Friday, January 19, 2018

Battle of the Vegan Creamers!

Battle of the Vegan Creamers! See which non-dairy creamer wins in a blind taste test and follow along with the

I know a thing or two about healthy eating, and a very large part of me knew that there would come a day when I'd have to give up dairy. I'd given up cheese before, and though it's not fun, I knew I could do it again. What kept me from just saying goodbye to dairy were two things: coffee creamer & ice cream.

There are few things in this life that I love more than a creamy cup of coffee and a bowl of chocolatey ice cream. I'd tried replacements like banana "nicecream", and non-dairy powdered creamers, and just nothing - nothing compares.

But with my desire to eat a more plant-based diet and the start of my Veganish series - I knew it was the right change to start this year with. So my January goal was to kick the moo juice - and everything that's made out of it. Sighhh.

I was immediately on a mission to find a creamer that I could live with. Because, you guys, I don't care......NOTHING will take coffee away from me. NOTHIIIIING. There had to be an alternative.

Aaaaand I went a little crazy.

Sure, I could have gotten one creamer at a time and discovered how I felt about each one here and there, but I wanted to taste test them against each other, and also know right away what I liked so that I didn't spend the whole month wasting money on bad creamers and hating my morning coffee. I also found very little out there in the way of taste testing and opinions for people who were just switching to a vegan creamer, so I felt like I should be a guinea pig for us all.

So here they are....from my least favorite to the winner!

CoffeeMate Vegan Creamer Coconut

5. Coffeemate Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer in Sweet Creme
So, pre-dairy-free, I drank my coffee with nothing but Half & Half. I preferred it without any sweetener, and I was hoping that the flavors in these creamers wouldn't be too overly sweet. I thought it might even help mask the "not actually half and half" taste. When I tried this one, I might has well have been drinking a hot cup of dissolved sugar. It was SO. BAD. I gave it enough sips to be sure, but I immediately dumped the rest because it was disgustingly sweet. It was also really watery and not creamy at all. There was nothing redeeming about this one!!

coffeemate natural bliss almond milk vanilla

4. Coffeemate Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer in Vanilla
I was really hoping that this would be the winner. It is the cheapest of the options and the easiest to track down. But just like the Coconut version, the sweetness in this creamer is un.real. It was like drinking melted candy in a mug. It also had that hint of almond extract flavor (a flavor I loathe!), so it was just not tolerable for me. If you like almond flavored things and enjoy your coffee sweet, however - this is a great option for you. Most grocery stores carry it, and it's only $2.50 or so per bottle!

Califia Farms Barista Blend Almond Milk

3. Califia Farms Barista Blend Almond Milk
At first, I really thought I was going to like this creamer! It has a somewhat creamy consistency, no added sugars or flavors, and at first sip it tastes pretty good. The problem is, as the coffee cools, that almond extract flavor comes out and gives the coffee really weird flavors. Matt thought the same thing about this one - you have to drink your cup fast in order to enjoy it the whole time! haha Of the bunch, this is the priciest option. It was over $4.

Silk Soy Creamer Vanilla

2. Silk Dairy-Free Soy Creamer in Vanilla
This one really wasn't half bad! I think the worst thing about it was the sweetness it has because of the vanilla. That said - I do like a soy vanilla latte from Starbucks as a treat, so if I look at this one as kind of a "fancy" treat, it's not so bad. But much like the Barista Blend milk above, this one gets less delicious as the coffee cools. It worked out okay, but it didn't blow me away.

Ripple plant-based half & half

1. Ripple Plant-Based Half & Half
Ding ding ding - we have a winner!! I first got this in vanilla, which was okay because it wasn't a terribly sweet vanilla - it was pretty mild. I later found it in original and I liked it even more!! This one is the closest to actual half & half in the bunch. It actually has some creaminess to it! Matt thinks it's passable, but he doesn't love it. It's made with pea protein, and he says he can tastes the peas. I can't really...but I actually love peas, so maybe it's just that it doesn't bother me. Also strange? This creamer makes a really weird sludge at the bottom of our cups. I'm not sure what that's all about! This one costs about $3.50 a bottle...which is kind of steep, but worth it.

Okay, so....honesty time.

The real winner?? Drinking my coffee black.

Mostly because...these vegan creamers do not play well with cheap coffee.

vegan creamer taste test

One morning recently we ran out of Starbucks at home, and tried a couple brands that were on sale. NONE of these creamers tasted good in them. We made multiple pots thinking maybe we just got our brewing measurements wrong. Nope. After several failed attempts, I went out and bought a bag of Starbucks (full price, didn't even care at that point) and when I brewed a pot I thought....I'm gonna try this with nothing in it. Why not?

And I liked it. Better than any of these creamers! And that's how I've been drinking it now. Who knew!!!

We've gotta baby-step our way into better things, ya know? So I hope that this post still helps some brand new vegans (or maybe some inspiring vegans!) to make a decision on what to get for their morning coffee!! Or maybe what not to get? ;)

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