2/21/2014

Favorite Homemade Coffee Creamer - YUM!

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I.Love.Coffee.  It's no secret.  Everyone knows it.  I drink WAY too much.  People buy me coffee makers, coffee samples and coffee cups for Christmas and birthday gifts.  They know me so well.  I always have a coffee in my hand when I'm shopping, at the park or attending playgroup.  I just can't help myself.

Lately my family has been on a journey to live healthier by changing the many things we put in our bodies daily...mostly through altering the amount of preservatives, dyes and artificial ingredients in our diets.  My grandmother is soon to be 88.  She eats sugar.  She eats bread.  She drinks coffee.  She fries food...occasionally.  I'm a firm believer that if it's good enough for her...and she's living a healthy life...and by they way, she looks nowhere NEAR 88...then it's not going to hurt me.  The difference, in my UN-scientific opinion, is that she has never eaten much "fake" food.  She cooks the REAL stuff.  Biscuits from flour and lard.  Bacon and melted cheese.  Fried chicken she batters by hand...not pulled out of a box.  Yes...all that yummy goodness that southern food is...but she eats it sparingly...not in excess...and because she learned from her mother and her grandmother, she knows how to use REAL, natural ingredients to make food that tastes great and doesn't come out of a frozen box.  Has she eaten frozen dinners?  SURE.  Does she eat candy?  Of course...but it's not in excess.  She uses butter...not margarine.  I believe all of those "little" things can add up to a great big thing when it comes to making a difference in our diet, health and overall well being.

Okay...with that said, back to the coffee...It would be okay if I drink it as my grandmother does...black...but I don't.  I love all the artificial sweeteners that you can drizzle into your coffee, toss a little sugary goodness in there and you have something to love...and I can finish off a Coffeemate Creamer bottle in a matter of two days.  No joke...so I started looking at my beloved creamers...and boy do they have lots of STUFF in them that I can't even pronounce...and I'm putting multiple bottles in my body weekly?!  Ick...

So I've been on a mission to make my own.  It has sugar in it, yes it does...but it doesn't have anything in it that I can't pronounce.  THAT is the key.  And I'm loving it.  I mean, LOVING it!  The combinations you could make are ENDLESS, but I'm going to share my personal favorite.

I'm a peppermint fan, so I was trying to re-create a Peppermint Mocha flavor. I actually enjoy the peppermint more than the mocha, so I make mine heavy on the peppermint, but you could always make yours heavy on the mocha...or even eliminate the peppermint...you could replace the peppermint with vanilla...I'm telling you, endless possibilities!  Here's my "go-to" recipe:

  • 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk (just sugar and milk!)
  • 1 3/4c. Whole Milk (you could substitute, but it wouldn't be as creamy) - we use Grassfed Milk from a local dairy
Okay...that's your basic starter.  I pour all ingredients into a blender so I can blend it all up to creamy goodness.  At this point, you can blend in whatever you want.  This is what I add for my Peppermint Mocha:
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
That's it!  Just blend it all together and add it to your coffee.  It even makes a yummy froth on the top for a "coffee house" effect.  Oh.My.Coffee.Goodness.  I pour mine into a wide mouth jar and store in the fridge.  You could also save an empty coffee creamer bottle, wash and use it for an easy pour option.  Remember...this is heavy on the peppermint, so if you're more of a mocha fan, you could cut the peppermint down to 1/2tsp or omit and add vanilla.  Yumm-o...and nothing in this creamer I can't pronounce!  I will NEVER buy coffee creamer again!!  And it's cheaper to make your own...cuts down on the groceries I drag in...it's a win/win all the way around...I know I usually buy between two and four creamers at a time...so I'm THRILLED!

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