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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Vanilla Creamer Alternatives
Posted by: OneHorseFarms, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 6:19pm
I need to kick my non-dairy creamer habit (the kind that is full of additives I can't pronounce).

I drink yerba mate tea each morning, but I LOVE the vanilla creaminess of those artificial creamers so I am trying to see if I can make something comparable with natural foods. (I have tried yerba with just honey but I miss the vanilla smoothness!)

Yesterday I tried 1/2 & 1/2, vanilla extract (pure), and honey but it wasn't very sweet or vanilla-y. The sweet part is easy, just add more honey, but I couldn't quite get the vanilla smoothness out of the extract, even when I added more.

Any suggestions?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 6:49pm; Reply: 1
Maybe try using heavy cream instead of half and half? It has a richer "more creamy" taste.

Honey has a distinct flavor, and it will never perfectly imitate the flavor of the corn syrup in "vanilla creamer." I'm not even sure if honey and vanilla can really "go together" at all- you might want to try skipping the vanilla (and just having "honey cream" in your tea) or substituting sugar or a milder flavored sweetener for the honey when you use vanilla. Or  go for a "maple and brown sugar" flavor by using molasses instead of honey, or a mixture of the two, also skipping the vanilla.

You also might be getting an alcoholy aftertaste from the vanilla extract, separate from the vanilla flavor itself. I know I've seen alcohol free vanilla extracts, but I've never personally tried them. That might  give a smoother flavor (and you can use up the other extract in baking.) You also have to be careful not to use too much- your tea might have been suffering from "too strong vanilla flavor" rather than "not vanilla-y enough."

Basically, I suggest playing around with the flavors until you find something you enjoy. You may or may not find something that tastes EXACTLY like the chemical creamer you're used to, but you may find a different flavor that you like just as much, or that you like even more!
Posted by: OneHorseFarms, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 7:02pm; Reply: 2
Very helpful suggestions! Thank you!

I think you are spot on as that I am fighting against the alcohol taste of the vanilla extract. That makes such logical sense to me.

I am a fan of trying new things so I will experiment with your suggestions! :)
Posted by: Brighid45, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 7:16pm; Reply: 3
If you can find vanilla powder without sugar in it, you might try adding that to some cream. It'll give you the vanilla taste without the alcohol kicker. :)

Here's a site you can look through. A quick google search found it.

Just be sure to read the ingredient list before purchase. The last vanilla powder I looked at buying said it was sugar-free, but it had dextrose (corn sugar) in it. Always read labels first! :)
Posted by: mikendomsmum, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 7:25pm; Reply: 4
Heat up a jar of agave nectar and while that's heating, drop a vanilla bean or two into the jar.  When it's hot, but not boiling, pour the nectar back into the jar, cool, cover and refrigerate.  Use a couple of teaspoons of the vanilla-agave syrup and cream in your tea.  
Posted by: Gale D., Thursday, September 3, 2009, 8:14pm; Reply: 5
I don't see heavy cream on the food lists. Can someone tell us what it is considered? Dairy? Oil-Fat?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, September 3, 2009, 8:40pm; Reply: 6
I don't think Dr. D. specifically tested heavy cream or light cream, but it's a component of whole milk and it's a component of half and half. So, the logical conclusion is that, if half and half is OK for your type, then cream is also fine for you. Since heavy cream has the least amount of milk proteins than the other types of liquid dairy, it's theoretically possible that  cream is OK for some people who can't tolerate half and half or milk.

I wish Dr. D. had tested heavy cream rather than half and half- then you could figure out if half and half is OK for you based on the two ingredients: cream and milk. I know that light cream is lower in fat/higher in milk proteins than heavy cream,  but still higher in fat than half and half.
Posted by: teri, Friday, September 4, 2009, 12:20am; Reply: 7
Macadamia nut butter blended together with maple syrup and water makes a delicious cream (or milk, depending on how much water is added).
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