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Clean Eating Switch: Coffee Creamer

*First of all, thank you for the comments on my previous post. It’s a touchy subject so I appreciate hearing your opinions on the matter.

Anyway, on to today!

I have a bit of an obsession with nondairy creamers. Not so much because they’re non-dairy, but because they make my coffee taste so darn delicious!! Thank you Coffee Mate for saving me the trips to Starbucks since my coffee now tastes like Peppermint Mocha (sugar free by the way).


I go back and forth between thinking, ” a calorie is a calorie. That’s all that matters so have your sugar free nondairy weird creamer. It’s less calories than half and half.” Other days though, I remind myself that I’m drinking nondairy creamer…what the hell is that? Maybe a calorie is a calorie, but it’s probably safe to assume eating whole foods, even full fat milk and cream, is better than majorly processed pretend coffee creamer.

I love their seasonal flavors. They always suck me in. Damn you Coffee Mate!

So, let’s compare….or maybe we shouldn’t….Here’s half and half (I’m guessing non organic half and half has the same ingredients):


So, that’s pretty straight forward: 2 ingredients. Here are the nutrition facts:



Two tablespoons is 40 calories. That’s not terrible. Let’s take a look at Coffee Mate creamer:



Oh my.

When it comes to non dairy creamer, I always think of my dad. He’s not a health nut by any means but even he was reading the label and asked me, “non dairy creamer? So, what is it?” I responded with, ” I don’t know. Don’t ask questions just enjoy the delicious taste.”

So, non-dairy creamer versus half and half. Half and half wins (clean eating-wise). I need a little flavor in my life so I asked some folks on Facebook what they use in their coffees and here were some responses:

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my FAV thing to put in coffee… Try that! Less fat

I just add spices or flavoring to my coffee and use regular half and half … just as tasty and not nearly as expensive!

Also, peppermint extract + cocoa + stevia/sweetener of choice = yummy peppermint mocha flavor

I went from using creamer AND sugar in my morning coffee to coconut oil and no sweetener!

Try using almond milk or flavored coconut milks instead! Still delicious and much better for you that both coffeemate AND half n half.


I think I’m going to try either coconut oil or coconut milk. Coconut milk seems thick like half and half while giving it a little flavor. My husband put coconut oil in his coffee for a while too. That sounds yummy and a good way to get some fats in your diet.

Here are a couple other ideas I found on Pinterest:

almond milk


Homemade almond milk creamer! Yum.



LOTS of different kinds of homemade creamers on this blog: coffee streusel, pumpkin spice, peppermint mocha, etc. Definitely need to try a few of those!

I’m almost out of my Coffee Mate creamer. When I am, I’ll let you know what I try next! I think homemade peppermint mocha is in order….

What do you use in your coffee?

25 comments to Clean Eating Switch: Coffee Creamer

  • This is such a great topic. My mom recently asked me which of two butters was “better” for her nutrition-wise… one had better stats from first glance, but the many ingredients were really questionable. The other had two ingredients (butter, salt), but slightly less stellar stats. In the end I recommended the more wholesome one, but it really is a toss up!

    I’d probably go half and half with the creamer, but then again it’s not something that’s being consumed in bulk or anything, so does it really matter? It’s a tough call!

  • Yikes – a little scary! I typically use So Delicious creamer (non-dairy) and the list isn’t quite as bad, but it’s not great either. Honestly, I don’t usually use creamer – I’m more of an Americano fan (just hot water added).

  • Dan Armstrong

    If you drink coffee, black is your best bet, but that can be hard to get used to.

    Personally, I prefer half and half by far. Lower fat milks (skim, 1%, 2%) just don’t have the same impact as half and half. But I won’t touch the stuff unless it is organic. Non-organic dairy contains pus, anti-biotics and lots of other horrors.

    Fat-free half and half, and non-dairy creamers are essentially poison to your body. They are basically corn products which are highly processed and genetically modified. Stay far far away from these.

  • Oh, thank you very much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I get Coconut Milk at the market! Fabulous!

  • Sarah Allen

    A few weeks ago, I switched from Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk to Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk and am so glad I did. The coconut milk is very creamy and thick, much like half and half or other dairy products. The vanilla flavor is also pretty savory and sweet for being unsweetened. If I still feel I need a bit more of a kick, I’ll add a pinch of stevia in the raw. Only a pinch though since a woman is only supposed to consume 25g of sugar a day! Adding spices like nutmeg and cinnamon can get a little tricky. Make sure the coffee you buy doesn’t have any hidden flavor additives to give it said flavor, like fructose, dextrose, or the like. Good luck!

  • Ric H

    Okay, so I started drinking coffee when I started a 1 am to 9:30 am shift! At $1.40 – $1.60 per cup at the mini-mart across the street, and a quarter or two each day to buy a splash of my co-worker’s percolated stuff, it was almost as much as those “gourmet” chains charge. I was actually mixing the mini-mart house coffee with about 1/3 hot chocolate. So when we all chipped in for a Keurig machine I needed to find a non-dairy creamer (lactose intolerant) and the healthiest sugar I could find. I have never used sugar substitutes and even drink less than five beverages of any kind sweetened that way in a year. I am allergic to stevia, so I settled for Sugar in the Raw and International Delights Caramel Macchiato (almond based). In about six months I gained 25 pounds, ouch! I am obsessed with the caramel taste, but had never had sugar in my house, and never added any sugar to the mini-mart coffee/hot chocolate, although I am sure there was plenty. I found a sugar substitute in the form of Smuckers Simple Delights Salted Caramel ice-cream topping! LOL I do love my caramel! It does not have any gluten or high fructose corn syrup and only a small amount of a dairy by-product. Once my caramel macchiato creamer runs out, I plan to use only the Smuckers because I also have a very slight allergy to the almond base. Mm…

    • You are so creative!! I might
      Have to try that. I used to drink caramel frappuccinos every single day in college haha crazy! They’re so sweet I’m not even sure I could finish one now!

  • Sunshine

    When my daughter was a baby I nursed her, but still at 3 weeks old she was covered with a terrible rash. When I took her to the dr he said that it was a food allergy and suggested I stop having milk products sure enough her rash cleared up 🙂 around 6-8 months I started eating dairy again and she had no problems. we eventually let her have any food she wanted including all dairy products. In the last month every time she eats she complains that her belly hurts. Again the dr. suggested we go milk free as a family. (Im sensitive too but dairy and carbs are my two favorite food groups!) with this post my problem is, I LOVE the powdered non dairy creamer. any suggestions for something that will leave my coffee just as hot and creamy as the powder?

    • Have you tried like, coconut milk coffee creamers or even soy? Those have some flavor (some sugar too) but no dairy. Sometimes I add coconut oil and almond extract, then blend to up a little so it gets frothy that’s good too!

  • Deanna B

    I LOVE reading these ideas about different creamers. I always thought I tried everything, but I haven’t. One way I do like is using a little Stevia, a little powdered CoffeeMate Hazelnut (for a little flavor), and a little half & half. I wanted to use non-dairy cream instead of half & half but I figured a little dairy was ok right? Not sure about the powdered cream, how healthy/not healthy is that?

    • I would definitely choose half and half over powdered creamers. Half and half has some fat but at least the ingredients are pretty straight forward and relatively clean. Lately, I’ve actually been adding half and half, little stevia, and a little almond extract- it’s really yummy!

  • Amanda C.

    I warm my liquid creamers or non-dairy substitutes in the microwave because I still want hot coffee. It also gives it some froth which is a nice buffer.

  • Dan Armstrong

    Stop worrying about fat. Worry about sugar and corn products. Use real (organic) half-and-half if you are not lactose intolerant.

  • […] any other healthy suggestions?  Let me know in the comments.  If you’ve tried this alternative let me know what you […]

  • Laurie

    You won’t believe it but I found a coconut milk POWDER for a creamer for traveling!!

  • Dan Armstrong

    Read the labels on coconut milk too! A lot of them have sugar in them. You are better off with organic half-n-half than coconut milk with sugar.
    That said, I have used coconut milk and liked it, but I make sure there’s not sugar in it. The best coconut milk for coffee is canned and won’t be found by the creamers. But even some of those contain sugar – ALWAYS check your labels. Also worth noting – the coconut milk Starbucks now offers is highly sweetened – don’t drink it.
    Remember: Eating fat doesn’t make people fat; SUGAR makes people fat.

  • Robin

    I just can’t do black coffee. I’m a diabetic and trying to get away from the high fructose corn syrup in creamers. I don’t like anything sweet in my coffee. Only cream. Don’t like the flavored creamers because of the sweetness. What is a good alternative to non-dairy creamers that won’t leave a sweet taste?

  • Robin

    I just can’t do black coffee. I’m a diabetic and trying to get away from the high fructose corn syrup in creamers. I don’t like anything sweet in my coffee. Only cream. Don’t like the flavored creamers because of the sweetness. What is a good alternative to non-dairy creamers that won’t leave a sweet taste?

    • have you tried coconut milk? the canned, full fat kind? that is pretty creamy and not sweet. i know there are coffee “creamers” out there made with coconut milk or soy milk, but they might (probably) have sugar added. i would try canned coconut milk.

  • Corinne Hosier

    @DanArmstrong I have been doing research lately about foods and completely agree with all your comments. READ LABELS! There is added sugar in almost EVERYTHING, and sugar is by far worse than fat. Also to note, the Silk Cashew milk is amazing! only 25Cal/serving and 0 sugar. Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. I have been trying every recipe out there to find a replacement to the Coffeemate creamers and have yet to find one “creamy” enough. I can’t wait to try the organic Half&Half this time!

    • i agree. finding substitutes that are creamy are tough. ive tried canned coconut milk a few times, but i dont love it. lately, ive been using heavy cream. it definitely has more calories than half and half, but id like to think i use less because it is VERY creamy. yum!

  • i love all these ideas. i am allergic to corn, dairy, soy,& sugar even during the break down process, if it breaks down into a sugar then im allergic. i get a serioius rash of welts all over my neck, chest, shoulders, back and jaw line. this does not leave me room for anything. im going to try the idea of RIC H. thanks

  • Sara

    I recommend adding a vegan, organic protein powder, both vanilla and chocolate are great. They also make other flavors like Vanilla Chai that I am dying to try. Add a quarter to half scoop of protien powder, and a tablespoon of coconut oil both, for a thick and creamy (and healthy) coffee packed with protien, amino acids, with no added sugars or artificial garbage!

  • Is coffeemate ok to use if you’re trying to eat clean? I only have one cup of coffee a day. Maybe 2 at the most.

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