Let’s be honest – if I had my way with any creamer, I’d go straight for the good stuff found in actual Half and Half. However, the sad reality I (along with a large percentage of the earth’s population) must face is that dairy and the digestive tract don’t exactly see eye to eye. Because of this, I aim to limit my dairy intake as much as possible, and one of the easiest times to do so is during my morning coffee(s) routine.
So which dairy-free alternative do I use instead? Well, dear reader, I’m so glad you asked. Over the last couple months, I have taken on the challenge of trying out what I consider to be the top 5 most popular options when it comes to lactose-free creamer. So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in, shall we?
It’s true – number one on our list is not advertised as dairy-free. However, if you look at the ingredient list (and I do encourage you to look at the ingredient list), the only listed item that comes from a milk derivative is noted to be lactose free. That means, most lactose intolerant folks would actually do just fine by this product.
And, I won’t lie…this stuff is delicious. It comes in a wide variety of flavors, provides an easy to pour bottle, and blends together with your coffee like an absolute dream….but remember when I suggested you check out the ingredient label…yeah, I wasn’t kidding. Take a look below…You should immediately note a number of red flags in this list. Corn Syrup, Vegetable Oil, and Cottonseed? Oof…those are three big alarm bells and we are only looking at the first two ingredients listed directly after “water.” Beyond those, see how many more you can actually pronounce or define without first turning to Google…not many, am I right? Maybe natural flavoring, but what does that even mean anyway?
Long story short…there is just no reconciling this one. It may be delicious, it may be readily available in every convenient grocery store, and it definitely offers to turn your average cup o’ joe into a delectable treat, but it is practically Frankenstein’s Monster serving as a creamer. Save your GI tract the trouble by moving on to another option on this list.
Better Half creamers by Califia have a lot of things I love to see in a product: it’s natural, provides a short ingredient list, and even has a clean design/label. In essence, it should be my perfect creamer….and yet, I have caveats….I have tried Better Half several times – both the original and unsweetened versions – but every and each time, a couple things always go awry. For one, the product never blends well with my coffee. I’ve stirred, I’ve shaken, hell I’ve even blended it in a blender, but every time, it’s like the creamer never actually mixed with my coffee. It’s both a texture and a taste thing – I have to imagine it has something to do with the type of coconut cream used, but the flavors never blend. Anytime I tried it, I could only ever taste my coffee and THEN the cream.
Second, despite the low sugar content displayed on the nutritional label, I find this product intoxicatingly sweet. The only thing I can gather is it’s due to the Sunflower Lecithin. For a period of time, I was taking Sunflower Lecithin as a supplement in my protein shakes, and it always made my drink MUCH sweeter. It’s the only explanation I’ve got other than maybe the ratio of Almond milk to Coconut milk doesn’t match my personal preference.
All that said, I’d tell you to give Better Half a go. It’s a clean brand with a high quality product that a lot of people adore. I’d only say, if you’re sensitive to sweet like me, maybe give a taste test before adding sugar. I will also mention that Califia has a series of “enhanced milks” and pre-prepped cold brews that have all been fantastic. (special shoutout to their Matcha or Ginger Almond Milk drinks).
Disclaimer: I’m fully aware that this product is listed as a “milk” and not actually a “creamer.” I have a feeling that several of you will argue my view points purely because nut “milks” tend to be of a thinner consistency than those advertised as “creamers,” but here is my defense…
If you check out the ingredient list below, you’ll note the interesting addition of “Gluten-Free Oats.” I admit, I had never seen such a thing in a nut milk before, and I considered how thick and creamy soaked oats could make the product. That said, I wasn’t totally wrong.Forarger’s Cashewmilk is thicker than most nut milks you’ll find, but that doesn’t make it “creamy.” What adding oats does provide for the product is a certain weight that was simply just a no-go for me in coffee. It made my morning beverage far too heavy to be enjoyed first thing after waking up. Also, given this item has the most carbs out of every product on this list, I found it surprisingly bitter. That said, I opted instead to try Forarger’s Cashewmilk in a protein shake, and it was absolutely delicious and satiating. If curious about trying this brand – I’d say switch it out occasionally with your regular Almond Milk to add a little flair. Also, give their cashew yogurts a try. I’ve had a couple of their flavors and found each very enjoyable (especially the lemon option).
With Silk being such a large commercial brand, I feel it often gets a bad rap. Are they known for always using the best ingredients? No. Do I personally wish they used a little less cane sugar? Of course. But take a quick minute to compare Silk’s ingredient list to that of Coffeemate’s posted back up under #1, and tell me which you’d sooner prefer putting into your body. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, Silk’s Almond Creamers are readily available, very tasty, and easy to blend. While they provide a couple extra flavors, at the heart of the matter, they keep it simple. Without a doubt – given the short, pronounceable ingredient list, taste, and overall convenience, Silk’s Almond Creamer easily secures it’s spot as my second favorite creamer on the list.
Last, but certainly not least, allow me to introduce to you my favorite non-dairy creamer of them all…Nutpods. Simple, clean, fun to say – Nutpods have it all. Their ingredient list is so clean it’s pretty, the packaging is friendly, and they just released their seasonal pumpkin spice flavor for Fall. What are you waiting for – jump over to Amazon and buy Nutpods in bulk! #Idid
I love the flavors, I love having no sugar in the product (unsweetened), and I love the perfect balance between the coconut cream and almond milk ingredients. Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan friendly – seriously, everybody wins! Nutpods – giggle now, thank me later
Didn’t see a non-dairy option on my list that you felt you should have? Post below on the comments or send me a message directly via Contact. I’m always looking to try new brands and products! If I get enough requests – I’d happily do a part 2 to this series 😉
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,