bean gum, gellan gum.

In the calories department, the Califa Farms Coconut Cream & Almond Milk Unsweetened has only 15 calories for one serving (2 tablespoons). Just 1 tablespoon of regular cow’s milk cream has 50 calories. Many supermarkets or natural food store prices for this non-dairy creamer are less than those for regular cream.

Califa Farms has other varieties of unsweetened non-dairy creamer. Perhaps one of them will prove more acceptable to my taste buds — in tea. And coffee.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone