Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coconut Creamer

Despite my ode to cream earlier, I have been working on finding/creating a good substitute to cream in my coffee in an effort to clear up my skin (and arteries) a bit. Spring is upon us, which in my book means coconut coffee season! A couple summers ago, my girl Molly introduced me to what is now a great love of mine: coconut iced coffee. When I'm working in the coffee shop, I'm always tempted to whip up a coconut latte for myself, but after peeking at the nutritional value and seeing that 1 ounce of the coconut syrup has 21 grams of sugar in it, I got to work in the kitchen.

It took a few tries to get the coconut creamer recipe just right. It kept coming out chunky, or not sweet enough for me. I bought some "So Delicious Coconut Creamer" (the original flavor) to try to match up the same flavor with my sugar-free recipe and I decided I just don't like coconut creamer. It's not creamy enough for me and has a bit of an odd after-taste that I don't want clouding up my precious coffee. I settled for a coconut syrup I created combined with my soy milk creamer. (I don't think the soy creamer will last long, I keep coming crawling back to cream.) But for those of you who are interested, I thought I'd share the recipe anyway:

Coconut Creamer:

1 can full-fat coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk, but soy or almond would be great too)
2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
A sprinkle of guar gum*

1. Heat up the coconut cream, milk of choice, vanilla extract and sweetener in a small sauce pan on low heat and stir until warm and thoroughly combined.
2. Pour the mixture in a blender, Vitamix or Magic Bullet. Shake a small amount of guar gum in. Blend the ingredients together until smooth (around 30 seconds).
3. Stir desired amount into your coffee and store the rest in the fridge, about 7-10 days.

*I realize that not everyone has guar gum lying around (unless you are use to gluten-free baking in which case I'm sure that you do!), but you need some sort of thickening agent to hold everything together otherwise the creamer will turn out chunky once it hits your coffee. Xanthan gum also works, but you will need more of it. Guar gum is the strongest thickening agent that I've found, so you need quite a bit less of it than corn starch, etc, in your cooking.

 Coconut Syrup:

4 drops liquid stevia (or melted down regular stevia or chosen sweetener)
1 teaspoon imitation coconut extract (hats off to anyone who can find non-imitation!)
2 teaspoons filtered water

Stir ingredients together until combined. Stevia is a pretty great sugar replacement. It's natural and has very little sugar-free aftertaste, like the others do, but I still rarely choose to use it. I'm all about honey these days. If you want to use honey instead, use 1 tablespoon with 1 teaspoon coconut extract. (You'll need to melt it down with the coconut extract and water first.) This makes the perfect amount for about two glasses of coconut iced coffee.

 Welcome, spring!

1 comment:

  1. Love this Carly!! Definitely going to try this. Coconut milk/oil/anything and I have been in a passionate love affair for about a year now. And still, I've yet to explore how it interacts with my beloved coffee! Excited to give this a try. Mouth is watering as we speak :)