Low-Sugar S'mores Iced Latte
With gooey & decadent black chocolate drizzle and a thick layer of creamy French Vanilla, just one sip of this iced latte will transport you to the campfire.
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Just about everyone who’s had a normal job is familiar with the jar of “white powder” that sits next to the company coffee machine, or the container of “white liquid” that’s stored in the break room refrigerator.
(We’re excluding people like company executives and high-tech workers, who are more likely to have access to an espresso machine in their workplace.)
That “white stuff” or “white liquid,” of course, is non-dairy coffee creamer.
Only the fortunate few get to choose the creamer that’s available at work. It’s usually the cheapest product that the purchasing department can find.
There’s no rule that you can’t bring your own creamer to work, though. And you certainly get to select the one you use at home.
To make a smart choice, it might help to have a list of the best coffee creamer brands.
We happen to have one right here.
Powdered coffee creamer has been around since the middle of the 20th century, with products like Mocha Mix Coffee Creamer and Pream leading the way. In the 1960s, tastier products like CoffeeRich, Cremora, and of course, Coffee-Mate, hit the market.
In the mid-1970s, CoffeeRich introduced the first liquid version of its creamer, and other liquid coffee creamers followed. International Delight’s flavored coffee creamers arrived in 1980, and that completed the trio of traditional creamers that are still sold today: powdered, liquid, and flavored.
Those aren’t the only choices available to people who want to lighten their cup of coffee. Needless to say, milk, heavy cream, and half-and-half are still very much with us. And dairy-free milks like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and soy milk have become quite popular for those who are vegan, lactose-intolerant, or watching their carbs and calories.
Coffee drinkers searching for healthier alternatives to coffee creamer have other products to choose from as well. Keto-friendly creamers are available in many stores (including Walmart) and on Amazon; creamers with added protein, vitamins and/or minerals have hit the market; some options even contain ingredients that promise to boost brain health.
That’s a lot of options. To compile our list of the best coffee creamer brands, we’ve broken it down into the categories that are most popular among coffee lovers. We’ll get to the list after a quick look at the ingredients commonly used in coffee creamers.
Some of the ingredients in coffee creamers make intuitive sense.
Nut milk, protein, soy, or even a little dairy milk are often included in some form. They’re there to simulate the taste and effects of “real” milk or cream. Sweeteners are commonly added, whether they’re sugar, artificial sweeteners, or natural sugar substitutes.
Those ingredients aren’t necessarily innocent, though. The addition of dairy products can be an issue for the lactose-intolerant or those with milk allergies. Those on low-carb diets (as well as those who object to the use of artificial sweeteners) must avoid some types of sweeteners. That means it’s important for many people to know exactly what’s in the creamer they choose.
Then there’s the oil or high-fructose corn syrup often found in commercial coffee creamers. What are those doing there?
They’re essentially used to thicken the creamers, giving them the same “mouth feel” as a dairy product and a taste that may be a bit richer than non-dairy creamers. Oil or corn syrup may not be problematic for some people, but many others might object to their potential negative health effects (like added calories, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome).
Those are the ingredients that health-conscious coffee drinkers, or those with dietary restrictions, may want to avoid. By contrast, some creamers contain added ingredients that could make them more desirable.
Finally, there are the natural or artificial flavorings that are added to make coffee creamers delicious additions to a morning cup of coffee.
We’ve considered all of those criteria and listed the best creamer brands by category. You’ll notice that we don’t have a blanket category for “best coffee creamer,” since that distinction largely depends on the type of coffee creamer you’re looking for. (We’d vote for Super Creamer, found in our keto category, as the “best” choice.)
We’ll get to the best-tasting, best dairy-free, and best keto creamers shortly. But after thinking about the oil and high-fructose corn syrup found in many products, we’ve decided to start with the healthiest coffee creamers.
Healthy can also be delicious.
These plant-based creamers have a lot going for them. They’re dairy-free (meaning they contain no milk protein; comparable products that include milk protein are considered non-dairy instead). They’re gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO, and they don’t contain the controversial thickening agent carrageenan, either.
Almond milk is an acquired taste for many people. But even those who don’t drink it regularly will find that Califia Farms’ unsweetened Almondmilk creamer is quite tasty, thanks to its added coconut cream and natural flavors. It’s zero-carb, with only one gram of fat and ten calories per tablespoon. It must be refrigerated.
Sweeter Almondmilk varieties include caramel macchiato coffee creamer, hazelnut coffee creamer and French Vanilla coffee creamer, and the company also offers delicious alternatives like Cinnamon Roll Oat Creamer. Not all are sugar-free or zero-carb, though.
Yes, this is the same company that makes healthy salad dressings, too. Their dairy-free creamers are just as good, with no added sugar, no carbs, no fat, no gluten and no calories; stevia, monk fruit extract and erythritol are the natural sweeteners.
Walden Farms uses natural flavors to create yummy varieties like their mocha creamer and sweet cream coffee creamers, and they occasionally add limited-edition flavors like peppermint mocha to the lineup. These creamers require refrigeration after opening.
Taste is subjective. We like these choices best.
Sadly, there’s no Starbucks Caramel Macchiato creamer on the market just yet. But the company sells the next best thing: “Starbucks Caramel Creamer inspired by Caramel Macchiato.”
We’re not sure what the distinction is; maybe it’s a legal one. In any event, you know what it tastes like, and it’s yummy – just like their white chocolate (“inspired by white chocolate mocha”) and pumpkin spice (“inspired by pumpkin spice latte”) flavors.
Here’s the bad news, which you probably expect. Most of Starbucks’ creamers include ingredients like milk and cream, buttermilk, sugar, and soybean oil. That means they aren’t as good for you as coffee creamer brands like Califia Farms and Walden Farms; the caramel creamer contains 40 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and six grams of carbs per tablespoon.
But if you’re in search of taste rather than nutrition, you’ve come to the right place. And you don’t need a barista to serve it up.
The original flavored coffee creamer is still one of the best – and it comes in some terrific flavors. Just a few of the more exotic ones: Cinnabon, Twinkies, and Almond Joy. They also have more pedestrian choices like white chocolate raspberry, amaretto, and French vanilla flavors.
Once again, though, there’s bad news: 1.5 grams of fat, 35 calories, and five grams of carbs. The good news is that those last two numbers are slightly better than Starbucks’, and that the International Delight creamers are non-dairy (although not dairy-free, since they contain milk protein-derived sodium caseinate).
We prefer our first two choices to Coffee-Mate, but there are several reasons to consider this OG coffee creamer. One is that they offer tasty flavors you can’t find anywhere else, like Snickers and Italian Sweet Crème. The other is the company’s Natural Bliss brand, which is made from all-natural ingredients – although it’s not that much healthier than other Coffee-Mate products.
This company’s calling card is creating dairy-free products, and their coffee creamers are some of the best – and healthiest – on the market.
A good example: So Delicious organic Coconut Milk Creamer, which contains only water, coconut milk and several non-controversial additives. It’s zero-sugar, zero-carb, and has just one gram of fat in each tablespoon. Needless to say, it’s dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
The almond milk creamer is also available in caramel and French vanilla flavors, and the oat milk variety comes in creamy vanilla flavor.
We’ve finally arrived at the first powdered creamer on this list, and it was worth the wait. Laird Superfood uses some interesting ingredients to produce a wide range of plant-based, dairy-free creamers.
Here’s one possibility: Superfood Creamer with Functional Mushrooms. It includes four different types of adaptogenic mushrooms believed to provide a number of health benefits, in addition to coconut milk powder, extra virgin coconut oil, and added calcium. Another great Laird variety includes turmeric for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Low in calories, carbs and fat, these are excellent creamers to stir into your cup of joe.
Keto dieters often add MCT oil to their coffee or to other foods, because it boosts the production of ketones for energy. It also produces brain benefits. And it’s one of the ingredients in Super Creamer.
That’s not the only reason this is our top-rated keto creamer. Instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners, it contains natural stevia and monk fruit extract, making it a zero-carb creamer. It’s low in calories and fat, too. Some flavors contain milk protein and others contain plant-derived pea protein, so you have to choose carefully if you want a non-dairy product. But all of the eight flavors are delicious, so the choice is an enjoyable one.
Quite honestly, these creamers don’t taste quite as good as Super Creamer, they’re much higher in calories, and they derive their MCTs from coconut cream which isn’t as potent a source.
But they’re all zero-carb, they’re all dairy-free, vegan-friendly and plant-based, and they’re available in some interesting flavors like toasted marshmallow, coffee cake, and cinnamon dolce.
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Published: April 21, 2022
Last Updated: April 25, 2022
7 Min read
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